Turn construction materials destine for the landfill into fun playground equipment!
Step 1: Find a Construction Site and Ask for Cut Off Pipe Sections
Locate a construction site that has large diameter pipes being installed. At the end of the project there are typically short sections of pipe that have been cut off of longer sticks of pipe. Many times these short sections of pipe are thrown away.
Ask the site foreman or project manager if you can have a "cut off section of pipe that will be thrown away." Your best luck will be to ask before of after working hours. Don't interrupt crews to ask. Have respect for private property and construction site boundaries. Be safe around heavy equipment and construction operations.
The best pipe material for creating a fun playground tunnel is corrugated HDPE pipe as shown in the pictures. It is lighter, easier to cut and resist oxidation compared to metal pipe, reinforced concrete pipe and PVC pipe.
Step 2: Cut the Pipe to Length and Make It Safe for Kids
Cut damaged edges or sharp ends off the pipe. HDPE pipe can be easily cut with general purpose or wood blades. A sawzall, jig saw or handsaw will work to cut the pipe.
The cut edge will have small burs. These can be sanded off with some 120 grit sand paper. Sanding will make a smooth and safe edge but a little heat will give a very clean finished appearance. This burns off any small plastic fragments and gives the plastic a nice shine. The torch can smooth out any imperfections or scratches on the pipe surface.
Step 3: Create a Stable Base
To complete this project we set the pipe in a shallow trough with loose soil at the bottom. The loose soil compacted under the weight of the pipe and formed to the bottom. Additional soil was placed on either side of the pipe and compacted to support the pipe and stop it from rolling.
Large boulders were sourced for free from Craigslist then placed against the pipe on either side. The boulders add some visual appeal, a way for kids to climb onto the pipe and ensure the pipe will not roll away.
Large logs or landscape timbers can be used to anchor the pipe in lieu of boulders and dirt.
LET THE KIDS HAVE AT IT!
This is an entry in the
Trash to Treasure