Garden Project

I don't this is the right thread but I have some few questions about gardening. I'm planning to make a little forest on our backyard garden. First, I'm thinking to put a double swing. What is most advisable, wood or concrete? Is wood safe enough especially to children 2-3 years old? Also got this similar 'garden statue' (http://tinyurl.com/22wu7e ) (like this) in our backyard, but I don't like it because its not made of wood. My main concept was to build garden with all wooden furniture. Is it safe or inexpensive to make such a all-wood garden furniture? Any details will much appreciated. Thanks
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luckytiff02


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On Thu, 13 Mar 2008 18:40:39 +0000, luckytiff02

White oak, cedar, redwood, teak and cypress are fine choices for outdoor wood. PT lumber may not be safe. Concrete lasts forever, wood about 20+ years. Good luck with your garden and children. Would like to see some of your pictures in alt.binaries.pictures.garden
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luckytiff02 wrote:

With regard to "safe enough", safe in what way? If you have a swing, the falling danger is the same no matter what it's made of. The risk of being struck by a moving swing depends on the mass of the swing--concrete hitting someone in the head is far more likely to do serious damage than, say, white cedar, which is a relatively low-density wood. The splinter danger is there but a suitable coating and suitable choice of wood can minimize it--the Royal Navy discovered around the time of the Napoleonic wars that oak and pine splinter wounds are less likely to get infected than teak for what it's worth. The risk of a fall due to breakage you can minimize just by picking adequate stock thickness--3/4 inch yellow pine on 16 inch centers will take my weight plus 100 pounds of barbells without any problem, so should be sufficient for a 2-3 year old.
Put some thought into how to suspend the swings--chain is traditional but one can get a nasty pinch or abrasion from it--use smooth link chain with links small enough that little fingers can't get inside the loops. Remember that kids' hands are smaller than yours. You'll also want to be using something corrosion resistant--stainless is best--galvanized generally has a rough surface and wears off where the links rub together, but it will nonetheless last a good long time.
As to the safety and expense of making it, well, quite honestly a cheap plastic Chinese playset is likely to cost a good deal less than making your own, and should have been inspected to pass government standards (doesn't mean it _did_, but it _should_ have). As to how easy it is, that depends on you--it's really a question that nobody can answer for you--there are some people for whom building a four seat seaplane out of wood is a fun project (not a toy, a real one in which one can go travelling) while there are others for whom putting up a shelf in the hall is a frightening mystery. Most people fall somewhere between these two extremes but only you know where on that spectrum you lie. Also, do you have tools? If not you're going to to have to add the cost of the necessary tools (as to which ones are necessary that depends on the specifics of your design) to the cost of the project, and add some extra for spoiled lumber (suggestion, cut the longest components first, that way if you mess them up you can make the shorter ones out of the remains) as you learn to use your tools.
As to specific species of wood to use, I notice that you're posting from a UK account--being in the US I know what's available here but not what's available there--your best bet is likely to contact a supplier of decking materials (in the US a "deck" is one of these arrangements http://www.flickr.com/photos/snapify/513763660 /, kind of like an elevated wooden patio or a large uncovered porch--I don't know if they're called "decks" in the UK). There are a number of species in use for this purpose--the thing I would avoid is pressure treated.
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--John
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Well done John!
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told2b;778879 Wrote: > On Mar 14, 7:41 am, "J. Clarke" snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:-

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Sorry for the late reply, thanks for the informative details...You guys are great.. It really give me such a nice idea... I'm gonna try it this day... I'm gonna post as soon as possible when the project is done... Thanks again
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luckytiff02


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