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How to build a sandpit with foldable cover

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Difficulty: Intermediate

Kids will love this terrific sandpit with a foldable cover and even built-in seating.

 

The benches are a perfect spot for taking a rest after a big play session, and you can conveniently close the lid when the youngsters are finished playing to keep unwanted nighttime visitors out and the sand fresh for next time.

 

This project is inspired by Sandpit with fold-out seats and solid top by @woodalwaysworks@LePallet's Sandpit with fold out lid into seats and @Gareth's Sand pit with built-in seats and cover. Many thanks again for sharing your wonderful projects with us.

Steps

Step 1

Take two of your treated Pine sleepers and cut them both to 2000mm long. Take the other two sleepers and cut them into four pieces 1100mm long. These can be conveniently pre-cut for you in-store to make transportation easier.

 

Lay the two 2000mm long sleepers out parallel to each other and place two of the 1100mm sleepers between them at the ends. Check with your tape measure that all corners are square by measuring across both diagonals, make adjustments until you get the same length. Pre-drill three holes through the longer sleepers and into the end of the shorter sleepers at each corner. Fix the structure together with your bugle screws.

 

1.1 Timber cut to length.png1.2 Laying out frame.png1.3 Checking for square.png1.4 Checking for square.png1.5 Pre-drilling frame screw holes.png1.6 Securing corners with screws.png1.7 Frame assembled.png

Step 2


Take your 2400mm decking boards and cut them all in half to 1200mm. You might also like to have these cut in-store for you. Lay out three boards starting at one edge of the frame with a spacing of 10mm between them. Using a spacer that is 10mm thick will allow you to keep the gaps consistent. Mark a line down the longer sleepers at the last board’s edge. This mark should be at 290mm from the end of the frame.

 

Take your remaining 1100mm long sleepers and insert them behind the lines so they sit directly under the last board. Screw the new sleepers into position as you did the corners of the frame. Measure between the sleepers, which should be around 185mm and cut four pieces this length from your remaining sleeper offcuts. Place the timber into the gap and screw them in position from either side with a couple of screws. You can now screw the three decking boards down at each of their ends and midpoints. Repeat this process for the other end of the frame.

 

2.1 Spacing out decking.png2.2 Marking position of mid boards.png2.3 Mid boads in postion.png2.4 measuring mid board spacing.png2.5 Marking spacer board length.png2.6 Spacer board in position.png2.7 Spacer board fixed into position.png2.8 Frame complete.png2.9 Decking fixed into postion.png2.10 Non-movable structure complete.png

Step 3


The next panels will have the same width as the first and should be 290mm wide. Transfer this measurement onto your 90 x 35mm treated Pine. Cut four lengths 290mm long from the timber. These lengths will be used to join the boards together to form the panels. Place two of these joiners parallel to each other on the ground and place a decking board at each end. Make sure the decking board grooves are facing down. Set the joiner back from the edge of the boards by slightly over 50mm. Fix a single screw at each end of the two boards into the joiner. To ensure this panel is square, place it into the frame before adding the middle board and additional screws. Measure 300mm in from the outside edge of the frame and position hinges between the two panels. Fix the hinges into place. Repeat this for the panel on the other side.

 

3.1 Measuring three board spacing.png3.2 Marking spacing on joiner.png3.3 Setting back joiner from decking ends.png3.4 Checking for square.png3.5 Decking fixed on folding section.png3.6 Measuring hinge locations.png3.7 Hinges fixed in position.png3.8 First folding panels in position.png

Step 4

Cut four lengths of the 90 x 35mm treated Pine to 620mm long. Place two of these joiners on the ground 720mm apart. Lay four pieces of decking on top of them. Make sure the decking board grooves are facing up. The timber joiner should be set back 150mm in from the edge of the decking boards. Space the boards out with a 10mm gap in between and then fix them into position with two screws at each end. Attach two hinges 300mm in from the frame's edge on the second panel you previously attached. Position the backrest panel up against the frame. You'll need a scrap piece of timber, like a spare decking board, to elevate the backrest to the correct height. Screw the hinges to the backrest. Repeat this for the other side.

 

4.1 Positioning decking on backrest panels.png4.2 Fixing decking to backrest supports.png4.3 Folded section ready for backrest to be attached.png4.4 Hinges attached.png4.5 Spacer to correct backrest height.png4.6 Fixing hinges to backrest.png4.7 Backrest in postion.png4.8 Both backrests attached.png

Step 5

It is recommended you take this opportunity to coat your sandpit to increase its lifespan. You could choose to use an exterior oil, but I have decided to use paint.

 

5.1 Painting the sandpit.png

Step 6

Once your paint or oil has dried, fold your panels closed and select a convenient location in the middle to fix your handles. Cut the excess off your handle screws to suit the 19mm thick decking board, then screw the excess into the handles. You can now use the handle to press the cut screw threads into the timber marking it. These marks will give you the exact location to drill your mounting holes.

 

To prevent little fingers from unexpectedly getting caught, install locking mechanisms to prevent the lid from being folded. Screw your adjustable toggle latches at each end of the frame behind the seat. The corresponding hook gets mounted to the bottom of the backrest. Install the padbolt onto the backrest supports which will keep the lid closed after use.

 

You've now completed your sandpit. All that's left to do is fill it with sand and let the children have fun.

 

6.1 marking holes locations for handles.png6.2 Handles fixed in place.png6.3 Seat locking mechanism in place.png6.4 Top locking mechanism in place.png6.5 Completed render.png6.6 Completed in open position.png6.7 Completed in closed postion.png

Materials

  • 4 pieces of 2.4m H4 treated Pine sleepers 200 x 50mm
  • 1 piece 4.8m H3 treated Pine structural timber 90 x 35mm
  • 12 pieces 2.4m H3 treated Pine decking 90 x 22mm
  • 8 zinc plated tee hinge 200mm
  • 2 adjustable toggle latches
  • 1 padbolt 150 x 12mm
  • 2 handles
  • 25 Bugle batten screws 14g x 125mm
  • 100 decking screws 8g x 50mm
  • Washed sand

Tools

  • Cordless drill driver
  • Circular saw or handsaw
  • 1 long series drill bit 6mm
  • 1 countersink drillbit
  • Tape measure
  • Combination square
  • Clamps

Images

1.1 Timber cut to length.png

1.2 Laying out frame.png

1.3 Checking for square.png

1.4 Checking for square.png

1.5 Pre-drilling frame screw holes.png

1.6 Securing corners with screws.png

1.7 Frame assembled.png

2.1 Spacing out decking.png

2.2 Marking position of mid boards.png

2.3 Mid boads in postion.png

2.4 measuring mid board spacing.png

2.5 Marking spacer board length.png

2.6 Spacer board in position.png

2.7 Spacer board fixed into position.png

2.8 Frame complete.png

2.9 Decking fixed into postion.png

2.10 Non-movable structure complete.png

3.1 Measuring three board spacing.png

3.2 Marking spacing on joiner.png

3.3 Setting back joiner from decking ends.png

3.4 Checking for square.png

3.5 Decking fixed on folding section.png

3.6 Measuring hinge locations.png

3.7 Hinges fixed in position.png

3.8 First folding panels in position.png

4.1 Positioning decking on backrest panels.png

4.2 Fixing decking to backrest supports.png

4.3 Folded section ready for backrest to be attached.png

4.4 Hinges attached.png

4.5 Spacer to correct backrest height.png

4.6 Fixing hinges to backrest.png

4.7 Backrest in postion.png

4.8 Both backrests attached.png

5.1 Painting the sandpit.png

6.1 marking holes locations for handles.png

6.2 Handles fixed in place.png

6.3 Seat locking mechanism in place.png

6.4 Top locking mechanism in place.png

6.5 Completed render.png

6.6 Completed in open position.png

6.7 Completed in closed postion.png

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