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14

Concrete is a mix of large aggregate, small aggregate, and cement (a 4:2:1 ratio is a good approximation - though designed mixes will be more calculated than that). The size of the large aggregate isn't particularly important, unless you are working in very tight spaces or around reinforcement, in which case you want suitably small aggregate. In this case ...


12

I will show how to build a simple A-frame swingset from pressure-treated four-by-fours and scraps, with minimal cutting. From a six-inch-wide pressure-treated board (e.g., a 5/4-inch by 6 inch deck board), cut four isosceles trapezoids with bases that are 11 and 16 inches. Take two legs (8-foot-long 4x4s) and align them with the legs of one of the ...


10

A triangular wooden structure as you describe should work if the ropes are the same length and the hooks the ropes are attached to are both hung vertically. Pendulum period depends on rope length, so the set up you currently have couples pendulums having two different periods. That's a recipe for unstable swinging. Also, the angle pictured on the left ...


10

3 for two reasons: Your walls are not meant for dynamic, changing loads such as those caused by swingset motions, so you don't know the potential damage long term; and I would hesitate very much to buy a house which had a physical connection to another person's house via a toy.


8

You won't want to use pressure treated wood in any application where people will be touching the wood often, especially children. Cedar is a good wood for outdoor applications, and is often used in playhouses and swing sets. If you've got really deep pockets, Teak is a very good choice for outdoor applications. Teak is often used in higher end patio ...


8

Under our playset we have landscaping mesh with rubber mulch over the top. The top layer of mulch is for comfort and protects the mesh. The mesh keeps things from growing up through the mesh. It's been there for 4+ years and not a single weed.


8

With regard to using wood posts in concrete: Note that any water that drains down the side of the wood post will drain through to the subsoil. The post should be in a collar, not a cup... (Feel free to integrate into the answer of @sch )


5

It is not good practice to bury wood in concrete as you depict. Best to use metal anchored in the concrete and attach the wood to the metal. Your result will be inevitable rot and failure, probably not before the kids outgrow it but maybe. Something like this ...


5

I would highly recommend Cedar. Similar to Redwood, it is resistant to insects and rot. If you can source it, Eastern White Cedar is a wonderful wood to make a play set out of, as it wont give splinters as easily as many woods will. I went a bit overboard on the play set I built last summer. I went with rough cut western red cedar 4x4s, and ...


5

There's really two things you need to deal with - water (mud) and weeds. The standard way to prevent weeds growing in a garden, sandbox, etc. is to lay landscaping fabric under the surface. This allows water to drain through but will not allow anything to grow through. To control the mud, you need a cover material that drains easily. Since you don't want ...


4

Your big-box hardware store sells kits for this. It's a box with the proper hardware (so it's safe) and the plans along with a list of the wood you need to purchase to build it.


4

Reducing the amount of Portland Cement in the concrete will reduce its strength. That is, adding rocks to an already-blended mixture of concrete will reduce its strength over the same mix without the rocks. If this weren't true, they would just add rock to the original mix, since rocks are way cheaper than Portland Cement. The other issue, as John ...


3

I would add some base board around the inside edges using treated lumber and then I would run composite deck boards across the top and just create a flooring inside. You can also add a really good weed control fabric over the mud to stop weeds from coming through.


3

It is pier size that matters. My God, yes to the above answers if you were building a very serious structure. Yes less Portland the less PSI. 6 sack Portland cement is about 4000 psi. You can drive a 10,000 pond bull dozer on it all day. % sack which you can buy at Home Depot is about 3000-3500 psi. It is pier size. Dig a 12" x 2' and add some of your rocks, ...


3

Try moving the anchor points on the limb closer together - this should give you a more even swinging motion, but might make it more liable to twist. Otherwise you'll probably need to build something.


3

Replace your standard swing with a tire swing with just one connection to the tree. The tire swing does not have to follow the same path when pushed. Otherwise, I think you will need to build some sort of level and straight beam using the tree as one anchor and maybe an A frame for the other side with the beam running level and straight between the two.


3

Industrial sand often contains fine silica dust and really shouldn't be used for sandboxes, as that dust can be inhaled, which isn't good for you. Dust-free sand (Such as Sakrete play sand) or non-silica sand (Such as Sandtastik) would be your best choice.


3

Regardless of sealer or other treatment, I would just keep an eye on the ropes and rungs (the wood) and replace them when they seem to be about to break. If the rope is nylon, the sun will affect that moreso than the wood. But rope is cheap, and all you need is a drill to be able to replace the rungs.


3

A small can of deck sealant should suffice. Follow manufacturer instructions, applying with a 1" trim brush.


2

If your budget allows it redwood specifically heartwood. It's resistant to insects and rot and gives a good finish! If you need something a bit cheaper go for cypress again resistant to insects and rot. The costs go down but you do loose out a bit! After that its really a case of pressure treated woods which I don't have a lot of faith in!


2

Assuming the pipes are threaded into fittings, to prevent the fittings from loosening, you can use red loctite on threads before assembly.


2

Replace just the top piece that the weight is actually hanging off of. You can use 3/4" or 1" pipe for that, and then connect it to the 1/2" pipes of the sides with appropriate fittings.


2

Personally I would feel a lot safer using an A-frame. If your kids are anything like I was at their age, they're going to be swinging with all they've got. Plus, consider the weight of the tire (it's not nothing). Add all that force together and you would be putting a not inconsiderable amount of force on the posts. Plus, if they swing at an angle, they ...


2

People have bound stone in concrete since...well, since they started using concrete. I don't think adding rock is a bad idea in principle but it matters what sort of rock you are adding. Adding round igneous rock isn't as good as adding broken igneous rock but both are better than adding sedimentary or aggregate rock. I'd support using a metal or plastic ...


1

You need the concrete to be strong at the bottom and next to the post, otherwise it just needs to be heavy. So put some concrete in the bottom, the rocks round the sides and fill the center up with concrete. You can even brace the post with a few bricks on two sides of the post least most of the post clear, then fill round with concrete. The ...


1

Find a pipe with a diameter that allows your existing pipe to fit inside. Then cut is just shorter than your horizontal pipe, and put it over the horizontal pipe. The top bar will not bend as much, and the side bars will not bend as much. It may last a lot longer than you expect as-is, but this will reinforce it where it's needed most. This piping isn't ...


1

Simple in theory. Assuming you are mounting the beam to the side of the post at the top. You have an ideal situation for a cantilever. It even follows the old rule of 1/3 (cantilever), 2/3 (back span). To size it, find any floor joist chart and figure the span of 8'. A 2x8 spans upward of 12'. Load wise you will probably never hit over 200-300 lb on ...


1

Something about the wood is attracting the animals, you are going to have to find a way to make it less appealing either by taste or smell, the only other way to deal with it is to protect the wood with some sort of armor. By far the most cost-effective and quickest way to do this is to sprat the wood with something like ROPEL, rub the wood down with a bar ...


1

The anchor points on the branch should be wider than the swing. So spread them out more. Also, remember that rope stretches when weight is applied, so although the seat looks horizontal in the photo, with someone sitting on it, the longer rope will end up slightly lower. Probably only need to shorten by a cm to compensate for this. The key thing will be ...



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