Way back when, the spring before Daniel was born, my (now former) martial arts teacher donated the old wooden Rainbow playset that his two sons had outgrown. He and his sons dismantled it as best they could and, after a slow and precarious one-hour drive, the parts made it to my backyard.
Whereupon, they sat for over three years.
One of this short summer’s projects is to finally get the playset back together again. After Googling for the better part of a week, I found a local service that could do just that, and so I gave Mr. Handyman of Northeast Tarrant County a call to schedule a service order.
Scott the Handyman showed up, inspected what was there, and declared that, like Humpty Dumpty, it couldn’t be put back together again, as it was. Between the sawed bolts in the uprights and the carpenter ants in some of the parts, he said that he needed to get back with the Big Boss.
That was this past Wednesday. And from that day to today, I had been deconstructing the playset parts into their component cut lumber, as much as I have been able. Between an adjustable wrench, a vise grip, a claw hammer, a screwdriver, and a socket wrench, I now have in my backyard neat stacks of redwood lumber, in various degrees of usability; an intact slide; a ladder; an untouched 13 foot swing beam; and three piles of rejects, thanks to the aforementioned sawed bolts and carpenter ants.
Between sweaty, mosquito-ladened bouts of playset deconstruction (and the multiple showers as a result), I have been scouring the net for free plans of a small, simple playset consisting of a fort, slide, swings, and sandbox:
After looking around the Web more, it looked like those two were IT. So I dropped by Half Price Books, to no avail. After looking back on the Web again, I discovered this site: Jack’s Backyard.
Considering that I’m trying to construct a new playset from the ashes of a previous one, Jack’s obsession with working with reclaimed wood caught my attention. After checking this page from his site — and sleeping on it — I decided to buy one of his playset plans, as it was designed (and personally built) from a guy whose self-employed business is to design backyard play structures.
Also, he’s local — kinda. He’s out of Houston, Texas (while my backyard is in the DFW area). Between that factoid and that he’s self-employed, I felt assured that my purchase of his plan was a good one.
And after downloading and printing off the PDFs, I know that it is so. 🙂
Now it’s time for me to look over the materials list, see what I have in the backyard, make a visit to Lowes or Home Depot, and call Mr. Handyman again.
Uhhh… I’ll put all of that on the To-Do list for next week. Mama’s tanned and mosquito-bitten enough already. 🙂