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Play structure grows and changes as the children do.

Play structure grows and changes as the children do

A weekend's work, $110 worth of standardlumber, some paint, some rope, and a bit of hardware were all it took to make this play structure. Architect Bouje Bernkopf designed and built it for his three-year-old daughter, Karin, in his Canoga Park, California, back yard.

One of the most impressive features ofthis 8- by 8- by 16-foot structure is its flexibility; only the basic frame and two platforms are stationary--everything else is adjustable. The frame is composed of fir 2-by-4s; angled supports at the ends and 1/2-inch-thick plywood panels add stiffness and stability.

Study the drawing and photographs andyou'll see all the different activity stations: a rope ladder and a chinning bar at one end; an adjustable slide and an overhead horizontal ladder between the platforms; and a clip-on trapeze, rings, swings, climbing poles, and ropes hung from the framework.

The bottom edges wall in a 3-inch layer ofsand that forms the structure's soft floor and provides an additional play area.

Rungs made of fir closet rod lead to oneplatform; a ladder made of rope threaded through holes in angled 2-by-4 uprights climbs up to the other.

Most of the structure's joints are securedwith 4-inch machine bolts. But for more rigidity at the platform corners, 6-inch bolts run through each upright and horizontal support and into a crosspiece; predrilled holes allowed insertion of nuts and washers, which are tightened against semicircular shims. Bernkopf ripped a 1/2- by 3/4-inch rabbet along the inside edge of each upright, then screwed the plywood panels in place.

Gloss enamel paint in primary colorsbrightens the structure. A wax finish makes the slide more slippery.

Heights for all the stations are adjustable,and clip-on pieces can change and grow with Bernkopf's daughter. The whole structure can be easily disassembled.

Photo: Plywood and 2-by-4s bolt together to form play structure with a dozen changeable activity stations. Bolted crosspiece strengthens platform

Photo: Six verticalplywood panels give structure strength

Photo: Porthole framesswinging ladder bar and trapeze over slide. All hanging pieces unhook, are easy to replace with climbing rope, swing, rings. Fiberglass top keeps structure and sandbox dry

Photo: Span between platforms can be lowered atone end to form slide. Side-rail notches fit over low bar or second platform edge
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1987
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