27 Nov 2013

Posted by Leo

BUILD A SANDPIT

Want to keep the kids occupied during the school holidays? Easy – Build them a sandpit.
In this issue of the Sandpaper I will go through the steps to build a sandpit for the kids.

SAFETY

  • Always keep tools and materials away from children.
  • Do not burn Treated Pine off cuts as they contain toxins which are released when burnt.
  • Wear an approved dust mask, eye and ear protection when cutting, planing or sanding timber.
  • All Australian building sites have a zero alcohol limit, when using tools in your own home you should adopt a similar policy.
  • Dial before you dig – before putting pick to dirt give these guys a call or look them up online.

MATERIALS

  • H4 Treated Pine Sleepers – Available in a range of sizes shapes and dimensions
  • Sand – Washed Newcastle or Sydney Sand
  • Galvanised nails, spikes or batten screws
  • Perforated drainage pipe or tiles
  • Wooden pegs, hardwood or treated pine
  • Rocks, stones or coarse gravel

TOOLS

  • Shovel, pick or hoe
  • Circular or drop saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Handsaw
  • Wheelbarrow (may not be needed if you choose to have your sand delivered in bulka bags with one of our crane trucks. We can lift the bag over your fence and put it into or right next to your sandpit. Saving you time on labour!
  • Hammer
  • Spirit level

CHOOSING YOUR SITE
Things to consider before selecting a site include:

  • Will there be enough shade?
  • Will you be able to see the kids? (My kids wont be happy until the sandpit is just a pit)
  • Is the site reasonably level?
  • What size do you want the sandpit to be?

LAYOUT
Use a string line or piece of strait timber as a guide and a builders square to ensure corners are at 90 degrees.

EXCAVATION
Once the sandpit is laid out, start to excavate the selected area to about 200mm below the grass line or finished sand level. Note: if you are planning on using the sandpit as a ‘soft fall area under a tree or cubby house it is recommended that you make your sandpit 300mm deep. Don’t throw out the dug up turf, you can use it to repair bare spots in the lawn, or you can put it upsidedown in the compost bin. Any dark-coloured top soil can also be put in your compost bin or scattered around the garden.
Prepare a reasonably level bed for the sand to sit on If your subsoil is clay or hard you may face drainage problems. If this is the case install a perforated drainage pipe, drain tile or a deep hole in the centre of the sandpit and then cover with crushed rock, stones or coarse gravel and replace soil.

LAYOUT & CONSTRUCTION
Lay out your timber sleepers once they have been cut to your chosen measurements. If possible get some help from a friend to lay out and fasten the sleepers as they are heavy. Check that they are level and square. A simple way to check square is to measure from corner to corner diagonally. If the two measurements are the same, or within a few millimetres you know it’s square. It’s worth spending the needed time to get this right because if you’re like me you have tradie mates who will scrutinise any new home handyman project at your next BBQ…
Fasten together using galvanised nails, spikes or batten screws. Use 50x50mm pegs every half a metre to hold the sleepers in place.

 

GOING FROM PIT TO SANDPIT
Fill the sandpit with sand. It’s important to order washed Sydney or Newcastle sand or to let BC Sands sales staff know the sand is to be used in a kids sandpit to ensure you get the right sand.

DELIVERY
Depending on the size of your sandpit you can choose to pick up your sand in 20kg bags, borrow a courtesy trailer, have it delivered on a tipper truck or in 1 tonne bulk bags.
My personal preference, and the method I used with my own sandpit is to have the sand delivered in bulk bags. This was for a number of reasons:
1. You save time and effort by getting the sand exactly where you need it. Some of our crane trucks have a reach of 13m, so we can get your delivery over fences and pools etc.
2. Because BC Sands use multi-use bags you can keep the bulk bag and use it in the future as a skip bin bag which you can fill at your leisure and ring us to collect when ready.

Leo Stanners

Marketing Manager BC Sands


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