Introduction: Giant Slip and Slide
Here is a tutorial on how to create a giant slip and slide. It takes a couple of friends and me about 3 different nights after work to complete. As with anything, the more you do it the better you will get at it. Truth be told, the end product is so awesome, I would still help put it together even if it took 50 times longer to set up.
Step 1: Things Needed
This is a list of the things needed to build this giant slip and slide. Hopefully if you are trying this you have most of these items hanging around somewhere, otherwise it will be an expensive ordeal.
A pond with a big hill leading right into it
A few free nights and 1 free day
Steel posts. We used 24 of them
100x20 ft 8mil thick sheet of plastic
A couple old blocks of wood (2x8, 2x6, anything will really work)
4 metal stakes or rebar about a foot long
2 round bales, or something else heavy to keep the plastic from sliding (a tractor to move them too)
Tires, we used somewhere around 20
A whole bunch of wire
Drill and 3/8" or 1/4" drill bit and a drill bit big enough for your stakes/rebar
120 feet of 2 inch PVC pipe
9 straight PVC connectors
2 90 degree PVC connectors
1 cap for the end of the 2 inch PVC pipe
Pipe cleaner and glue
2 inch hose from pump to PVC pipe and 2 hose clamps
Hose from pump to pond
A bush hog helps too
Step 2: Lay Out PVC Pipe
After doing this a few times, we discovered that the plastic will last longer if we bush hog the grass underneath where the plastic will be placed about 5 days before laying the plastic down. The real building of the slip and slide starts about 3 or 4 nights before the big day. We begin by laying out the PVC pipe. We just pick a starting point (make sure it is close enough for your piece of plastic to reach the pond) for the slip and slide and go from there. There is no shame in rolling out the plastic to make sure. We also leave room at the top of the slip and slide for the round bales we will place on the plastic in a later step. We start at the top and lay the pipe 50 feet down on each side or the 20 feet used at the top. It doesn't have to be perfect since the water will have no problem reaching the plastic while it shoots out of the PVC, but remember that you are going to have to pound posts where you lay the pipe, and a little distance between where you are sliding and steel posts won't hurt.
Step 3: Pound Posts and Wire PVC
After the pipe is in place, we can begin pounding posts. We start up at the top of the slip and slide and put two posts in on each side of where the plastic will be. Don't worry about leaving much space between the plastic and the post for safety, because there will be a hay bale in front of the post to take care of that. Then we will take another post and wire it to the one you just pounded. This makes the post about twice as high as it was previously. From there, just move down about 10 feet and pound another post in. Before you get too far down the hill, it is a good idea to wire up the PVC, just to make sure your posts are in the right spot. Don't forget to throw tires over the post before you wire the PVC to it. To do this we had one of us hold the pipe up at the top, one hold it at the next post, and we wired from there. Keep on moving down the hill on each side, and on the side where water is not coming in, you need to clean and glue a 2 inch PVC cap on the end. Now we are done with both sides of the slip and slide, and we can move onto the middle.
Step 4: PVC at the Top of the Slip and Slide
Setting up the top of the slip and slide is a little different than the sides as far as the PVC pipe goes, because of the 20 foot gap between the posts at the top compared to the 10 foot gap down the sides. When water starts running through the top pipes, it is going to get heavy, and that's where these extra steps come in. First off, we clean and glue the 2 PVC pipes together with a connector piece, as well as both the 90 degree pipe connectors. Now we pound a post about 8 feet away from the top steel post at a 90 degree angle from the slip and slide. This will serve as an anchor to the two top posts on either side of the slip and slide. Then we wire the PVC pipes that we just glued to the two top posts. With both sides wired, we will give a little tug and take a piece of wire from the anchored post to the top of the post where we just wired the PVC pipe. We will repeat that on both sides to complete half of what we need to do for the top of the slip and slide. Next, we will tighten wire onto the top of the top post that we strung our anchor wire to and spiral our wire around the PVC pipe at the top clear across to the other side of the slip and slide. Then we will wire that up tight.
Step 5: Roll Out Plastic
Now we are ready to roll out the plastic. Once that is done we can throw some more tires down the sides to keep the wind from picking up the plastic and causing trouble. This is where the blocks of wood and stakes and hay bales come in. Here, we will drill holes big enough to punch the stakes through the block of wood and then we'll pound the stakes through the plastic right underneath where we will place the round bale. We decided to add this step after the plastic was still sliding out from underneath the bales. Then we can place the bales on the plastic at each top corner.
Step 6: Bring on the Water
With everything going except the water, it is time for us to drill some holes in the PVC pipes. We don't really have any "best" method for this, so we will just take a 1/4" or 3/8" drill bit and drill holes in the pipes. You can always add holes, but it is more difficult to patch them up, so just remember that when completing this step. With the holes drilled, we can get the sump pump and hoses lined out. Now came one of the more challenging parts for us. We had to prime the sump pump, while the water we are pumping is lower than the sump pump. After a while, we will get it to go, and we can connect the pipe to the bottom of the PVC that doesn't have the cap on it. We can tighten up the hose clamps and not worry about priming the sump pump any more.
Step 7: Slip and Slide!!
Now, we can crank up the sump pump, and watch the water run up one side of the PVC, across the top, and down the other side. Get your swimming trunks on and start sliding!