Playset construction day 1

I spent some time on Saturday working on Evan’s playset, and I didn’t have a ton to show for it. Much of the time was spent trying to figure out what I was going to be able to do on my own. I took it pretty slow, thinking before cutting, since the placement of the set is a little tricky. I want it parallel to the fence, and the ground everywhere in the yard slopes gently.

I started by doing some rudimentary surveying in the yard. The way the site slopes, I have to make the front side 4-1/2″ taller than the back. Rather than try to do all those adjustments in three dimensions at the same time, I decided the best plan was to build each front-to-back wall on the floor of the garage. Here’s the leftmost wall. The diagonal 2×6 is just a temporary brace (you’ll see lots of those…)

Wall 1 on the ground

The problem with this plan was that the resulting structure weighed about 300-350 lbs. I split it in half and moved it onto the grass. From there, I wrapped a wide nylon tow strap around a piece, fashioned a harness and skidded the structure out into the back yard. Once I got both halves out there, I reassembled and positioned the wall on the ground. I was pretty well exhausted from my ox impersonation, but I as the sun was going down I managed to walk the wall upright and brace it. It wasn’t until this point that I realized how big the structure was going to be!

Wall 1 in place

Right now it’s 12 feet tall, but in actuality, the main rail of the upper deck is planned to be 8 feet high. We’re not entirely sure what we’re going to do- perhaps a roof or a crow’s nest. Once the thing is in place we can get a feel for how things will look and what seems like fun.

So far, things are going pretty well, but a couple of things are slowing me down. First, I’m countersinking all the nuts (see below) for safety, and that adds a lot of labor. Second, I’ve got one drill but I’m constanting switching between hole saw, spade bit, square drive bit, etc. Finally, working within the limits of what one person can do alone is a challenge, but it gives me the chance to think each step through carefully without any pressure.

Countersunk nuts

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