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Advice for a wooden outdoor kids slide.

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PlacidCasual

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Hi Peeps

I’ve built the monsters a treehouse, or at least a clubhouse on an old tree stump. It’s about 1.5m of the ground at decking level and I’d like to add a slide to the treehouse.

Now I’ve checked the price of steel slides and the smallest are expensive enough to air you blanch. My next thought was make a plywood slide as a sheet of 18mm marine ply is about £50-60 so a more palatable cost.

I’m asking if anyone has any advice on making an outdoor wooden slide. Particularly I suppose how to finish it to give a hard wearing slippery surface.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

I’m currently thinking using the track saw to cut an edge mitre (chamfer not sure which is correct) on a sheet to make the slide centre add some sides at the mitre angle probably with some sort of wooden bracket below to secure the sides to bottom. Then sand and epoxy finish. But not tried to do something quite like this before.



 

AJB Temple

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Plywood is very prone to creating splinters and you will not be able to avoid damage in use, so any exposed edges will need capping with very smooth hardwood.

Depending on age of kids and your site, zip slides are fun.
 

AndyT

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The best slides are not flat. Not sure of the maths, but probably a catenary - the sort of curve a rope or chain would take when hung up. Steep at the top to get going, level at the bottom to get off.

This is hard to do in timber - a plain flat plank won't be as good.

I suggest you look for a plastic one, new or s/h. TP are ok, iirc.
 

Inspector

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Maybe a sheet metal fab shop could make some pans to fit inside the plywood. Another option would be to fibreglass cloth and resin it like you would a small boat. Sand smooth and paint.

Pete
 

Lons

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I'd buy a preformed plastic one but if you prefer to make then a good top surface would be a sheet of polypropylene easy to get and not too expensive 3mm thick would probably be ideal and is easily bent cold or using a little heat if you want curved sides. Standard sheet size is 2400 x 1200, you can buy larger but possibly difficult to get. look for a local semi finished plastics distributor like Amari Plastics, they also deal with the public but you'll get a discount if you push.

PTFE would be even better but expensive.

I've thought about it a few times and never got around to it even though I have the polyprop left over from a cladding job, my granddaughter has been asking me to make a tree house #-o
 

Bm101

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As others have said. Sorry. Plastic all day long. It's safer and better every single way (apart from environmentally etc). Once it's in place you won't notice it too much. Keep it for 6 years then give it away so it gets reused.
Great treehouse/den btw. Top Dad points!
My mate had a treehouse with a rope walkway to another treehouse in his garden. We would go there enmasse on out grifters/bmxs/burners/choppers specifically for them tree houses. All bolted together ramshackle 1970's Health and Safety RaMS style lol. I saw his much older sunbathing sister's **** from that treehouse at the age of 10. It was a moment in my young life I can still picture with absolute clarity. :D
 
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