Monday, December 31, 2007

The playground

If any of you reading this are on MySpace as one of my "friends" then you already know about "The Playground." If you aren't on MySpace, then let me get you up to speed.

Back in early December, Heather decided she wanted Ansley to have a playground in the back yard, so she got her one from ToysRUs. She had searched around for a few weeks comparing prices, reading reviews, etc.. After her research she settles on the one we purchased. The reviews were mixed. Some were saying it was great, some were saying it was too hard to build, too flimsy, blew away in a storm, whatever. The more we read into it, the it seemed, if people knew what they were doing, they could build it, if they didn't know the difference between a hammer and a jigsaw, they said the playground sucked. So, we purchased it. It came in 4 boxes, one of them being the slide by itself. The rest was wood pieces and all the hardware. True to the reviews, none of the pieces were marked. But, in the instructions, it says to inventory and lay out all the pieces. So that's what I did. I even laid them out as to what page they were on in the manual. All the pieces on page one were laid in one pile, page two another and page three another. If you knew the difference between a 1x6, a 2x4 and what a 5/4 piece of wood was, and could and work a tape measure, it was no problem. It took about 2 hours to sort through it all, but all the parts were there. I didn't inventory the hardware because there were about 400 pieces of screws, bolts, washers, etc. I just figured whatever was missing, I could pick up at Lowe's.

I worked on the playground on and off for 3 weeks. If I had about 5 full 8-10 hour days, I could have finished it within a week. But, I only had an hour or two on any given day with one full 6 hour Saturday thrown in there prior to Christmas to try and finish it. It wasn't a Santa gift, so it wasn't imperative it was done prior to Christmas, but it would have been nice. Then, we also got a few days of badly needed rain, so I couldn't work on it at all for those days, not to mention days I had to work and other engagements we had to attend. But, after all was said and done, 1 day past three weeks of working on it, it was completed. I had people offering to help on it, but it was really a one person job. One step had to be completed before you could move onto the next. I did build all the separate parts on it first before I started putting the big pieces together. It seemed to make the overall building process go smoother. I didn't have to stop, build a piece, and mount it. I built them all, them mounted them when the time called for it. So, 99.9% of it was built by myself. There was a time or two I could have used another set of hands, but no one was really around, so I just made do.

It was a fun project to build and after seeing Ansley on it this morning, it was worth every bit of time, blood sweat and money put into it. (No tears, it wasn't that hard to build)

The pictures: Top: The pieces prior to sorting.
Middle: The finished product.
Bottom: The reason for it all.



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