How to Build a Sandbox

Keeping the little children from playing with dirt is really an exercise in futility not to mention a move that denies them a learning opportunity as well the chance to be, well, children. While no parents would appreciate to have their young-lings covered in grime in the name of learning and more less so, playtime – it is possible to have the best of both worlds with a sandbox project. These boxes afford those young explorers an opportunity to play with dirt without looking like vagabonds and picking up all manner of infections. It affords you the peace of mind and satisfaction of knowing that you did not deny them their childhood.

Sandbox projects come in a variety of sizes and shapes but most importantly, they are the easiest DIY projects you could ever undertake.

Step 1: Settle on a design and gather all the materials together

The size of your yard highly influences the size of the sandbox you can construct as does the number of children that need to indulge in it goodness and have their way with the sand. To start off you can consult this comprehensive woodworking guide that not only contains sandbox plans but video tutorials that guide your every move as well as the materials required. This type of sandbox project includes a lid that folds outwards and therefore requires additional wood pieces. The nature of the DIY sandbox requires it to remain outdoors and thus pressure treated wood is preferable as it enables the children to outgrow it.

Step 2: Cut all the pieces to size

Cut the perimeter wood pieces making sure that they are all mirror images of each other to ensure perfect fitment. Next cut all the cover pieces into sizes taking care to ensure that they do mirror the width of the homemade sandbox. Precutting all the pieces ensures that you have all the required pieces before assemblage, which significantly reduces the construction time. Using a router smooth out all the rough edges to eliminate the risks they pose to the playing children.

Step 3: Put together the basic box

Join the longer wood pieces and the shorter box pieces making sure that they form perfect right angles and then predrill the joint holes on each side before driving in the screws. Counter sink all the drill holes to ensure that the screws heads do not protrude and pose danger to children. Drive in the screws in each of the drilled holes making sure they are firms and rigid. For additional support, cut out small wooden pieces and rig them on all four corners, inside the DIY sandbox. Be sure to counter sink all the holes.

Fix the cardboard bottom on the lower side of the sandbox project and attach it by means of screws. Ensure there are no gaps between the board and the box, where the play sand can seep out.

Step 4: Fit in the edge planks

Position the first two boards on the end on the box, half an inch apart, and attach them to the box through the predrilled holes that are also counter sunk. Repeat this step on both ends of the do it yourself sandbox. These planks provide the anchor points to which the convenient seat shall be attached.

Step 5: Create the sandbox seat/cover

The seat is designed to cover the sandbox completely when not in use and opens from the middle. The seat fold back through a series of hinges crafted into the cover boards to form a convenient bench for the children to seat on. For more insights on cover top seats designs, check out this complete guide to the woodworking project. It also provides you with step by step instructions on how to build a sandbox. The covers are also important in keeping out pets, such as cats and dogs from messing up the sand.

To facilitate the cover fold-back ability, planks are joined together in pairs or more and feature clever opening mechanisms that give the DIY sandbox project an appealing look as well as functionality, when fully open. The first two cover planks lie on the pair of planks fastened to the sandbox forming the bench seat while the remaining sets from the back of the bench and are supported but by two stands that are propped on the ground outside the sandbox project.
Join the next set of cover planks together by placing them half inch apart on a small piece of wood of equal length or slightly shorter, and screws them into place. Join this set to the seats using a pair of hinges so that they swing upwards and repeat on the step for the other edge. Attach the final cover set to the second set using hinges and include the support stands on each set as well.

Attach a pair handles on the last set of sandbox cover to facilitate easy pulling up when opening and closing. Now you have it – a complete homemade sandbox – just add play sand you are ready to go.

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