I have a large cable drum (5.9'/1.8m) . I will attach a ladder on one side and a slide on another. I wonder how to place it on my lawn. Once I roll it into place I plan to to trim flanges a bit to create some flat footing so it won't roll.

Since it is made out of wood I need to protect it somehow. As I write this I had an idea to make a square concrete slab in the middle of my lawn, square slab will allow to rotate the drum/slide in any direction as time goes and things change. Sides will be painted various colours, the main concern are the two flanges potentially resting on concrete. At the moment it is resting off the ground on two treated pieces of beams.

Any ideas? I have some bitumen paint, that might not be enough. Maybe galvanized brackets under flanges?

  • 1
    Cable spools are not made for long life, and will deteriorate in the weather over a few years. I have several that were stored off the ground and covered with plywood, they still managed to rot and collapse in less than 10 years, but I could not spare interior storage space for them. I'm very dubious that this is a good choice for a children's play thing.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 3:01
  • @Ecnerwal 8-10 years is likely more than long enough for kids to be interested in a little climb-up/slide-down play area, which is what the OP sounds like he's making. By the time they're 12 years (if not earlier), they'll be way more interested in the electronics than the physical world, anyway. :(
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 11:17
  • @FreeMan Great idea until a neighbor sues because their kid got hurt.. Can't count how many times I fell out of my neighbor's trees and porches and my parent never sued.. :-)
    – JACK
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 15:36

2 Answers 2


set it on bricks or cinder blocks, or even skids made out of timber treated for on-ground use (we call that H4) you could also attach the ladder and the slide to the skids to further prevent rolling., it's not going to last forever whatever you do, it should last several years though.

  • 1
    I like the pressure-treated skids idea - can look attractive, raises the spool off the ground to reduce decay, and easily is removed unlike a concrete pad. Sanding and painting the spool with a good outdoor primer and paint may help it last a little longer. It certainly would help keep splinters down, since this is going to be play equipment!
    – Khrrck
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 17:16
  • 1
    the big problem is all the cracks betwewen the planks. water will get in there and start rotting the wood and rusting the nails.
    – Jasen
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 0:20


Put down some landscaping cloth. Put a rectangle of boards (2x6?) to contain the sand or use railroad ties or whatever you have. Connect corners robustly. Sink them into the earth with the cloth under and then staple it to the far side of each board.

Fill rectangle of boards with sand.

Now in addition to slide you have a sandbox! Keep those treated beams to support your slide. The sand will keep water away from them. For the slide, a touchdown place made of sand will not turn into a hole in the ground. The sand and the landscaping cloth will keep weeds away. Sand is forgiving if you fall on it.

Next take some plywood and take it straight down from the sides of the slide to the sand. Under the slide is now a fort. Residents of the fort might want to paint things on the side of the fortslide, like castle walls.

Cheaper and safer than a concrete pad, and when things change it will be easier to take down.

  • 2
    If my neighbor did not have 7 cats the sand box would be nice.
    – anm767
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 3:18

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