Picture of Building a Monster Play Slide
Building things is fun ...BUT... Building fun things is a freakin' blast!

I think my favorite fun thing to build would be slides!

I work at a place where everyday we build things geared toward having fun. It's an imaginative mix of playground, funhouse, living sculpture and architectural museum all made out of unique, found, reclaimed and recycled items.
Nearly everything we construct has an element of exploration - we've build all kinds of tunnels,hideouts, caves and climbers, but the one thing that is always a hit are the slides!

I mean, once you've clawed and climbed your way to the top, don't  you want to get to the bottom as fast as you can to do it all over again? 

I'd been toying with the notion of writing something to answer all the crazy questions I get and then I saw this post: Has-anyone-built-a-playground-slide
i guess it helped spur me into the notion that others might find a primer on slide building useful.

Step 1: Things You May or May Not Need

This project is more conceptual in nature, by that i mean your interpretation and implementation can be pretty darn flexible. 

I build crazy things for a living, and that said I may have tools and or skills that you don't...

This doesn't mean you can't build a really cool slide and have an awesome time doing it. The materials you use will greatly affect how you construct it and what sort of tools you'll need to do it and of course the skills you'll need to do it.

I'll try to spark your imagination and set you up with the goods you need to get the mission accomplished and help you make it safe to boot.


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I and my family were blessed with the most amazing day at the City Museum in Saint Louis. I'm 42 and ran all over that place just like my 5 and 11 year old! Kudos to the late Robert J. Cassilly Jr. for having the imagination, vision, gumption, knowledge and connections to make that wonderment of a playland happen! My wife is tired of me talking about it and my plans of returning. I'm from South Dakota, so that will have to wait a couple years, I guess. Oh, and the mosaic tile work throughout the place is spectacular!

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nfarrow1 year ago
nfarrow1 year ago

City Museum in Saint Louis, MO is a great place. If you have kids or kid at heart you must go. way better than disneyland.

ariley54 years ago
Whoa! You have to tell me where this slide is and how big is it?! Is it as big as it looks?
incendiac (author)  ariley54 years ago
all of the slides shown are where I work:The City Museum in Saint Louis, MO. yes yes this slide is quite large but by no means the largest!
You work at the City Museum? Lucky! I went to Saint Louis a few years back, and I loved that place, it's amazing there. We were there all day and i still didn't get to see all of its nooks and crannies. I remember that my sister and I wanted to go outside, but we couldn't find the exit, so we went up to, I think it was the fourth floor, the gift shop, and asked the man working there. He gave us a riddle that we had to solve to get the floor number of the door to get outside. I loved it there and the whole vacation I was asking to go back to the Museum every day, but we never did.
MistaStokes3 years ago
I love the city museum! Great fun for all ages! Two questions:
1. How many people actually design this stuff? There are so many different looking things there.
2. How is this stuff safety-rated? Like when you are using "legit" (for lack of a better word) building materials, there are limits on the weight and other building code stuff, but how does the stuff at the city museum get approved (or does it?). There isn't a single structure there I feel is at risk of collapsing, but isn't it a paperwork nightmare to get it inspected?
Do you do side jobs? I live in St. Charles County. How feasible would it be to to have you guys come out to build a slide inside a new construction home? We're working on house plans now. Shoot! I might wait to build and save up for something like they have in the City Museum. A slide would uplift people's spirits and make life that much sweeter. I'd sacrifice to make that happen, but I don't have the skills to build it myself. Is there any chance you could take on a side project next year?
mredman4 years ago
CITY MUSEUM! We love this place! We swung through on a Utah to Tennessee trip and were blown away! Pay for the roof! It's so worth it!
19975894 years ago
i went to that museum in st.louis i had a blast though its been a long time since my last vist
elyador4 years ago
Awesome slide.
pinky2525254 years ago
pretty neat
you work at the st louis museum?! holy shittake! i love that place! two years ago i went there with my grandparents and it was a blast!please let me follow you in the art of silliness,fun,architecture,and creativity!im just asking if ican follow you on instructables and possibly meet you in person.chow! xD
Pe-ads4 years ago
Lovin' the chair back one.

Though to anyone making slides out of scales: make sure the scales are the right way round! :D
incendiac (author)  Pe-ads4 years ago
totally... it's hard to tell by that photo, but they are actually going the right way. it's a cool slide actually it's short and steep but it in a climber made from salvaged drift / river wood.
Nah, there's a definite slant so it's easy to tell.

Are you doing to do publish some more 'ibles, or do some slideshows of slides you've made? That would be awesome...
MerleCorey4 years ago
I don't see people here appreciating the amount of work and mastery goes into these projects. You sir are an artist. There should be a documentary film about you. Thank you for posting this i truly enjoyed reading your descriptions, and viewing your work.
incendiac (author)  MerleCorey4 years ago
We are a crew, the main group is about twelve people but we have support from many many others. By in large the projects are led by the Museum's Mastermind Bob Cassilly, all this comes from his brain and we are the tools by which things happen. This job is a dream job for those that dream of creatively building big and hard.
lisalash4 years ago
We are trying to build a tall slide for a swimming pool could you offer any ideas?
incendiac (author)  lisalash4 years ago
How tall are you talking?

To be honest most of the slides we build are modified embankment type slides, meaning they go from the floor to the floor.

I'd guess that your wanting to build one you climb a ladder to get in... just off the top of my head i'd think a structure of 1" iron pipe and a chute made of 55 gallon drums would work out pretty nice.
incendiac (author)  lisalash4 years ago
If you'd like some help just let me know. I'm always up for that sort of thing.
mooseo4 years ago
This is a great ible... I thought about building a slide for my kids, but eventually decided to buy one when I realized how much research it would take to figure out things like the correct width for different ages and the right sidewall height. Thanks for laying out the details. If I ever find myself in St. Louis, I know where I'm heading.
munser4 years ago
The City Museum in St. Louis is the best museum EVER. My kids love to play and climb, I love to see how the creative people who work there have created from junk!
lightened image....
incendiac (author)  briankangaroo4 years ago
it does show the details better, if you look closely the slides are a sort of paired in a double helix. the far one is the one modified for people. The near ones you can see stair treads have been added and they have become the way up.
Great shots and ideas! The last photo is almost completely dark on my. I saved it and fixed it to view. Wow. email me if you'd like me to send the corrected image.
incendiac (author)  briankangaroo4 years ago
i'd love to see it, all these are taken and edited using my phone... the natural light in the slide shaft is dim but the view is pretty amazing.
Thanks again for the ible. I have hosted a 100' slip and slide for a few years each Summer here in Oregon and would love to create a slide and/or water slide on the property.
RobHopeless4 years ago
You could have given credit to the City Museum in St. Louis where most of the pictures are from. http://www.citymuseum.org
incendiac (author)  RobHopeless4 years ago
I would have added information about the museum but was afraid someone would say something about this being an ad. I also initially didn't ask work if it was ok to use the museums name.

I appreciate you looking out for us, but in a sense i was doing then same.

(incidentally i'm fairly certain we know each other... through Arch Reactor and Gateway Burners folk)
this is a HOW to make something to win a price kind of contest... not a "Lets go to St. Louis and take pictures of our vacation Contest"

Just an FYI
incendiac (author)  HM-Innovations4 years ago
What is vacation for other people turns out is my 8-5.

quite frankly, had i perfectly documented us building the monster slide it wouldn't have helped much of anyone build a slide.

i could have shown pictures at the scrap yard buying a 35' pipe, showed us moving is with our high-lift bulldozer or one of our fork lifts, or even one of the three cranes we have.

I fully understand this community is to show HOW to build something, at times I feel considerations are more helpful than obscure tools or materials.

please understand that this is my first instructable, I've noted suggestions made by others and am working to restructure this and add a bit more.
While I somewhat agree, i do believe the author does work at the City Museum since the don't let visitors anywhere near active welding.

More construction methods and tips and less "anatomy of a slide" would be nice
D00M994 years ago
Out of curiosity where is the third picture taken?
incendiac (author)  D00M994 years ago
i'm not sure which picture you mean...
the playground slide and the construction slide are the ONLY photos not taken at the City Museum in St Louis.
It says it's taken at what was a shoe factory, but has since been converted to a people-slide taking one down into a cave. This is a photo of something as it was in the past, so is not a current part of the museum, right? Or were you taking a photo of a photo at the museum?

I was wondering about this too. Where can we go to slide down 10 storeys into a cave? Really at the St. Louis museum? Must plan a trip!
incendiac (author)  legomum4 years ago
That was a current photo.
The slides were there as the shoe company, (think gravity powered conveyer)
and still are, we put bars over the top to contain the rider and polished and debured the whole thing.

yes, it decends into man-made cave made of blown cement, the large thing at the left bottom is a refurbished church organ which plays into the slide shaft and the caves. I can pretty much assure you, you have never see anything like the museum.
cad974 years ago
Trogdor! :D
Yeah, City Museum! I love going there!!
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