Estimated Cost: $$$$
Total: 7 Hours
This project plan contains instructions for building a deluxe sandbox that features a separate step-up platform, a large rectangle for sand play, a ramp, built-in toy storage, and a lid that triples as a bench backrest and as sun protection.
The construction is simple, with frames, cladding, and hinges as the main operations.
Tackle this project if you'd like a fun outdoor play area that can be closed up and protected when not in use.
Begin by creating three sides of a rectangle from Part (A) and two Parts (B). Use a carpenter square to maintain 90° and secure with two 2 ½" screws per joint.
Add Parts (C), (D), and (E) to the long side as shown.
Then, lay two Parts (M) under the frame to offset it and face the frame with Parts (F) - (K) using 1 ⅝" screws.
Clamp as needed and work your way around the frame, connecting the edges first and then securing to the frame.
Flip over assembly. Lay in the flooring boards Part (M) and Part (L) using ¼" spacers. Then, pencil-mark a screw guide so the 1 ⅝" screws connect the frame underneath.
Finish securing all of the flooring boards at either end and in the middle.
To make the sandbox rectangle, secure the ends of Parts (N) and (O) with 1 ⅝" screws using a square to maintain 90° and clamps as needed.
Drop in a Part (P) at the four corners.
Secure with 1 ⅝" screws.
Now you can add the second layer on top of the frame. First secure the edges together with 1 ⅝" screws.
Then attach the top layer to the 2x4 corner pieces – Parts (P) – with 1 ⅝" screws.
Work your way around the perimeter.
Lay in Parts (Q) and (R) as shown on page 9. Use a carpenter square to ensure they are perpendicular to each other and to the outer walls.
Secure them together with 1 ⅝" screws.
Drop in two more Parts (P) and secure the ends of the L-shape to these pieces with 1⅝" screws. Then attach Parts (P) to the outer walls.
Add a third Part (P) to the corner of the storage box.
Secure the second layer in the same manner as was used for the outer walls. Use 1 ⅝" screws.
Finally, lay Parts (T) and (S) on top of Parts (P) as shown. Secure these from the outside of Parts (Q) and (R) with three 1 ⅝" screws per wall. These will provide a lip for the storage lid to rest on.
Begin the bench seat structure by attaching a Part (U) to a Part (V) at either end, ensuring that it is square and flush with the top edge of Part (V). Use 1 ⅝" screws.
Then, do a similar operation with Parts (U) and (W).
Drop in this assembly to the sandbox rectangle and place it so that Part (W) is 18 ⅞" from the front of the back wall. Secure it to the outside walls with 1 ⅝" screws.
Drop in the first assembly to the back so that Part (V) is 3 ⅞" from the front of the back wall. Secure it in the same manner as in the previous step.
On a work surface, attach three Parts (X) to a Part (V) so they are evenly spaced and the outside parts are square and flush with the edges of Part (V). Use two 2 ½" screws per joint.
Place this assembly on top of the two you just installed and use a mallet if needed as it may be a snug fit.
Attach the left and right side of the frame from the outside walls using 1 ⅝" screws.
Place a second layer – Part (Y) – on top of Part (W) and secure it to the frame assembly.
Now you can lay the seat slats by securing three Parts (M) on top of the frame with ¼" spacers. Begin at the front of the seat and maintain flush with the front edge. Use two 1 ⅝" screws per joint.
To create a lip for the sandbox lid, attach Parts (Z) - (EE) inside the perimeter of the outer walls so they are ⅞" inset from the top of the walls. Use 2" screws.
Work your way around the entire inside of the sandbox area.
Use clamps as needed.
To create the lid/backrest, lay out nine Parts (GG) on a work surface with ¼" spacers and place three Parts (FF) on top as battens. There should be a handle cutout on the top in the middle and on the sides. Use 1 ¼" screws.
Ensure all edges are flush and that the assembly maintains 90°. Use two screws per board. The first and third Parts (FF) are located 5" from the edges of Parts (GG), and the second is placed 25" below the top one
You can adjust this middle board to whatever is a comfortable lifting height.
Secure two 5 ¾" handles with provided hardware onto the middle batten so that they are 6" in from the left and right side. Center them within the width of Part (FF).
Test that the lid lays flat on top of the lip, and then test that it slides behind the bench seat to form the backrest/shade. Use the handles and cutouts to assist in lifting.
Assemble the lid upside down within the storage box cavity for a sure fit. Place two 2" hinges at the back, three Parts (II) and two Parts (HH) with the handle at the top as shown. Secure with two 1 ⅝" screws per joint.
Flip the lid over and secure evenly spaced hinges to the frame.
Test that the lid opens smoothly and lays flat when closed.
Lay the lid/backrest onto the lip, then close the storage lid.
Now you have the cavity that will hold the ramp when not in use. Create a frame with Parts (JJ) - (LL) as shown using 2" screws, and then clamp this assembly so it is flush with the existing 2x4 lip.
Clamp two Parts (MM) – the ones with the handle cutouts – to the assembly at either end. Ensure they continue the line of the boards next to them on the lid.
Remove the assembly and place facedown on a work surface. Secure the top and bottom parts to the frame with 1 ⅝" screws. Use clamps as needed.
Then, insert the remaining Parts (MM) evenly spaced and secure the frame to these with two 1 ⅝" screws per joint.
The assembly can now be used as a ramp or as a lid when the sandbox is not in use.
Ease any sharp edges using a radial sander or sanding block with medium grit. Apply preferred finish to the wood. Add twelve to fourteen (50lb) bags of play sand and desired toys.