How to protect a cedar swing set on grass.

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Old 11-21-14, 04:35 PM
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How to protect a cedar swing set on grass.

Anyone know the best way to protect a cedar swing/play set that will sit on grass? I'm in Southern California so it hardly rains. However, my sprinklers do run every 3 days and I think the wood will rot eventually. Also, the weed wacker is going to rip it to shreds. What should I treat the wood with before I assemble it? Can I glue a "Terrace Board Landscape Edging" plastic to the bottom to stop the weed wacker damage? How will I reapply the solvent to the bottom once it's built? I would prefer not to use any kind of mulch, sand or rubber, etc... Any ideas would be great!
 
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Old 11-21-14, 09:13 PM
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Why would you not treat the whole thing with a transparent oil based stain before you assemble it?
Without getting creative with some sort of base for it having to mow and weed whack around it's going to get old quick.
A simple pressure treated 4 X 4 border back filled with stone so it will drain would work.
Nothing glued to it is going to stay stuck for long.
 
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Old 11-21-14, 09:59 PM
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Not an expert on swing sets but don't they have to be anchored? If it's just setting on the grass what will keep it from tipping over when the kids swing? What will keep it from sinking into wet ground?
 
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Old 11-22-14, 03:52 AM
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I'd apply a good deck stain to the swing. If you don't want to change the look much use a cedar toner or translucent stain. As Ray asked - how will the swing be anchored to the ground?
 
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Old 11-22-14, 08:13 AM
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I'm thinking small diameter Sonotube filled with concrete and a Simpson angle tie at each leg. That will keep it in place, raise it a bit above the wet ground, maybe 1"-2", and protect from string trimmers. Sonotube stripped off and concrete painted green to blend in.
 
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Old 11-22-14, 09:18 AM
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A simple pressure treated 4 X 4 border back filled with stone so it will drain would work.
Dont sound safe for when the kids fall...
 
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Old 11-22-14, 12:56 PM
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Oh please? Have we grown that paranoid? Who grew up with a home swingset anchored in the ground except for the metal ones at playgrounds and schools?

Use some copper green ( maybe not available in CA anymore? Though the company address on my bottle is up in Richmond CA) on the ground contact points and a quality sealer/stain on the rest.

You can also buy vinyl post covers for 6x6 and 4x4 (maybe even 4x6?). Cut a short section for the bottom 6" or so of the legs.
 
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Old 11-24-14, 10:02 AM
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Thank you for your responses! Sorry, I should have been way more descriptive. It's actually a play set + swing. Please see the following link. I really don't want to fill the area with anything for many reasons. I have gardeners that do the mowing so it's not going to be pain for me. Just wondering the best way to protect it on grass. It says I need to reapply a sealant once a year. Will that protect it sitting on wet grass? How would I even get to the bottom to seal it once its built? Will the sealant soak through the wood to get to the bottom? I'm not experienced in these things. This is going to be a huge construction project for me Just want to make it last as long as possible.
Mason Wooden Swing Set – Backyard Discovery
 
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Old 11-24-14, 11:02 AM
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This is for your kids/family as opposed to a daycare business or such? I ask simply because it's been my experience you'll be looking for a way to get rid of it long before it rots if it's just for your family.
 
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Old 11-24-14, 11:13 AM
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Just for family... We are guessing about 5 years of use.
 
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Old 11-24-14, 11:24 AM
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I'ts not going to even come close to rotting in that time.

Seal the ends with the same sealer you use everywhere else and this thing will outlive its usefulness to you.
 
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Old 11-24-14, 11:32 AM
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Any recommendations on a sealer to use? The manual just says any "water or oil based stain".
 
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Old 11-24-14, 01:36 PM
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Clear sealers like Thompson's WaterSeal have a short life [often 6 months or less ] A quality deck stain should last several yrs although a lot depends on the type of exposure to the elements it gets.

Generally it's best to check locally to find out which brands/types of stains hold up the best in your climate. I used to be big believer in oil base stains and while they fair well here in tenn, when I lived in fla the oil base stains wouldn't last no time under the intense fla sun.
 
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Old 11-24-14, 01:50 PM
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Tons of sun here in SoCal too. What about a weed eater damaging the wood? Any thoughts on that or will it also survive ~5 years?
 
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Old 11-24-14, 01:57 PM
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The more intense the hit with the weed whacker, the more it will damage the wood and stain ..... but you could restain the bottoms every so often if needed.
 
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Old 11-24-14, 02:06 PM
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Like I said...PVC post covers. Sun? Sun? I'm in AZ...I know sun! 5 yr old pergola with no real treatment, except cut ends...still doing fine. It shrunk and I had to tighten the bolts, but it will stand for 20 yrs easily.
 
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