Friday, July 23, 2010
Dad50 #25 Pool slide
The pool slide is a biggie. Although, I must admit, not my idea. When Mrs Dad U was organizing our pool installation, she took advantage of the fact that I was 9,000* miles away, and ordered the biggest slide in the store. It sat under a tree silently intimidating me with its blue hugeness for at least a year before I had formulated a strategy for getting the platform built. In the end, the key was employing an important principle: ALLOW FOR ERROR.
In the case of the pool slide, the major issue was the fact that it was 14 ft long and 7 ft high, which made it just inconvenient enough to foil an accurate prediction of where the attachment point to the platform would be (when taking my limited construction skill set into consideration). So I went for a base that had 3 posts dug and cemented in outside of the existing deck. The posts were cross-braced for stability, and cut to a height so that a "sub-joist" triangle could be placed/attached to the top, and bolted together for indestructibility. A joist/board deck in the shape of a large baseball "home-plate pentagon" was built on top of the triangle, and left free to slide forward into the correct position to accommodate the slide. Once that was achieved, the deck was screwed down onto the triangle. The ladder was probably the hardest part to build, and involved a lot of chiseling to make the grooves to hold the steps. A standard deck railing was added, and plumbing to run water from the pool pump lines for wetting. After opening for business, we realized that the end of the slide did not quite reach far enough to allow the water to drip back into the pool, so a small platform was added under the end. This solved most of the water recycling issue, and added a noticeable "ski-jump" effect, launching the kids just that little bit further into the center of the pool.
The slide gets a huge amount of use and is a big hit with visiting friends. The kids discovered that its even faster when its raining, so we have a fight on our hands to keep them inside when the clouds burst in Summer. After rigorous product testing Dad U advises against sliding head first on your back, or feet first on your tummy.
-half way through the Dad50 list
*Google Maps are not particularly helpful for calculating such distances. Everyone's a comedian.