...not quite finished!

Monday, June 6, 2011

There's No Going Back

Once I saw it I knew there was no going back.  I had gone back to the thrift store in the rare chance they would have another bunk bed so I could complete the railing and....there it was:  a thick sculpted wooden headboard looking about as Piratey as it gets. Instantly my fort transformed in my mind.  It was no longer a deck with a slide - it was Pirate Ship driven by imaginative young scallywags that brave the seas in search for treasure! I'd just put the whole headboard up instead of the last section of railing. Then as I browsed the store everything morphed into Buccaneer essentials: a scope, a steering wheel, a treasure map, a jewel box, an ammo box, a weather gauge etc.  My boys were going to freak!

After a long day of nailing, reinforcing, making a ladder, and adding all the goodies, and one MAJOR farmer's tan later, it was finally time to put up the slide! My little 2 year old, was just itching to try out the slide.  What I thought was ample space between the ladder rungs was barely enough to make him feel safe going up. Ug. I was disappointed but still excited for him to try out the slide.  He looked through the scopes and gave the steering wheel a spin and headed right to the slide. SWOOOSH!  It launched him right on his little behind about 3 feet from the bottom of the slide!  The platform was about a foot too high.......AARRGH.  Even though it was perfect for the 6 yr old and 9 yr old, I was really bummed.

Well, I had already figured out the hard parts. Why not build another little one?  There wasn't any shortage of used bunk beds and I still had leftover screws and decking.  The boys were so busy running around with swords and eye patches I figured I could kick it out in a day or two.  I hope my Thrift store Karma doesn't run out.

HINDSIGHT: Research or preferably BUY the slide BEFORE you build the deck platform.  Know exactly how high it should be.  Also: Ladder rungs need to be much closer than you'd think.  Oh! and I wish I had left more of the 4x4 post ABOVE the deck frame. That would have lowered my deck and also provided more support to the handrail. eeesh, does that make sense?  Post a comment if you want details.

**TIP** Be safety conscious about every part you build.  Try everything yourself. Test weight loads. Reinforce hand rails and build them up to the proper height.  Slides need to be properly mounted and staked. It's your kiddo's safety we're talking about here!

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