Wobbly play structure deck? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-19-2017, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Wobbly play structure deck?

Hi All!

I'm a new member and this is my first post. I've been lurking around here and there for a while. I'm fairly new to building things that didn't come in a kit, but I've gotten a lot of fine advice from reading here so thank you for that! I'm a single mom and don't really have any handy folks around to ask for advice.

I have a problem I hope someone can help me solve. I'm building a play structure for my kids. I have the main platform/deck built, loosely following the play house deck plans here (although I'm going to roof the whole deck rather than build a playhouse on it): http://www.ana-white.com/2010/05/furnture-plans-playhouse-deck.html.

I built mine 5 1/2 feet tall instead of 4, using 10 foot 4x4 posts, but that's the only major change I made from the plans linked above, other than I've used 2x4 decking instead of 2x6 because it was so much cheaper even having to buy more of them. But there is a little bit of a wobble to the whole thing when I walk on it. The posts and the deck are level - believe me, it took me 3 weekends and HOURS of digging to get there. I did add the diagonal supports in all 8 corners, but this is my first time doing bevel cuts on my miter saw, and I feel like some of them aren't sitting 100% flush with the wood. Do you think cutting new corner supports would do the trick? Should I add some "knee" braces instead (or in addition to)? Is there a better idea? I've been looking online for some kind of metal hardware piece I could use because I'm not trusting my diagonal braces, but I am lost as to what I would use. I don't mind spending some money if there is a sure and easy bracket or brace I can buy.

My daughter is really eager for me to install the monkey bar addition to the platform, but I want to get it nice and sturdy before I add them on. I really want to show her that girls can do anything, so this thing needs to be perfect! I've attached a picture of the structure before I put in the deck boards. Don't mind the odd paint job. I decided halfway through painting the boards that I was tired of painting and I could just prime and paint the darn thing after I have it put together!
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-19-2017, 02:45 PM
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are the 4x4 posts set into the ground? if not those corner braces are not enough to provide anti-racking stability. you will need 45 degree corner braces on each corner. going 2x4 on the floor joists did not improve the situation. but may be adequate for youth sized occupants. I am guessing you are getting side to side wobble without the braces, and up and down wobble from the 2x4's.


the floor could be strengthened by adding additional joists in between the existing. I would put no less than 3/4" ply on the floor. or 2x6 deck boards would stiffen it up.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-19-2017, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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The 4x4 posts aren't set into the ground. We are only in this house for another year and a half, and I need to be able to take the play structure down and move it when we move houses. The joists are 2x6s. Can you provide an example of the 45 degree corner braces that I'd need?

The floor is now 2x4 deck boards. I could certainly add more joists though. They are currently every 18ish inches. Should I add one in between each? Thanks!
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-20-2017, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellduller View Post
The 4x4 posts aren't set into the ground. We are only in this house for another year and a half, and I need to be able to take the play structure down and move it when we move houses. The joists are 2x6s. Can you provide an example of the 45 degree corner braces that I'd need?

The floor is now 2x4 deck boards. I could certainly add more joists though. They are currently every 18ish inches. Should I add one in between each? Thanks!
sorry, I misinterpreted your initial post. you didn't mention which direction the wobbly is. the corner braces could be say appx 16-18" long and have a 45 degree cut on both ends. they would connect on one end to the 4x4 post, and the other end to the floor joist. you need 2 in each corner. if you hold a 2x4 up to the area, you will see that you can orient that board flat (3 1/2" face upward) or vertical (1 1/2" edge upward). most are oriented vertical.


the angle braces you installed looked to be horizontal installation, these would be vertical. hope this makes sense.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-20-2017, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much! Your explanation is very helpful - I can picture just what I need to do.
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