The wonderful people at BOSCH SA sent us a whole box full of tools to try out and I couldn’t wait to get my hands dirty! The jungle gym in the back yard had been crying out for a make-over for a while so I worked up a few drawings, got the toddlers’ approval and got to work.
The jungle gym consisted of a basic elevated structure made from gum poles, with a ladder to the one side and a slide to the other. It also has a couple of well used tyre swings. I converted the space underneath to a sand box 2 years ago – it’s perfect because it gives the kids shade in the summer and provides a nice soft (ish!) landing in case of a fall. The rest of the area around it is covered with soft bark chip for the same reason.
For an exterior structure, it is important to use tanalith-treated timber to prevent rot. Lucky for me, the local fruit packers throw out quite a lot of treated pine when their crates are being repaired so a quick visit to them gave me a whole car load of 150mm wide boards for free!
I first had to extend the structure to create the bow: I simply planted another pole and used treated timber batons to make the triangular structure. Using one of the 22mm thick boards as a spacer, I put down the floor – that’s it: bow in place!
I then clad the sides, roughly spacing the boards so that they fill the area.
Next, I made the side panels. I drew out the length I needed on my deck and lay out the boards accordingly. I then lay some old tongue & groove planks over and screw fixed them in place to create a fairly sturdy panel – it’s much easier to router it and carry it this way. I trimmed the boards into a straight line using a jigsaw. Turning it around, I marked out where the portholes should go and used my router to cut out the circles. You can use a jigsaw for this as well, but a router makes perfect circles so it’s much easier. Use 3 or 4 depth settings to router out the circles otherwise it becomes quite challenging to maintain the circle when the central board suddenly falls away. I only figured this out after the second porthole and then had to use my jigsaw to trim the circles anyway! Then I sanded everything to make sure there aren’t any splinters for little hands to get caught on.
The panels were screw-fixed through the 22mm pine to the gum poles. I fixed each panel individually just to make sure that it stays put!
So there she stands! The boys absolutely loved it, but Margaux and I weren’t quite done. We’ll post the rest of the transformation this week – keep yer eyes peeled, Matey!
This was not a sponsored post although the following tools were kindly provided by Bosch SA:
PLR Laser Distance Measuring Tool
POF 1200 AE Router
PSR 18 LI-2 Cordless Drill Driver Combi
91 Piece V-Line Accessory Set