How to Build a Metal Slide for a Playground
Slides provide hours of entertainment for children, but are expensive to buy pre-made. Purchased playground equipment is often not as strong as it should be, causing injuries to many children each year.
You can build a metal slide using common items found at the local hardware store and some common construction techniques.
Cut the ends of two 2-by-4 boards at 45-degree angles using a saw, so when they are placed on the ground they stand at an incline.This is the frame of the ladder. Cut more 2-by-4 boards into pieces at a length of your preference, creating ladder steps. Set the ladder frame against a wall to mimic the incline of the slide. Place the first step between the two pieces of the frame. Drill holes into each side through the upright pieces into the steps. Bolt the step to the frame. Continue for the length of the frame.
- Slides provide hours of entertainment for children, but are expensive to buy pre-made.
- Set the ladder frame against a wall to mimic the incline of the slide.
Bolt two, 2-by-4 boards to the other end of the ladder frame to form a triangle. Cut two, 2-foot tall, 2-by-4 boards. Bolt these to the bottom of the slide frame, forming the legs.
Dig two holes at least two feet deep using the post hole digger at the slide location. Place the ladder frame into the holes. Dig two additional holes with the digger for the slide frame. Place the slide frame legs into the holes. Adjust the depth, so the ladder and slide frame are level with the ground. Mix and pour concrete into the holes. Wait for them to set before continuing to work on the slide.
- Bolt two, 2-by-4 boards to the other end of the ladder frame to form a triangle.
- Bolt these to the bottom of the slide frame, forming the legs.
Measure the width of the slide frame. Cut plywood pieces to fit. Bolt them on the underside between the two boards of the slide frame. Measure the height from the ground to the middle of the slide frame. Dig a 1-foot-deep hole directly under the midpoint of the slide. Cut a 2-by-4 to fit vertically under the midpoint of the slide while it sits inside the hole. This is a support board. Cut the top of the support to match the angle of the slide. Fill the hole with concrete.
- Measure the width of the slide frame.
Measure the height of the slide frame incline and its width with a tape measure. Cut the sheet metal to fit in between. Place it on top of the plywood. Screw the sheet metal down into the plywood using an electric screwdriver. Extend the sheet metal slightly further than the length of the slide and bend it around under the plywood. Screw it in at an angle, so the screws penetrate the 2-by-4 frame but do not poke through the plywood or sheet metal on top of the slide.
Screw down the plastic trim along both edges of the slide, so it covers the area where the sheet metal ends and prevents children from cutting themselves on the sharp edges of the metal.
- Measure the height of the slide frame incline and its width with a tape measure.
- Extend the sheet metal slightly further than the length of the slide and bend it around under the plywood.
Brock Cooper attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. He was a reporter for seven years with a daily in Illinois before branching out into marketing and media relations. He has experience in writing everything from press releases to features on a variety of subjects and forums. His work can be seen in NewsTribune newspaper, Chicago Parent magazine and several websites.