We pride ourselves on being the UK climbing frames experts those on the customer service team are dab hands at putting up the selwood playsets we sell. Like some kind of initiation process we get them out of the office with the manual and the climbing frame and get them building. It’s important to know what we are talking about when customers phone up with queries and questions. We also want to assure them that the build is possible even by DIY novices.
However, when my turn came I wasn’t so sure. As part of the social media team, rather than one of the advisors, I thought I had had a lucky escape. The months went by and there was no mention of manuals, drills or climbing frame assembly coming my way. The snow may have held it off a while but with the sunshine last week I was running out of places to hide.
So came my turn. I would like to make it clear now DIY has never been and will never be my forte. I love IKEA, I love walking around it, I love spending a small fortune on fake plants and candles and cushions we don’t need. But come construction I am conveniently busy and otherwise engaged. Now delegation is something I can do, but the actual doing is problematic.
Myself and our new Technical team member were set the task of putting together the spiral slide which comes with the Sandpoint and Summerville climbing frames. Armed with a drill and the manual we began work on the slide. After a few fiddly hours and a couple of choice words we did it! There were moments we thought we weren’t going to make it and moments of sheer elation. Trust me if I can do it anyone can.
As a complete DIY beginner and having never constructed anything like this before here are a few top tips for the build:
First of all get all the parts out of the box and check them against the manual. Make sure you have everything that is listed.
I would then suggest having a quick flick through the manual from start to finish so you know the job that lies ahead.
The first initial stages are fairly easy and just a case of bolting various parts together. There is a groove and bump so take care to make sure these slot together before they are bolted. Also take care to put the bolt in the right way. The hexagonal end is the end the nut goes on. The round end is where the screw goes through.
The tricky bit comes when putting together all the bits you have previously bolted. Be sure to take care to make the arrows join up. At times it can look like they will never fit together but with patience and a little force they do. A little tip we picked up was when putting the rings over the joins getting the nut on the screw can be fiddly, so hold the nut flush to the plastic and push the screw slightly out of the hole. Then drill into the nut. This is far easier than trying to screw the nut on first then drilling.
Another tip is to have pockets full of the screws and nuts because once you have the pieces in place you may not be able to move to grab them. We found a spare pair of hands helpful too. The first stages are easy enough but the final stages may require 3 of you if possible. It isn’t impossible with just 2 of you but as the saying goes many hands make light work.
Once the pieces are bolted together and you have what looks like 4 circles, rather than put one on, then another one, then the third, we found it easier to put them together in pairs and then bolt these pairs together.
It does take time and patience but it is most definitely do-able. The instruction manual is great and if you follow it closely you should be fine. I can honestly say it was nowhere near as bad as I thought. Look at the finished product and see how well we did for yourself.
If you want more details on The Sandpoint deluxe click here. The Summerville also features the super fun tube slide. For more info on the Summerville click here or you can buy the slide to upgrade and old system or attach to a DIY climbing frame project here.
If you have any questions feel free to ask. Let us know what else you would like to see us build?