Sunday, March 8, 2009

Swingset in the Making...Part 1

Last summer Jon's parents called to say they wanted to buy the kids a swingset and to start thinking about what we wanted. I started looking and thinking about what I would love to have for the kids to play on--but my dreams were dashed when I started researching prices!!! Swingsets are CRAZY expensive!!!

I started getting an idea of what I wanted: something the kids wouldn't outgrow for a while (meaning several different activities on it), and something sturdy (because Jon and I aren't petite and we would like to play with them) were the two main things. Looking at the store-bought sets I thought that they were made out of pretty thin wood, and didn't seem very sturdy to me. I asked Jon what he thought about modeling a set after a store-bought one, but then building it out of lumber. Thus started our planning.

I always draw out what I want in a "picture style" form to show how I want it to look, then Jon has to turn it into a "pattern style" form so he can actually have measurements and build from it. We are a pretty good team that way!!

In July, Jon's family came for the Fourth, and Jon and his dad started the construction site. First came a lot of laying out the plans. This picture makes me laugh, because it's before any holes were dug and anything laid out. Scratching head, thinking 'Where are we supposed to build this thing?!'
Once the plan was laid out, they rented an auger to dig the post holes. The guys working this tool may have been one of the funniest things I have ever seen--In my life!! :)
Next came setting the posts very carefully so that the whole structure would be square. Let me tell you--Jon is much better suited for this than I am--I work in way too much of a hurry to care about these details!! This slow process was very frustrating for me to watch, but I must admit that the planning is what caused such a nice end result!

Then the guys built the 2 side structures that would go into the corner posts and form the frame for the rest of the set. These things were HUGE, HEAVY, and quite a chore to move and set in place!!!
After setting the side structures, Jon's family left to go home. For a couple weeks the would-be swingset sat unattended for a few weeks. Then Jon went out to lay the deck boards to form the floor of the platform.
I couldn't believe how much measurements and planning went into this project. It took so many steps!!! This is a good stopping place for this post....since after the deck boards nothing else got done til December!!! :) Coming next: part 2!!!


The HoneaBees said...

OOHHH!! I can't wait for post #2! Awesome that they are doing this themselves!
We found our wooden set in the newspaper. A lady was getting rid of it because her nieces/nephews didn't play on it anymore. It is VERY sturdy and awesome and SO much cheaper than the new ones. All we have to do is stain it and replace the cover over the fort.

Sunny said...

I can't wait to see the finished swing set. We were very fortunate to get ours with the house that we bought. We are in the process of staining it and we just put big kid swings on yesterday. It is so funny, because I intend on doing a post on it when we are finished, too! :)

Jamey said...

Hurry! Hurry! Can't wait to see!


What a handyman you have! Ben has talked about trying to build ours....hmmmm...not quite sure he's ready for that. :) I want to get the kids a new big kid swingset this summer, though...maybe for their b-day. I can't wait to see what yours looks like when it's done. Maybe we should just come play on ya'lls. :) Just kidding!

Alisha said...

Aww! I was getting excited to see the finished product when the post ended! Can't wait to see how it turned out!

I hope that Jordan feels better. It is know fun when they are feeling bad.