Overview

overview of a race-car shaped sandbox family project
Illustration: Carl Wiens
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The sandbox car has four sides and a seat all built from 2x12s. The ½x6 decking forms the dashboard and the hood, which opens to reveal storage. Inside the box, landscape fabric lines the bottom and sides to keep weeds from growing up through the sand. The sand used to fill the box is a special debris-free, soft sand sold as "play sand."

The best way to build this box is to assemble it in a workspace, such as your garage, then move it to a level spot outside. Before you even cut the wood, you’ll need to support the big pieces on blocks or sawhorses. And since the large 2x12s used for this project are so thick, you’ll need to drill pilot holes anywhere you will be screwing parts together. You’ll also need to clamp plywood pieces to a worktable before cutting them. Make sure the piece you’re cutting off can fall freely.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • speed square
      Triangular layout square
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw with coarse, wood-cutting blade
    • bar clamps
      4-foot bar clamps
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with 1/8-inch bit
    • safety glasses
      Safety glasses
    • paintbrush
      Paintbrushes
    • square shovel
      Shovel
    • Thatch-rake
      Steel rake
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • utility scissors
      Utility scissors
    • staple gun
      Staple gun
    • pencil compass
      Compass

    Shopping List

    1. Four 8-foot pressure-treated 2x12s

    2. Two 8-foot pressure-treated ½x6 decking boards

    3. One 6-foot pressure-treated 2x4

    4. 2 square feet of ½-inch pressure-treated plywood

    5. Steering-wheel cover

    6. 3-inch deck screws

    7. ¼x1-inch zinc fender washer8. Two drawer handles

    9. Two sets of 2½-inch stainless-steel butt hinges

    10. Latex exterior stain

    11. Latex exterior paint

    12. Landscape fabric

    13. 20 bags of play sand