Where does that slide go?

The instructions for the playground didn’t mention the slide. The big green, 8 ft. slide was nowhere to be found in the instructions. There was an opening for it, but no mention of attaching it.

It’s must be attached to the slide, I thought. No big deal.

I looked and sure enough, there was hardware and a single page of instructions. Reading through them real quick, it seemed simple enough. Drill a few holes, drop in a few bolts and call it done.

I measured my marks and measured again–remember, measure twice and cut/drill once–and got ready to drill. As I pressed the trigger on the drill, I realized that the bolts supplied would not fit through the 4×4 post I was about to drill.

I looked through the instructions again. I went inside and put in the instruction DVD. No mention of the slide anywhere. Finally, it hit me. Check the other sets of instructions. The kit can be assembled in 3 different ways. I was constructing kit A. Kits B and C were larger, but both had the same slide.

Sure enough, inside the instructions for kit B, was a single page for the slide. Also, right there on the page it said in bold, highlighted text “IMPORTANT: Do Not Use Hardware Included With Slide. Follow Instructions on This Page.” It all made perfect sense. I had the slide attached and Carter tested it out not more than 10 minutes later. Pretty easy, once you see how to do it.

After a weekend trip and a few days of rain, there’s not much left to do and unfortunately not a whole lot of time in which to do it. We want it completed for his birthday party. As long as the weather is nice, we’ll be all set.

Carter’s birthday is coming up and we decided it was time for a real playground. He loves being outside and the two Little-Tikes play sets we had were really too small for him. His feet would touch the ground on the slide almost before he started.

We looked at all the options. Building it myself looked like it would save $$, so it was only a matter of selecting the accessories we wanted. Carter stated that he wanted swings, a slide, a sandbox and a rope. The Crestwood fromSwing-N-Slide had all the features he wanted. With my Home Depot coupons in hand and my father-in-laws truck, I made the first lumber run and planned on starting early the next morning.

Carter and I were out at 7:30 a.m. and by noon we had a decent frame built. I made my last run to Home Depot and picked up the rest of the lumber. Knowing that we didn’t need all the accessories on the set that it called for, I decided to get a 10 ft. beam for the swing set, rather than a 12 ft. beam. I figured this would save me a few dollars and be easier to work with later. Boy, was I ever right.

The square frame was easy enough to assemble by myself. A square stands up by itself just fine. Attaching the A frame brace and 10 ft. beam was another story. That step in the instructions specifically says “with the help of several people” place the beam in the square frame and attach it.

Several people. . . nope. . . don’t see that anywhere.

I was bound an determined that Carter would be swinging before dark that night. I knew it wouldn’t be “finished”, but I wanted to see him swing. So, I grabbed a few extra 2×4’s from the garage, screwed them to the beam, set it on the frame and bolted it in. I still had to get the A frame legs attached. So I propped another 2×4 under the beam that lifted it a little higher than the A frame, repositioned my braces and bolted it on.

Who needs help when you’ve got power tools and extra lumber?

It only took a few more minutes to get one of the swings assembled. That’s a good thing, as it was getting dark. I yelled for Carter to come out and try the swing, which he excitedly did – for about 30 seconds.

He then proceeded to play with the rope (that had not been attached yet) for the next ten minutes.

It’s always the simple things that are the most fun. Still, it felt good getting the 10 ft. beam installed by myself. Next up in part 2 – Where Does the Slide Go?