Climbing Frame – Building / Assembly Advice!


With Christmas drawing in ever closer, many of you will be looking into purchasing one of our climbing frames ready to surprise your children on the big day. To help get your play sets built as efficiently as possible here are some top tips, build advice, and information which will all contribute with regards to installation.

1. Too start to use the illustrated parts I’d list in the front of the manual to identify each wood part and group matchingunnamed (19) parts together. Each part has been assigned an 7 digit code which can be seen on the illustrated  image of each part in the parts id pages of your manual.

The last FOUR digits of this code are what will be printed on the end of each wood part.

For example –  Part F1 – CE Access Board 1 x 6 x 19-3/43630606 – 0606

Parts can also be highlighted by using the image portrayed for each item in the part id list. All pre-drilled holes and there locations can be seen on each drawing.

2.  All the required hardware comes pre-bagged in coded packets. We advise sorting all screws, bolts, washers into piles before installation begins. Doing this will help speed things up when it comes to selecting hardware for each stage of the build.

3. Make sure to erect the climbing frame on as flat a surface as possible. When building on UN-even surfaces parts can often be secured  so they are not level causing problems for future stages of the build.

4.  Ensure you have the essential tools needed to complete the build. A cordless drill can save a lot of time and effort and is highly recommended. Along with this the following tools are also essential:

Measuring tape, Safety glasses, Hammer, Spirit Level, Square ruler, ladder and Ratchet set.

5.  Pilot holes – When instructed to do so you may be asked to pre-drill a pilot hole/s into some wood parts. A pilot hole is a hole which is pre-drilled by the installer before inserting a specific screw/bolt. By drilling pilot holes they not only act as a guide before inserting hardware but also prevent factors such as splits occurring upon entry.

When inserting lag screws you are required to pre-drill pilot holes to avoid the wood from splitting. Before inserting the lag screw into the wood we advise pre-drilling a pilot hole into the specified wood part using a drill bit  1/8″.

6.  T- Nut installation –  

For most play sets T-nuts are used to secure hex bolts in place. To insert the t-nuts securely they need to be tapped into the holes of the wood parts. It’s important to insert the t-nuts enough so when it comes to tightening the hex bolts they do not move and spin out deteriorating the existing pre-drilled holes so they not usable. It’s also important to not crush the wood when hammering in the t-nuts. Each play set will have a range of bolts of differing diameters. Pay close attention to which bolts are 1/4, 5/16 or 3/8 of an inch. Each bolt size is compatible with its own sized t-nut and locknut. For instance, 5/16 inch bolts are only compatible with 5/16 t-nuts and 5/16 lock nuts. Please see table below:

5/16 bolts > 5/16 T-nut & 5/16 lock nut 
1/4 bots >  1/4 T-nut & 1/4 lock nut 
3/8 bolts > 3/8 t-nut & 3/8 lock nut 

7. Make sure you keep bolts loose and tighten when instructed to do so and on completion of the build.

8.  All our climbing frames come with an estimated build time and state how many people are required for assembly. Although it is possible for one person to assemble them on their own, we recommend two or more people. This not only decreases build time rapidly but for stages such as mounting the swings and roof onto the fort provides that extra pair of hands making the job extra safe but also light work.

9.  Monkey ladder – Top Tip!

When installing the rungs of the monkey bars into the pre-drilled / cut holes of both beams the most efficient way is to lay ONE beam flat on the floor with the pre-cut holes facing upwards. After placing a dowel into each hole so they are in place and standing vertical, with assistance position the second beam with the pre-cut holes facing downwards onto each rung so they slot inside each groove.

Sufficient force is required to ensure each rung slots in place correctly. Whilst one person holds the beam in place begin to screw in each dowel from the outside of the top beam through the pre-drilled screw holes. Pushing down on the beam will help keep the rungs flush and screwed in position.

10.  Once the build has been completed check for any signs of splinters which may occur as a result of over tightened hardware.  Giving these a light sand before letting your children commence play will help keep them safe and eliminate the problem.

11. We recommend that you apply for a wood sealant or protection at least once per year. Proper care and maintenance will help maintain the beauty of the set as well as ensure the maximum life of the frame.  All relevant information with regards to maintenance can be found in your manual. Please follow the link below to view our current stain options and special offers!

Climbing frames – Wood Stain


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  1. John Snow - October 22, 2015

    Great Blog – Will be purchasing the Ridge-view next month for my four year old twins . Planning on installation a few weeks before Christmas 🙂 !

  2. Charlie Ennis - October 27, 2015

    Thanks John – Great choice the Ridgeview is one of our most popular frames !

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