Thursday, February 27, 2014

Climbing Dome Construction Adventure

Starting the Adventure

This weekend we put up the climbing dome we purchased. It was quite the learning experience, so I'm blogging about it so others who are interested in purchasing this item can make an informed decision. And hopefully avoid our mistakes. I set the camera to time stamp the pictures so I wouldn't have to write down how long things took. Looks like it took about two hours to put together. (This guide should help you shave 30 minutes off that time.) The instructions say it takes two adults to put together. I recommend four. One to figure out the directions and direct and organize, two to put together, and one to watch the children. But we did manage to put it together with just two grownups (and two kids.)

February may seem like a strange time to set up an outside toy. But by the end of the two hours, when the sun was finally breaking through the clouds, I was grateful that we did it when it was overcast. We didn't get too hot or sunburned. Really, if you have the chance to do it when it's overcast but not freezing, that is the perfect time.

Trying to be Organized
The Two-Handed Approach

We started out trying to be organized, and we stayed that way for the most part. We sorted the four different types of bars into piles and that helped. We set out in groups the first five sets of bars to put together, and that helped time wise, I think.

Principal Daddy figured out that the best way to get the bolts tight was the two handed approach. WARNING! Pay very close attention to the instructions. Some bolts should not be tightened until near the end. Otherwise you have to loosen them and....yeah.....

We did combine one step with half of the next step in order to save some screwing-unscrewing-re-screwing. We're not sure if this actually saved any time, or made it a little bit harder. We found that the instructions, while not giving any reasons, probably had some very good reasons for being the way that they are.

Once you're putting the parts together, try to pull it into a tighter circle to connect the bottoms. We really struggled with that part. Principal Daddy had to use a vise grip to hold it close enough because the bolts for the bottom give you NO room for error. WARNING! Using vise grips with nothing to protect the bars will scar some of the coating and may lead to rusting in the future.


Vise Grip Scratches

Thought we were done here....

At the end when you are attaching the hand holds, try to remember that TWO washers are used, not one. Otherwise you'll reach the end of the hand holds and wonder why you have so many washers left over. And then you'll have to re-do all of them, which will make the person who has the only hands strong enough to unscrew all of those bolts grumpy and it will take 30 minutes longer than it has to.


Last Handhold! (The second time)
But it was totally worth it! The boys love it and have played on it every day. They were a little worried at first, but now can climb it without any encouragement needed. They also like swinging on it by their arms. Maybe someday they'll be comfortable enough to hang on it by their legs!

Proof the Smile! Sundays are helping me be in front of the camera.

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