How to Build a Covered Sandbox

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If you’re looking for a fast-and-easy, down-and-dirty backyard project for kids, this sandbox is for you! At four-foot square, this is a great sandbox for the backyard. This versatile sandbox couldn’t be easier to build, yet it will delight kids of all ages and is very inexpensive to make.

 

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Continue to Step 1

Overview

If you’re looking for a fast-and-easy, down-and-dirty backyard project for kids, this sandbox is for you. At four-foot square, it is also very inexpensive to make. Simply cut the 2 x 10s to length and then attach metal corner hardware one-and-a-half inches from the ends of the 48-inch boards. Screw the 45-inch sides to the metal corners. Cut the corner seats, and then nail them to the top of each corner with casing nails. Pre-drill the seats before nailing to avoid splitting the wood. Finally, line the bottom with landscape fabric and fill with play sand.

A half-sheet of plywood makes a functional, if not especially attractive, sandbox cover. You can add a 1 x 2 frame and a handle in the middle to dress up the top a bit if you choose. Or, you can build a protective rollout screen that functions much like a swimming pool cover to keep debris (and neighborhood cats) out of the sandbox when it is not being used, as seen here.

What You'll Need

Tools:

Circular saw
Drill/driver
Framing square
Pencil

Materials:

Sandbox Base

(2) 2 x 10" x 10-ft. pressure-treated boards
(4) 47⁄8" inside metal corners (USP AC5)
Deck screws (11⁄4, 13⁄4")
16d galv. casing nails
Landscape fabric
Play sand

Sandbox Cover:

48 x 72" fiberglass insect mesh
(1) 2 x 4" x 8-ft.
(1) 1"-dia. x 54" wood dowel
(2) 3⁄8"-dia. x 5" wood dowels
(1) 2 x 2" x 6-ft.

Key

A: Front/back
(2) PT Pine
11⁄2 x 91⁄4 x 48"

B: Sides
(2) PT Pine
11⁄2 x 91⁄4 x 45"

C: Seat
(4) PT Pine
11⁄2 x 91⁄4 x 91⁄4"

D: Cover roller
(1) Wood dowel
1 x 54"

E: Roller pins
(2) Wood dowel
3⁄8 x 5"F

Roller supports
(2) 2 x 4
11⁄2 x 31⁄2 x 14"

G: Roller cap
(1) 2 x 4
11⁄2 x 31⁄2 x 51"

H: Tack strip
(1) 2 x 2
11⁄2 x 11⁄2 x 48"

 

Step 1

Construct the Base

1. Cut the front, back, and sides to length from 2 x 10 pressure-treated stock and then join the corners with metal connectors and 11⁄4" screws. Use a framing square to make sure the corners are square.


Step 2

Construct the Seatboards

2. Cut four 91⁄4"-long pieces of 2 x 10 to make the sandbox seatboards. Mark a cutting line 11⁄2" from the corner on two adjoining sides, and then connect the ends of the cutting lines with a straightedge to make the angled cutting line. Make the angled cut with a jigsaw or handsaw if your power miter saw doesn’t have enough cutting capacity.


Step 3

Make the Cover & Install Seats

3. Make the cover. Cut a piece of insect mesh (or very light-gauge hardware cloth) to 47 x 60". Look for the type that says “Animal Resistant.” Fold a hem into one edge on the 47" side and staple it to the 1"-dia. x 54" wood dowel, centered end-to-end. Fold a hem along the opposite edge and staple it to a 48"-long 2 x 2 tack strip. Install seats.


Step 4

Install the Cover

4. Install the cover. Attach the 2 x 4 sides and cap at one end of the sandbox. The roller should be fitted into the 11⁄8" guide holes in the side supports during assembly. Drill 3⁄8" holes 1⁄2" from the ends of the roller dowel and glue 5"-long pieces of 3⁄8"-dia. doweling into the holes for roller handles.


Step 5

Finishing Touches

Paint all wood parts or coat with a protective, UV-resistant stain. Paint sprayers are a great tool for spraying and/or painting your new sandbox.


 
 

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