Overview

overview of how to build a sandbox
Illustration: Carl Wiens
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Overview

This sandbox is a basic rectangle of 4x4 timbers stacked three high and set just below grade into the ground. The timbers sit end-to-side at the corners, and the arrangement is alternated at each corner to create a lapped pattern—a stronger seam for the large pieces. The three layers tie together with long, self-tapping timber screws.

The box has a lining of landscape fabric—cleverly held in place between the second and third course of timbers—which keeps weeds from growing up through the sand from the ground. The sand itself is play sand or natural sand, an extremely fine sand that has been sifted to be free of large or jagged particles.
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    Tools List

    • square shovel
      Spade and Shovel
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • speed square
      Speed square
    • framing square
      Framing square
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • mallet
      Rubber mallet or sledge
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • drill
      Heavy duty drill/driver or impact driver fitted with 1/4-inch nut driver bit

    Shopping List

    1. 4x4 CEDAR TIMBERS
    to make up the sides of the sandbox

    2. SCRAP 2x4
    to hold the timbers square while you fasten them down

    3. 3-INCH DECKING SCREWS

    4. 6-INCH SELF-TAPPING TIMBER SCREWS

    5. LANDSCAPE FABRIC
    to line the box and keep weeds from growing up through the sand

    6. PLAY SAND
    aka natural sand

    7. TARP
    large enough to cover the completed sandbox

    8. VELCRO TAPE
    to hold the tarp down