Pallet Playhouse, BIG PROJECT

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  #1  
Old 05-30-14, 11:59 PM
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Pallet Playhouse, BIG PROJECT

Hey there, so i am on a mission and i could use some help here. I am looking into creating a playhouse for my two younger brothers. They are 6 and 3 yrs old. I have been looking into getting them a good playhouse as they have successfully grown out of their old plastic one. I've sold it, so now i really need to build them a new one and fast. I have been looking at plans, building with pallets being the cheapest and most feasible, i'm thinking that i can have a modest foundation made out of blocks and compacted sand, and then lay some waterproof tarp over it, under the pallets, in order to reduce the possibility of the pallets rotting from water. I am able to draw my own plans reasonably well, so by cheating off of others pallet shed plans and what not i have been able to come up with a general idea of what i want. It can't be taller than six feet in order to avoid the HOA rules. Also it looks like we'll be moving in a few years, so i am constructing it in sections that could be taken apart and put on a different foundation at a new location. I am thinking that i want to buy the pallets instead of rescuing them, so that i can ensure they're good quality ones. I want to have a structurally sound playhouse, so should i use 90 degree metal "support joints" (no idea what they're called just know i used them when installing a roof on a friends car port) to give it extra support? I want to connect the sections with 180 degree joints instead of 2x4's. Nothing against 2x4's just prefer it to be a little classier and not look like a 10 year old built it. I am going to have the walls made up of pallets standing up on their sides, with fences post's inside of them in order to give them extra support in the corners and in the middle, and then have the posts sticking up above the top of the pallets for the roof, which is plywood covered with metal roofing or traditional roof tiles (the black "asphalt" ones). Any tips or things that i should do in order to make sure that it won't one day fall down on their heads? I have some basic experience in construction, built some decks, turned a garage into a master suite, just not anything like this where i didn't hold it up with zip ties and a dozen nails. Any thoughts, idea's, question's, or alternatives are more then welcome! Thanks and have a blessed day!

I will post a scan of the plans soon as i have them done.
 
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Old 05-31-14, 09:50 AM
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Welcome. We're always glad to help but before you go further buy some paragraphs. Some will slog through a post without paragraphs but other will just give up and move on.
 
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Old 05-31-14, 12:07 PM
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Just my opinion but this craze about pallet furniture and pallet play ground I think is a bit crazy. Although the play house has some merit. My problem with it is the safety factor involved. Pallets by nature are rough cut wood meant to be abused to carry product from factory to store.

I would hate to see some kid get a nasty sliver or cut (especially from hidden staples or nails) from poorly prepared wood members. Yes, I know there are some very good pallets but they cost and at that point you may as well buy lumber to build what you want from dimensionally good wood. Not to mention the need to take some of those apart and re-work them. I would rethink your plans about using pallets and the liability if friends are going to play with your brothers.

And as far as furniture made from pallets, well...it looks like they were made from pallets no matter what you do to them!
 
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Old 05-31-14, 02:35 PM
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Pallets

I am with Norm on this one. Not a good idea.
 
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Old 05-31-14, 03:15 PM
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Assuming you don't buy or steel new pallets you are left with discards that are no longer usable so there will be a lot of unusable wood and a lot of labor to get to what is usable. You will find a lot of the boards split on the ends from crude attempts to repair them. If you buy new pallets you are not going to save much and add a bunch of labor to get them apart. As I use to tell prospective customers that would point at a pile of old weather beaten used lumber in the back of their yard and ask how much of a discount if I used their lumber, "Sorry no discount but there will be a 50% surcharge for using the used lumber".

A couple of things to consider: How high do you want the ceiling of the play house. Nothing on a pallet more then 4ft most less. What will you use to frame out the play house? No 2x4s in your usual pallets. Are you going to use the skids the surface is nailed to? Lots of complications there and lots of pallets needed to provide enough skids for framing since for any height over 4' for the play house you are going to need at least 1 skids for each stud and rafter..
 
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Old 05-31-14, 03:56 PM
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I continually have more pallets coming into my business than go out so getting rid of them is always a problem. Over the years many have gotten them with grand projects in mind. So far I don't know of anyone that has followed through. Wait, there was one. She just stood them on end and painted them crazy colors and called it a fence.

I think most people don't understand that pallets are made from rough sawn wood with a rough surface and lots of splinter potential. Then there is their assembly. Most are held together with glue coated stapes or nails or spiral or ring shank nails that really resist being removed. The simple task of disassembling a pallet into small useful pieces seems to stop most pallet crafters in their tracks.

So far the best use I've found for used pallets is firewood. I have a bonfire pit made specially for the purpose and their oak & yellow pine burn beutifully making the best bed of coals for marshmallows and hot dogs.
 
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Old 05-31-14, 06:20 PM
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You're right about pallets making great kindling and fire wood. But even then work involved to break them apart is questionable for the return end product.

Using a circular saw makes quick wortk of it. But God help you if you hit one of those nails or staples. Does a number on the blades.
 
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Old 05-31-14, 07:30 PM
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@ray2047 i will try to use paragraphs more often sorry. Been awhile since i've been on a forum so my manners are probably not the best. Also are the skids the metal joint thingy's? What i'm planning on is for the pallets to be joined together to sort of form a square that relies on the other side to stand up. then when i add the metal joints (skids?) to the inside corners of the play house it will ensure that the walls won't give out unless there is a pallet the breaks in the middle.

As far as the pallets being dangerous to kids, i'm planning on buying four-way, (heavy load), pallets to give the walls some sturdiness and then having the floor covered with plywood. Maybe some sort of polyurethane surface coating or some outdoor carpet would help to reduce the splinters for the young feet. I do know that no matter if you use regular wood or if you use rough cut wood, splinters are gonna be a present danger. I can't really help the walls being that way, but i don't think that they're gonna be walking on those too much though.

Some interesting sites:
The Pallet Playhouse
-What i'd like it to look like
How We Built Our Pallet Playhouse
-What i'd hate for it to look like
 
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Old 06-01-14, 04:55 AM
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So, what is your question? Are you asking what the metal corner brackets are called?



 
  #10  
Old 06-08-14, 10:05 PM
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yes. but i'm mainly gonna use the top one.
 
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