Scratchbuilt Mega-Outdoor Jungle Gym Homemade




I'm trying to keep a three year old occupied and losing gound.  I've been planning some type of swingset, but couldn't decide whether to buy a kit or stickbuild.  I decided the latter since coming across some deals on craigslist.  Hope you enjoy this ible!!!!

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Skill saw
band saw
stick welder sander
6011 stick rods
tape measurer
wire brush
post hole diggers
recip saw
side grinder
spade shovel
flat shovel
auto darken hood

Step 2: Recycled Swing Set and Monkey Bars FABRICATION

for the build: numbered with the pics
1.I got the pipe, which is schedule 40 galvanized fence posts(craigslist $100)
1 1/2", 3", and 4"
2 cut my ladder and monkey bar rungs 30"
3-7 to butt weld, they needed to be coped to provide a good solid surface for the weld. I would throw them in the vice and cut my wedges and then check them to my three inch pipe
8. beautiful sunset
9-11. put my rungs on one foot centers and did all my tack welds. put it up on a table to take my beads all the way around
12-16. starting to work on my legs. I use clamps on a board connected to my overhead door. all this was when we had the polar vortex. COLD!!!!
17. boss checking up on me
18-28. working on the cross bars. had some pretty interest.g coping on these. in the mean time was working in more ladder rings etc
29-34. pulling it outside using a dolly
35-39. working on the A-frame. I think I finally got the hang of this metalworking

40-42. lifting the monkey bars was more than I could handle. luckily my neighbor was glad to come over with his tractor and help me set it into place. then dug the holes, put it in, leveled it up, and poured the concrete
42-46. adding the cross bar to the A-frame and moving it and setting it in place. poured the concrete
47. the slide was another steal off of craigslist. $100

Step 3: Stoop for the Slide

This is also when I did most of my concrete pour.  I have a one bag mixer and it comes in handy about every two years.  It is not necessary but will save a little bit of back ache.  We went down two feet and made my pour.  Adding water to premix concrete should not be a guessing game but it is.  I like to consider the mixing done when the concrete looks similar to chunky peanut butter.  The concrete will go from dusty and lumpy to soupy and runny very easily som mix it with TLC.
I used a piece of 3x5 heavy angle and a piece of 4" pipe for the horizontal landing. Then used a piece of 3" for the post. It really helps the overall slide useage. Once welded on I put a painted piece of 3/4" plywood for the landing.
I used 1 1/2" 1/4-20 bolts to bolt the platform down and wood screws to screw the slide down.

Step 4: Paint and Landscaping

I used enamel primer and enamel semigloss paint
The first few(10) railroad ties that I used were old discarded ties that were free except pain and travel time. My intention was one layer layed out level and step it up with the grade.  The first bit of mulch was a freebie from a local tree guy. He was happy ti bring it for free because he normally has to pay to dump. It had a fair amount of larger sticks but was not hard to sort as I moved it. Once I realized how much I had, I changed the plan. I brought the front up level with the back. It has a firm bouncy surface, great for falling and jumping from the stoop and monkey bars.

Step 5: Putting Up the Swings

I used 3/8"by 6" eyebolts and locking carribeners. Also had to add about 6" of chain to accommodate my daughter.  And she has already enjoyed it more than I would have ever thought.  It has been good for me too. I can cross the Monkey bars myself.  WHOOP WHOOP!!

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    10 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is truly awesome! What I think I would like to build is a backyard set of Travelling Rings. Anyone have any ideas on this? This would keep near any adult or kid super occupied and in GREAT shape! I want it for my grandkids (secretly, for myself, too!) Not sure what size pipe I need. Do I need to build it out of lumber? Need help here to avoid under engineering this.


    5 years ago

    That is nice your kids are some lucky ducks

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome Setup! Your children have really great father! One thing that I have learned after 5 children is that color SELLS. There have been many studies done for businesses and marketing and the results are interesting. For example men love Red and 7 year old love the color yellow. Perhaps changing the color will get you more traffic

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I just noticed the handprints in the conrete pad. That is going to be great when the kids grow up and look at it when they are ready to build their own.

    1 reply

    I hated to cover it up with mulch. I'll uncover it when they are older or let them discover it. Thanks for giving me advice on renaming and updating the instructions.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I would LOVE to do something like this!!
    Although I'm much fond of wood.
    Also, I should recommend you shut those pipe holes, it could be a good nest for all sort of animals, and nobody wants their children with trauma.