Childrens Play Centre Build Thread

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Working through this build thread, seems to be taking longer than building the blooming thing!

It was time to start cladding. I was using what I think is tongue and groove log-lap, treated of course. Each piece was measured and cut accordingly. Starting obviously at the bottom, I cut the lower groove off. I allowed for a small 2mm ish gap underneath the cladding to the verandah support, just to let a bit of air to circulate really, and help the endless fight against rot.


In hindsight, I probably haven't done this the best way, but having never done anything like this before I was starting with little to no knowledge. I lined the 3x2 studwork doorway with left over 18mm plywood. It can be seen clamped in position for screwing to the 3x2. I needed this in place to measure accurately as the cladding would go up to this edge.



Cladding is the easy and satisfying part. As I said, each length was cut to size specifically for the position, but in fairness there was little to choose from the bottom to top.


I have previously cut a windowsill to sit under the window frame. I also started on the door frame.

To secure the cladding, I used torx-head deck screws, with a pilot hole in the cladding to maintain a clean and tidy look. I created a template for the pilot holes so all the screws were in the same location. I have been enjoying using simple little templates like this, and it really does make things quicker and better looking.


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More cladding ...

This was a satisfying part of the build, as it was possible to see real progress, with what felt like very little effort, compared to what I had to expend on the frames, floors and roof!


At the apex of the front of the cabin, I made a cardboard template to help me get the size and shape pf the final piece. To assist with fitting, I was going to trim trim part of the tongue on the inside edge, but it wasn't necessary, as I could J-J-Jiggle it it. It was obviously secured with screws anyway.

Cutting the 30degree angle on the loglap was a challenge on the tablesaw, but other than hand saw, I had no other way. I used the mitre fence, but as you can imagine, much of the piece was off the table when cutting.

Blimey. Where does time go?

After the cladding on the left cabin was complete, I started on the railings which would run around the veranda, across the bridge and around the part of the right tower.

The railing posts used 4" x 3" either screwed through the cladding (with a spacer to allow air flow) or were 1/2 lapped and fastened to the base of the veranda as shown. An M8 coach fastened these in situ. Deck board cut in half along the length was used for rails at the top and bottom between the posts, and I would fasten spindles (of a fashion) to these.

Along the top of the posts, a hand rail made from 4" x 2" with the end edges chamfered to save little hands from injury. The hand rails being fastened from below through the rails between the posts.

For the spindles, I used 2" x 2" cut to length. The spacing was approximately 2 to 1, but then adjusted so there would be equal gaps, ensuring the centre of the middle spindle was in the centre between the posts. Where there was no support under the spindles on the front of the veranda, I chamfered the edges to help with water run off, and to look good, I hope :)

The railings across the bridge were done in almost an identical fashion, but for posts, using 2" x 4" because I was using standard deck railing for the handrails. The top of the 2" x 4" posts and 2" x 2" spindles needed trimming slightly to fit in the underside (dado?) of the railing

Please excuse the grass, I can only do one thing at once!








The spindles on the bridge were secured at the top and the bottom with a deck screw, with a railing fillet piece cut to size for between the spindles, under the handrail.




Once I reached the open tower, I had to bring the handrail and spindles round the corner to completely close it off. Completely unnecessary, I made a rudimentary jig to shape the two spindles which were attached to the posts, so the inner edge of the spindle was perfectly vertical. The posts had moved a little by this time, obviously soaking up moisture, and revelling in being free of the constraints of being part of a tree! The verticals were not far off, but it was a good opportunity to learn.


Once all the spindles had been fitted, a lower rail along the edge of the spindles was added. This would keep the deck boards down, and also provide extra strength in the railing. The handrail was mitred at the corner to provide a continuous handrail, from what would be the door, to the tower where the climbing wall and Slide would eventually be.

The piece of felt covering the doorway was an attempt to add some sort of weather barrier until the door was made and fitted.



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This is fantastic mate. Hoping to build something similar next summer. I built a play house this year but hoping to go one better and built a raised one like yours next year. Interesting the way you've gone about it as it's exactly how I planned it . Looking forward to seeing the rest.


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