Skyfort Playset Installation – Day 9 (4/7)

They say it’s my birthday!! Doo doo doo doo doo duh doo!

But what could be more fun to do on your birthday than continue building a giant playset?!?!? I’m not sure.

Now that the playset is out in its “final resting place”, it is a little more challenging to get set up and put things away each day. Especially since my drill is not cordless :-(

First order of business was to continue working on the picnic. I knew that I would have a few hours and the weather forecast was pretty good, so I set the ambitious goal to get from Step 19 all the way up to 30.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck early on as I realized that something was not right.

I was trying to lay the boards for the top of the picnic table, which are supposed to lay crosswise across the support pieces near where my son is sitting. You can see the first three placed there, but if you look closely, the spot where the last two are supposed to go is blocked by a board sticking up.

Turns out that (once again), Leisure Time did not provide adequate instructions as to orientation of the boards, and I had that board flipped the wrong way. In fact, I was so annoyed with the instructions, I thought it was worth its own pic

You may need to click to see the detail, but there is the board (K14) in question. If you look closely, you can see that it does indicate that the hole on the top is closer to the top of the board than the hole on the bottom is to the bottom of the board. But again, would it have killed them to just call that out!!!

Luckily it wasn’t a big deal and I was able to just unbolt it, turn it around, and put it back in.

With the picnic table fully assembled, it was time for the inaugural snack!

After snack time, it was time to put the troops to work again.

They’re carrying the “fence” boards that go around two sides of the picnic table area. I got the one side on without a problem, but then see if you can spot the problem in this pic?

It’s kind of like a mobius strip or an MC Escher puzzle! :-) If you haven’t noticed, the top board is behind the post, and the bottom board is in front of the post. Which makes it kind of hard to level-ly attach the up and down posts. Again I was lucky that it wasn’t hard to figure out which board was wrong (the bottom one) nor was it difficult to take it out and put it where it belonged.

You have to space the boards out with a certain amount between each one, and all of my experience putting the balusters on our deck came in very handy here. I settled in to a rhythm pretty easily – measure it out, attach the tops, level the board, and attach it on the bottom. Every two or three, I measured my remaining space and adjusted accordingly. The reason for that is that if you’re even 1/4 inch off on each board, you don’t want to leave a huge (or tiny) gap between the last board and the edge. So by re-measuring every few boards, you can check and adjust your space if you need to. Nobody’s going to notice that one set of boards is 3″ apart instead of 3 1/8″, but they’ll definitely notice if all the boards are 3 1/8″ and the last set are only 2″ apart.

It was all looking good but then it started to rain, and this was a good stopping place, since the next step starts with the 2nd story of the clubhouse, so I called it a day.

Day 9 time: 2.5 hours
Total time: 18.5 hours
Mistakes made: 2 today (4 total)
Steps completed: 19-24 (out of 103)

Skyfort Playset Installation – Day 3 (4/1)

Day 3 was another cold day. When I got home, I immediately set out to continue progress!

I had stored the first part of the playset underneath the carport to protect it from the elements, but obviously that was not going to be possible very much longer.

You can see the first section in the background behind me as i worked on Step 2, which is building a similar section to the first one.

Carolyn actually had a party to go to, so I had all the kids with me. Luckily the youngest went to bed early, so I just had the rest of them out here with me. She took the camera though, which is why there aren’t any more pictures of the evening’s work.

Steps 3-6 involve putting the sections from the first two steps together into the base of the clubhouse. Work went pretty well and I was able to complete up through Step 6

Day 3 time: 2 hours
Total time: 5.5 hours
Mistakes made: 0
Steps completed: 2-6 (of 103)

Skyfort Playset Installation – Day 1 (3/30)

As we mentioned previously, Day 1 was Wednesday March 30th. The playset was delivered in the afternoon and my wife let me know while I was at work.

I know that the stereotype of these types of endeavors is that it’s a ton of work and not enjoyable at all. But at least at this point, I was really looking forward to it.

The kids and I often do these Build and Grow kids clinics at Lowe’s. They’re just free kits that let kids build various things out of wood. So we were just calling the playset “Dad’s Build and Grow” :-D

So I was pretty stoked to come home. Unfortunately, I was informed that there was a Toys R Us Birthday Gift “emergency”. So I had to take him down there which cut into my day time.

But when I got back, everyone was excited to start!

When I got home, I asked if there were “instructions” or anything and Carolyn said she didn’t know. An examination of the boxes indicated that the instructions were, oddly enough, in the box labeled “Instructions in this box”! The site said it came in 5 boxes, though it turned out that one of the “boxes” was just the slide. The other 4 boxes were chock full of wood (and fastening and other hardware)

The kids all know what the first step of any Build and Grow is – “make sure you have all the pieces!” So that’s what we started with. You can see us in the first picture all carrying piece “A1″.

We started out trying to find all the pieces in order (As, then B, etc.), but quickly found that to be difficult – each box had a packing list that did say which pieces were in which box, but within each box, they could be anywhere in the box, so it was hard to find where in the box a particular part would be.

So we decided to just take all the parts out of the boxes, organize them, and then inventory them after they were all organized and out of the boxes. When darkness fell, we had managed to empty out the first two boxes.

Day 1 time: 1.5 hours
Total time: 1.5 hours
Mistakes made: 0 (but can you feeel the foreshadowing?)