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Kids climbing frame- dowels wood?

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nirajshah31

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Hi
I’m making a kids climbing frame (Pikler triangle)
Will be using birch plywood for the frame.
What wood type and thickness of dowel should I use for the dowels?
I think it’s 1inch thick, but what wood is strong to carry kids weight (max 30kg)?
Thanks
 

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Roland

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I’ve just built one. I think I used 22mm dowel. It’s not just about strength. Bigger diameter dowels are easier on the child’s foot.



Following this rial assembly I cut a smiley curve across the triangle plate so that it can be folded away without removing the bolts.
 

bourbon

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You don't want cheap. You need the stuff that does the job! I can't help with specs, but I know if it breaks, you will be kicking yourself
 

Simon89

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Screwfix broom handles are cheap as chips.

As for quality I haven’t had any defects in the 20 or so I have purchased.
 

colinc

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Stiff enough as well as strong should be a consideration. I guess I could work out a theoretical solution for you, but frankly, If the broom handles are cheap enough to be viable why not just proof load one between two supports. 25 litre water carriers are good for this, one litre = 1kg. Believe it or not, we have tested light aircraft wing spars using that technique! Just keep adding water until you have filled two. Alternatively suspend a small child by his/feet from one...

Regards,

Colin
 

nirajshah31

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Thanks Colin!
I’d rather not try using broom sticks. So wish to get a specific wood and diameter to ensure it’s safe
Thanks
 

TheTiddles

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I think you are overthinking!

Wood is not a billet of cold-rolled aluminium, it’s more like a chain, as strong as it’s weakest link.

If you get cheap ramin broom handles they maybe far stronger than an oak dowel with a defect in it that you can snap between your fingers, in fairness both may have that weakness, but you may be more inclined to ditch the defect in the cheaper option.

And circumference isn’t the only driving factor (can we use diameter, please?!) you need to consider length.

A 5mm dowel will easily take my weight... if it was 3mm long

Aidan
 

Chrispy

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Ok I give in, I have made these in the past for a well known national company, I used Tulip wood at 30mm dia. which I machined up in house. In fact the whole lot was either tulip wood or Birch ply.
 

nirajshah31

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Chrispy":3flnf4yt said:
Ok I give in, I have made these in the past for a well known national company, I used Tulip wood at 30mm dia. which I machined up in house. In fact the whole lot was either tulip wood or Birch ply.
Great - thank you!
I wondered what the difference is between tulipwood and beech pls?
 

Chrispy

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If you are buying ready made Dowling to make one frame you may as well use Beech it is probably the best wood for the purpose. If you are making lots for a living use tulip it is quite good enough.
Beech end grain takes screws much better if that is a method of assembly for you.
For me tulip was easier to machine and bring to a finish in the quantities that I needed than Beech.
 

Simon89

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Sounds like beech is the way to go.

Just for reference, 23mm broom handle from sxrewfix, sat on two bricks, 600mm apart. Happily took my 10stone. It was a bit flexy when I bounced up and down but no sign of breaking.

If I didn’t need the broom ha sle, I would have seen at what spacing it would break.
 

nirajshah31

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Because I have two options to purchase now I’ve decided on beech and 25mm.
So just asking if the eBay seems fine? How to assess
 

MikeG.

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You're missing the point. Dowels sold as 25mm diameter might be substantially bigger or smaller than that. I wouldn't be in the least surprised to find a 2mm discrepancy either way, and that means dowels either don't fit in the hole, or they rattle around loosely. You might be lucky, but having fallen foul of this there is no way I would drill a hole without measuring the actual object which is fitting inside it.
 

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