Thursday, December 20, 2012

Project "Playground"

When our nephew, Mikey, heard we were building a "playground", he asked, "Are you building a playground because you know that we like playgrounds??" (haha, yes... we're building it just for you...")

Truth be told, we're just big kids who like to climb things.....

The project began as the sadness of winter struck home, with the first chills and snows. I for one despise being cold - in fact, to me it is the worst feeling in the world, 2nd only to the feeling of guilt! Last year we bought a pass to a climbing gym to train and stay in shape in the winter. This year, we wised up a bit... we figured we could build our own climbing wall for less cost, and invest in the beginnings of a future gym in our sweet future home. :)

Besides, who wants to deal with the crowds and yay-hoos of the modern gym world anyway? 

No, thank you.

So after many sketches, weeks of research, and attempts to remember trigonometry (who knew we'd actually use it in life!), the workings of a masterpiece began...

Step 1) Materials - we are proud to be bargain shoppers ("you know what they say, wood doesn't grow on trees...")
Step 2) Drill holes, hammer in t-nuts, and frame with 2x4s. It was freezing out, and luckily Landon knew what he was doing... I was mostly the moral support on that part - "Wow, looks good, I'll uhh... be inside if you need me." :)

 Step 3) Paint! My specialty.... we got our paint at Sherwin Williams for super cheap in their leftovers pile. If someone else hadn't been so picky on the color, we wouldn't have scored lifetime warranty paint for $2/gal!!! Also, we put some "shark grip" in there for some added texture, making the wall feel more rock-like. 

Step 4) Connect the pieces: the base is 4ft tall x 8ft wide. The top is 8x8 and hinged to the base so that we can adjust the angle for people like me who can't keep themselves on the wall with too much of an angle! (gotta work on those core muscles!) Home Depot quickly became our most frequented store... 
....after putting the hinges on, we decided to do it the other way so we would maybe have a chance of getting the heavy section up without casualties... I only have a few bruises from dropping the 8x8 section on my leg... no big deal :) Built a tent with a tarp to work in the rain and snow! (takes me back to Aina Painting days). 
Step 5) Get the 8x8 section up....good luck! Took us several ideas and trials, and lots of buff muscles...
Until finally.....

Step 6) Bolt in the cross beams... You can't tell because of the tarp, but on the cross beam, there are holes drilled every foot for when we move the angle. We improvised and used the water storage jugs as our ladders

Step 7) Bolt the holds onto the wall - so much better than the chalky/smoothed out ones at the gym.
Step 8) Bring in the king size mattress to catch falls, the radio for jammin, and the space heater, and CLIMB! (is it bad that I kinda like falling? The mattress is so soft and springy!)
***Such a fun project, and we are definitely enjoying the fruits of our labors. Recently (w/help from our friend, Jeff), we were able to get it up a couple more notches so it's at about a  40 degree angle and quite roomy inside... Come climb with us!

No comments: