How to Make a Swim Platform
Adolescents and young adults who have access to ponds and swimming holes seem to love a swim platform. Whether small or large, if your platform floats and has a flat surface, it will usually be a popular hangout for people who enjoy swimming. If you would like to create a basic swim platform, here are 5 steps you can follow to build one that's inexpensive and will require no special building skills.
Step 1: Decide the Platform Size
In determining the size you want your platform to be consider the number of people wo will likely use it. Also, take into account the cost of the materials you'll need. Finally, consider the platform's stability. The larger the platform will be, the less likely it will be to flip over if overloaded with people sitting on one of its edges. For a basic platform large enough for 6 or fewer people you will need to make it about 6x6 feet.
Step 2: Prepare your Materials
For a small platform, 6x6 feet, you will need 25 lengths of 2x4s for the platform surface. If you will need to purchase these pieces, try to buy them all in 6-foot lengths to avoid waste from cutting them to the right size. Use the larger 2x6 pieces of lumber for the cross pieces. When purchasing your barrels, choose those that are air tight, so water does not enter them. Begin assembling your platform at the edge of the water into which you will place your platform.
Step 3: Build the Platform Base
Place the 2x6s on a flat surface and lying on their 2 inch edges, so they form a square with a third cross piece in the middle. Using your power drill attach the two end pieces to the three cross pieces, using treated screws that won't rust in water.
Step 4: Attach Surface Boards
To the square frame you've built, attach the 2x4s. First, lay them across the frame, so their ends are all flush with each other and are lying flat, rather than on edge. As you attach these surface boards, arrange them with a ½-inch space between them to allow for them to expand when they become wet. Then, fasten them to the cross pieces by driving in the treated screws.
Step 5: Attach Float Barrels and Outdoor Carpet
Cut your carpet to fit the platform's surface, then tack it in place with carpet tacks. From your plastic sheet cut two strips for each barrel, each 4 inches wide and 6 feet long. Attach each barrel to the platform, securing the plastic strips across the barrels and the strip ends screwed to the platform. If you want to keep the platform from drifting when it's in the water, attach an anchor to it made of a heavy metal object and connected to the platform by a rope.