Learn how to build an inexpensive sandbox with minimal construction skills.
Building your child's sandbox can be a fulfilling activity. By building it yourself, you get to choose the exact width and length that you would like, and can tailor it to your yard's dimensions more easily. Also, you will mostly likely end up with a much roomier sandbox than if you had bought one from the store.
The first thing you will need to do is decide where you would like the sandbox to be located. You will want to locate it in a spot that gets some shade in the summertime, yet isn't below a tree that will dump bucket loads of leaves into the sandbox, leaving you with mulch as opposed to sand. If you live in a cold climate, you may want to put it in the sun without any consideration of shade. Keep in mind that sandboxes are not especially portable, and wherever you put it, the grass underneath will die. Regardless, you will want to make sure that the ground is level.
Decide which shape sandbox you would like, and how large you would like it to be. If you would like a spacious rectangular sandbox, 2 four-foot boards and 2 six or eight-foot boards work nicely. For a square box, try 4 six or four-foot boards. Keep in mind that if you are watching expenses, the larger the sandbox, the more sand you will need to purchase. It seems obvious, but those bags of sand can really add up and make a dent in your wallet.
You will need:
- Four 1" x 10" boards in the length that you would like. - 8 corner braces - 16 3/4" screws - Plastic tarp in a size sufficient to cover the sandbox - Small roll of plastic sheeting - Sandpaper - Sand
Usually, all of these items can be found at your local home improvement store. It is an added bonus if they sell sand, as it will probably be less expensive to buy it there rather than at your local toy store. Also, you will only have to make one trip! Just make sure that you get enough sand the first time. Think carefully about the kind of sand that you will buy, as "play sand" contains crystalline silica and carries a hazard warning in the state of California. Building sand may not be as pretty, can stain clothes, and may need to have larger particles sifted out, but it may be the safer choice. If you are buying by the truckload, it will also be the cheaper choice. Count on about a yard of sand to fill up the sandbox. This will vary, depending on how deep you want the sand to be and how large you decide to make the sandbox.
First of all, sand the boards. If you'd like, you can stain and varnish them as well, although this is not necessary. Unfinished boards weather nicely, and can give your yard a nice natural look. Make sure that you sand all of the rough edges off, so that little fingers don't get splinters.
Next, put together the boards using two of the braces for each corner. Put one brace near the top of the boards and the other one close to the bottom. After completing all four corners, you will end up with a square or rectangular open box. With a staple gun, staple the plastic sheeting to the bottom of the box, and then trim the excess with a pair of scissors.
Now you are ready to flip the sandbox and move it to the part of the yard you have decided on. Get another person to help you, because the sandbox is not reinforced, and can break at this point. You won't have to worry about the lack of reinforcement once it is filled with sand, but be careful when moving it. Make sure that there are no rocks or other protuberances on the ground where you are going to set it. The plastic, if not punctured, will keep any grass and weeds from growing in the sand.
Now fill the sandbox with sand. Find four heavy but manageable rocks and keep the tarp nearby. The rocks can be used to anchor the tarp when the sandbox is not in use. The tarp is essential if you do not want the sandbox to become a litter box for neighborhood cats. It will keep leaves out of the box as well.
If you like, you can do more with your sandbox. Simply by taking another board that is the same size and screwing it to the edge of the sandbox, facing in, you can make a bench.
Your kids should enjoy the sandbox for years to come. You may want to replace the sand periodically, but this should not be an issue for at least two years. Meanwhile, your children can enjoy the sandbox that you built, and have a more enjoyable experience than being confined to one of the tiny ones offered in the toy stores.
Mountaineering and rock climbing terms can be as foreign as another language if you are new to the sport. Here are the A to Z's in some of the terms you will use while participating in these exciting sports. Mountaineering and rock climbing terms can be as foreign as another language if you are new to the sport. Here are the A to Z's in some of the terms you will use while participating in these exciting sports.
A; Abseil. Abseiling is a method that can be used to safely descend using a rope, also know as rappelling. The speed at which you descend is controlled by friction that the person descending by wrapping the rope around the body or with another mechanical friction device.
B; Belay. Belaying is the term used to describe managing a rope system where one person is protecting another while he is exposed on the face of the rock. The person belaying is able to stop the rope in the case of a fall.
C; Cams and chocks are mechanical wedges and devices that are used as protection. They come in many sizes and are placed in the crack of the rock with a quick draw and karabiner which is clipped to your rope.
D; Daisy Chain is a sling, usually made of nylon, that is tied or sewn strongly into numerous sections. They can be used to clip gear to, such as your quick-draws or cams.
E; Etriers is a ladder, sewn or tied, made from rope or nylon strapping. They are used when artificially climbing or aid climbing to step up to the next aid.
F; Fifi hook. The fifi hook function is somewhat like the daisy chain?s. You can use the fifi hook to quickly "hook" into a piece of placed protection to immediately protect yourself or rest. It is only a hook, and unlike the karabiner, when the draw is slack, the hook may come unseated from the protection.
G; Girth hitch. The girth hitch is an easily tied knot used to secure nylon webbing to a partially driven piton.
H; Hero loops. Used for aid climbing, hero loops are a short sling or tie off used in aid climbing. Usually ? inch webbing threaded through protection instead of a karabiner.
I; Ice axe. The ice axe is a basic tool which looks like a traditional axe. They vary in size and have a pick on one side an adze on the other. Used primarily for arresting falls on ice and snow and assisting the climber in vertical ice climbing.
J; Jamming or Jam is wedging your hands, feet, arms, knees and legs in the cracks of the rock to facilitate holds.
K; Karabiners (or Carabineers) are the universal method of managing rope systems while climbing. They are two basic shapes, oval or "D". However, there are many shapes that stem from those, pear-shaped, off-set "D" and bent gate. They are usually aluminum, alloy or steel. There are three types; Locking, lightweight and normal.
L; Leading or leader is the climber who climbs the pitch first.
M; Monkey hang. The monkey hang is an ice climbing technique used to overcome a bulge in the ice.
N; Nut is a general term used to describe the wedges used as protection, jammed in a crack with a quick-draw attached.
O; Overhangs and roofs describe climbing terrain where just as is sounds, is climbing horizontally, upside down. The rock could either be in a cave or a jutting out rock that is over-vertical.
P; Pitons or pegs are used as protection. It is driven into the rock securely and a girth hitch or karabiner is attached.
Q; Quick-draw was originally a trade name; however the name caught on and is now used to describe an extension or short sling. Usually made of nylon webbing with sewn loops at each end to facilitate a karabiner.
R; Rack. Your rack is all of your gear you are carrying for the climb. Usually organized on your harness, and slings or tied (rope) around your body.
S; Soloing is climbing without a rope for protection.
T; Twin rope is the term used to describe using two smaller ropes together as one rope for protection.
U; Undercling or undercut is an upside down hold and is usually more difficult to hold.
V; Verglas is the thin ice that forms on rocks from rain or melting snow is frozen.
W; Well protected, is the term used to describe a route that has more than sufficient protection and runners in place.
Y; Yosemite hoist is an assisted hoist used to haul up small loads. It consists of a karabiner or pulley attached above the load, a rope threaded through the pulley and tied to the load.
Z; Z pulley rescue system, or 3:1 pulley system allows a large mechanical advantage to the puller. Used to lift heavy loads such as an unconscious climber too safety.
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