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Project by DaleM posted 05-12-2009 04:37 AM 2616 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is something I built late last summer for my kids. It’s all pressure treated pine. I cut notches in all the boards so they go together like lincoln logs, or actually more like the little popsicle stick type playsets if you’ve ever seen those. The full-length pieces are about 7.5 feet long and then there are shorter pieces to use for the windows and door. I cut some slanted pieces for the roof and all the really short connector pieces to give the areas around the door and windows more stability. For the roof, I just rabbited one edge of each board on the router. The first roof piece at the bottom catches on a nub I left sticking up on the end of the slanted piece, then the rest of them just overlap, on up to the top board. In the last picture, you can see the two pieces I have going from front to back for stability so it doesn’t spread apart and allow the roof boards to fall. My two oldest kids are 10 and 8 years old and they can easily disassemble this and reassemble it in about an hour as long as I help with the roof. They can change the height of the windows, or leave them out altogether, or build it higher, as I made extra full-length pieces too. There are no fasteners, yet it held up easily to the lake effect snow here this winter even though two of my neighbor’s garage roofs both went down in the last couple years. It was a fun project, although a little repetitive.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

8 comments so far

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3461 days

#1 posted 05-12-2009 04:40 AM

Cool idea, the kids must have a ball.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View robbinscabin's profile


313 posts in 3485 days

#2 posted 05-12-2009 04:49 AM

That is SOOO super cool! It’s a novel idea that I never would’ve imagined…but I may pilfer. LOL. Great Job!

-- Robbinscabin,

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3318 days

#3 posted 05-12-2009 05:33 AM

I was looking at a book that described kits. I had the same thought, that it might get really tedious making the same cuts over and over. The end result sure looks cool though!

I’m sure the kids are loving it.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#4 posted 05-12-2009 05:35 AM

great job

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3380 days

#5 posted 05-12-2009 05:38 AM

Durnik, I saw something like this sold as a kit too, after I had the idea that I could possibly make a little money selling them. I guess there really isn’t much a person can make that hasn’t been made before.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View DocSavage45's profile


8549 posts in 2839 days

#6 posted 07-24-2011 05:49 PM

Great minds think alike. :) Custom play houses are things people with money or time and want to give their kids something. How sturdy is it w/the interlocking slots? Saw your cage so you understand what people will do for their pets? Maybe with some finish you might have a market for your idea?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3380 days

#7 posted 07-24-2011 11:48 PM

Thanks for the comments Doc. I don’t know if you go by DocSavage45 or Thomas? I cut the slots just barely over 3/4 inch so it all fits fairly snug and holds together well. Since I do work for someone else full time now building furniture, I think I’ll just stick to building things in my spare time for fun. Mostly anyway. I do have a couple of signs lined up that I will get paid for. I’m looking forward to seeing some projects from you when you finally get the time. My old house keeps me busy too so I understand.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View DocSavage45's profile


8549 posts in 2839 days

#8 posted 07-25-2011 01:56 AM

I have waaaaaaay tooooo many projects to complete that are functional. My porch is enclosed with windows. Turns out window dimensions differ. Have to replace and rebuild as the cost of new might be way outta sight. LOL
I offered to do what you have lucked into (?) but always got similar replies. So I srtarted on my own just about the time when people lost therir discretionary incom and struggle to keep a house. Went back to work as psychologist private practice 3 days a week.

So Doc and Savage go together 45 the year I was born. Use it for my woodworking avatar. Thomas or Tom is what my legal name, and work name is. I really do have quite a few pieces lying around with the heart design, Don’t go over well here. Have a few requests for small furniture pieces. Shop has some maintenace issues I am working on, just finished rebuilding a relativly new door jamb as it wicked water.

Hoping to make furniture this winter. :)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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