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Build a Sandbox!
Background :
     One of the most commonly requested landscape and yard projects is a sandbox. The sandboxes for sale at most retail stores are too small for more than one child, are not deep enough to handle most children's fondness for digging, and rarely have any place for the kids to sit. In sum, the drawback with store-bought sandboxes is their design -- these items were made so that the typical parent can carry it back from the store in the trunk or backseat of a car or SUV, not for the kids and their friends' maximum playtime enjoyment. Building a basic sandbox is a fun and inexpensive simple project that most homeowner's can complete in just a couple of hours. In this article, we tell you how to build a sandbox that your kids will really use and enjoy - year after year.

Skill Level: Medium / Homeowner Friendly

Cordless drill
     Circular saw
     Tape measure
     Clamps (optional)
     Framing square (optional)
     Hammer / stapler

     2 - 2"x12"x10' Cedar or Treated Lumber
     1 - 2"x4"x8' Cedar or Treated Lumber
     2 - 2"x2"x8' Cedar or Treated Lumber (optional - to support seating option)
     4 - 1"x6"x6' Cedar Lumber or similar (optional - for seating)
     1 small box of 2" deck screws (match color to your desired final color)
     1 roll landscape fabric

     1 Quart exterior stain (optional)
     Staples (for attaching landscape fabric)
     Sand (20-25 50lb bags)

     This project creates an approximately 6-foot by 4-foot sandbox with optional seating.

     First, cut the pieces that you will use to form the sandbox frame. Cut each of the 10-foot 2"x12" boards at the 6-foot mark. This will leave you with 2 six-foot pieces and 2 four-foot pieces. These will form the outer frame of your sandbox. Now, cut four identical pieces from the 8-foot 2"x4" board to use as blocking for the inside corners of your sandbox frame. Use the 2"x12" board as your measuring guide for the length of the 2"x4" corner blocking.

     Second, assemble the sandbox frame. Place the four 2"x12" pieces on a level surface and form a rectangle. Position the 2"x4" blocking into the corners of your frame and clamp from each direction.  Screw from the outside of the corners of the frame and into the blocking.

     Third, create the seating and bracing. Position the 1" boards over the frame, leaving an approximately 3" reveal on the inside edge of the seating board. Miter-cut the ends of the 1" boards at 45. Now, cut the 2"x2" board to form bracing for the seating on the inside of your frame. Screw the 2"x"2 pieces into the frame. Attach the 1" seating boards to the frame by screwing up and through the 2"x2" bracing.

     Fourth, stain your sandbox.

     Fifth, position your sandbox into its final position in your landscape. Lay landscape fabric across the bottom of your sandbox and approximately 6" up the sides of the sandbox frame. Staple the landscape fabric to the frame. Fill your sandbox with sand.

Project Tips:
Use regular washed sand, not fancy white play-sand or sand used for concrete or mortar mixes. Regular sand packs the best, is unlikely to contain the impurities that could be in ready-mix, and is cheap! You will need approximately 20-25 one-half cubic foot bags of sand to fill your box (50-lb bags). Cover your sandbox with a tarp and rope or flexible cord to keep out animals, rain, leaves and debris.


     Hot Tip
  To make perfectly aligned 45 angles, cut multiple boards simultaneously.

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