Building a sandbox
I wanted to build a sandbox for the kids to play with on the patio. Kurt quite liked playing with a "sandbox" that just consisted of a plastic tub at Rachel's parents, so I figured anything bigger than that would be ok. I settled on 60x90 cm, because all four sides for that could be cut from a single 10' (3m) piece of 2x6.
I cut the pieces to length on the table saw, as always. I don't have a miter saw. You pretty much need to dedicate a whole wall to such a saw to use it effectively, and I would rather not.
For the joints shown here, I cut the slot wider on one side so I could easily get in there with the bandsaw to cut out the bottom.
The ends of the joints will protrude a bit (that's easier than getting it exactly flush), and I bevelled all the ends on the belt sander...
... except for the inside corners, which I sanded on the strip sander.
I could have used a knife for these too, but with the strip sander next to the belt sander, it was easiest to just move over to that one.
Test fitting the box together. My initial thought had been to just make the sides of the box out of one 2x6, so it would be 5.5" or 14 cm deep, but then I decided to add another 2x4 below that to bring the depth up to 9" or 23 cm.
I wanted to use screws to join the side pieces next to each other. Glue is usually a bad idea for things that get wet periodically. But the longest deck screws I find were 3.5" long.
I wasn't originally planning to make a lid for this box, but everybody warned me about stray cats pooping into sandboxes. I haven't seen any cats wandering in our yard so far, but I figured I'd make a lid just to be safe.
I started by making a frame out of 1" thick cedar.
Then bending it across the score line. At first, it's hard to see how this will break it because it only bends slightly more on the score line than everywhere else, but enough so that it yields more on the score line, and by the second back and forth, the score line forms a sharp corner. a few more bends and it breaks on the line.
But folding the ends down over the frame got real inelegant and the result didn't come out as nice as I had imagined. A proper metal brake would be nice, though with the corrugated metal, even a brake might make a mess of it.
But I decided that it was "good enough". There are still some exposed edges, but I sanded them all so they don't cut, and realistically, this thing doesn't have any sharper edges than other things the kids already play with.
I put a piece of polyethylene foil in the bottom before we dumped the sand in. This will keep the sand from going through gaps between the boards and will also help to keep the floor of the box dry.
The kids were very enthusiastic about playing with this sand box. And the way it's sized and off the ground, its easiest to play with while standing next to it as opposed to sitting in it. I'm hoping that this will make for less sand getting into the house.
Tippe top the self-inverting spinning top
More toy projects on my woodworking website