Slightly OT: Playground Border

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We're looking at putting up a swingset with a 4x6 pressure treated wood border around the area. The border will keep mulch in as well as keep the lawn mower out. (Less to mow, yay!)
The border will be a single layer of 4x6 and laid on the ground. Does anyone have specific suggestions on how to attach the 4x6s together end to end? I'd probably use a tie plate and galvanized nails, but am wondering if that's the best way.
We experience approximately a 100F difference in temperature throughout the year, so expansion and contraction will be an issue.
Puckdropper
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Never teach your apprentice everything you know.

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On Thu, 27 May 2010 06:10:22 +0000, Puckdropper wrote:

I have used liquid nails to join together 4x6's. I don't know how long this will last, but have survived a couple of winters and summers so far. The thing I liked about doing it this way, was there is no visible means that they are attached together.
Paul T.
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On 27 May 2010 06:10:22 GMT, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote the following:>We're looking at putting up a swingset with a 4x6 pressure treated wood

Galvanized lag bolts (2 per joint) will work well, in addition to liquid nails floor goop. Counterbore them at least an inch and use 8" lags of any diameter you have handy. 1/4" is cheap, and there is no true structural need for more "beef" here.

Then I recomment an extra 10' buffer around each side of the swingset. In addition to much less lawn to mow, you don't want the kids falling off the swing and hitting their heads on the wood, so a buffer is necessary for kid safety. Wood chips and ground tires are being used for playground fall softeners.
--------------------------------------------------- I drive way too fast to worry about my cholesterol. ---------------------------------------------------
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Puckdropper wrote:

I drilled holes and drove lengths of rebar through into the ground. If you do this make sure you countersink the rebar.
The school here used what appears to be 6 inch PVC pipe. Not sure how they fastened it to the ground so it won't slide. I think this is not a good thing because kids WILL try to walk on it and slip off and fall.
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Cochran, GA
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Yup, this was my thought. No connection board to board, just hog a 1" hole through at each end and pound a piece of 3/4 steel pipe into the ground, through the board.
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The rebar is a good second option. It's no problem to drill through and pound some rebar in the ground, then cover the hole with some silicone.
Adults are the ones who have trouble with the 6" falls... The pipe will probably keep a lot of kids off once they discover they can't walk on it, but the more daring ones will keep trying again and again.
Puckdropper
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"Puckdropper" wrote:

------------------------------------------- If I understand your description, it describes a serious accident waiting to happen UNLESS the mulch area is large enough to allow a kid to jump off a swing in motion and still land in a mulch area without hitting a 4x6..
Also, 4x6's resting on the ground pose a trip hazard.
Think I would find an alternate solution.
YMMV
Lew
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Making the mulch area big enough for jump range is something I hadn't thought about. We were naturally going to add several feet (5-8ish) for landing zones and the like, but had no general rule of thumb.
I think a 4x6 is within most people's "hazard detection range." It is a tripping hazard, sure, but so is the blue line on an ice rink. Maybe a 6x6 would be better, as it's less likely for the grass on the outside to cover it.
Puckdropper
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On 5/27/2010 4:48 PM, Puckdropper wrote:

Is this going to be a permanently well lighted area? Or locked up behind a good fence when not in use? What's perfectly acceptable in daylight can still be a hazard after dark.
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"Puckdropper" wrote:

------------------------------------------- If you want to keep the mulch and grass separated, consider the following:
Concrete patio blocks.
They are about 8"x16"x2" thick, come in colors and can be arranged in a geometric pattern. (Think mini sidewalk)
Also have half sizes available.
Prep the "mini sidewalk" area by removing the grass, laying down some plastic to keep the weeds out, then some sand for a base for the patio blocks.
Joint between the blocks with more sand.
Will keep the grass from coming across the blocks, be flush with the ground, and provide a surface for the lawnmower wheel when you mow.
Time for a brew.
You'll have earned it.
BTDT, don't need the T-Shirt.
Lew
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It's an interesting idea, but I don't know how effective it would be in this scenario. The mulch would inevitably be kicked out by kids playing, which seems less likely with a little spare room at the top like a deeper wall provides.
Puckdropper
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"Puckdropper" wrote:

----------------------------------- Are you going to have an entry opening(s) in the proposed fence to allow the kids to get into the swing area without having to step over the fence?
Lew
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No, the border should be quite short (7-12") so it should easily be stepped on or over.
I think I see where you're going here... An entry in the border would allow the mulch to be kicked out just as easily as the sidewalk border.
Puckdropper
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"Puckdropper" wrote:

------------------------------------------- Actually, was thinking of a safe way to have an 18"-24" high border that would be readily visible thus muting the liability issue.
If you provide an entry way with a mini sidewalk, you solve the liability issue as well as keeping the mulch in place.
Let the sidewalk project about 3 ft out into the yard that would providing a 3'x3' landing spot for any mulch that gets kicked out of the swing area..
Every time you cut the grass, sweep any mulch that found the sidewalk bay into the swing area before you cut the grass.
My guess is that after a couple of weeks the mulch will be matted enough to basically stay in place.
Another idea would be to plant Boxwood shrubs that would form a hedge.
They have no "prickers".
Don't know what the cost would be, but after a couple of years, you wouldn't have any wood to maintain, just a soft hedge to trim annually.
Just some thoughts.
Lew
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Ah, I see. The border would act like the warning track in baseball, letting a walker know something's up before they get to the wall. The only problem would be that someone might think they found the driveway and not the play area.
Puckdropper
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"Puckdropper" wrote:

----------------------------------------- At least you don't get sued, unless it's 1:00AM and you shoot the SOB.
Then you might have a problem of another kind.
Lew
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"Puckdropper" <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote in message

No matter what you do, children Will get the 'mulch' onto the grass. You didn't plan to maintain 24/7 watches, did you?
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, it describes a serious accident

What has our world come too, "serious accident jumping from a swing, trip hazard, yada yada"
Growing up we would jump from rusty chained swings with leather seats ready to break at any moment, on to hard asphalt covered with broken glass and used condoms while drunk on stolen whiskey and smoking reclaimed cigarette butts scrounged from festering ashtrays. Ahhh, the salad days of youth.
We are raising a generation of wimps now. Let 'em fall a few times, some shards of glass embedded in a knee builds character!
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On 5/28/10 11:15 AM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Funny stuff.

I agree. In some of the parks/neighborhoods around here you see kids on bikes, wearing what is essential body armor. A helmet on a skateboard, I understand and support. But you see these tiny kids on bikes with training wheels, and they can hardly walk or stand up straight with all the padding.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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Like George Carlin said, "We built up our immune system by swimming in raw sewage".
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