Monday, October 29, 2007

The Swingset Adventure

Katy has been asking about a swing set of her own for several months now. As the days have passed, she has become progressively more aggressive about it. Well, it was her fourth birthday a couple of weeks ago, and Kendra and I decided that she would finally get a swing set. When I heard that Grandpa Carl was coming to visit this weekend and wanted to help with the swing set, I knew it was time to get one.

Last weekend, Katy, Kendra and went to Menard's and picked out a swing set. During the course of the week, I tried to get as much prepped prior to Carl's visit. I borrowed a chop-saw from my buddy and co-worker, Jason, cut all the wood to length and started the assembly of the pieces. There wasn't much time on Saturday to work on the project, but that night, I made the roof and the two sides that, when combined, become the tower.

The swing set before its creation.

Sunday, I needed to buy one more 2x4x8 to support the gray "climber", so I ran back to the store. While I was shopping, Katy and her grandpa moved all of the cut wood, tools and play-pieces outside to the planned location. Then, Carl and I moved the large pieces I assembled out of the walkout basement where I constructed them and into the backyard.

The swing set before its creation.

Shortly after we started, Katy was already asking if I would push her on the swings. It took all day, and multiple swaps of the battery for the drill, but we finished. By the end, she was crazy excited: hanging off me, wanting to climb on it, wanting to swing. She was very cute for the duration.

An excited little girl.

The excited little girl, again.

We were short a couple of pieces, but I went back to Menard's and asked about them during lunch today. We were missing a two lag screws, eight pan screws and two short chains (for the rings.) Apparently, the company that manufactures these swing sets, Playstar, is very good: the guy helping me called them and told them what I was missing; they talked to me, took my name and are Fed-Ex-ing the materials to my home.

The nearly completed swing set.

The entire process took about a week and much of the prep-work can be done by one person. The assembly process took all day on Sunday, but went much faster than if we had to cut everything as we needed it. It was a fun time, and it is a good feeling of accomplishment. A big thanks goes to Grandpa Carl: without his help and expertise, I seriously doubt that I would be posting about a finished swing set right now.

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