How to build a raised play fort
Familiarize yourself with the plans and refer to them as need be. The 'step-by-step' pictures on the previous page give a quick pictorial walk through the construction process.
Step 1. Making the front wall
Make the front frame up on a flat surface.
Refer to the 'Front and rear wall-frame plans' for all dimensions.
Pack the frame up off the ground (on blocks) so that your hand will be able to fit underneath the frame to put washers and nuts on the bolts, once they are in.
Hold all the framing pieces together with clamps, and then drill and bolt at every crossing. Refer to the Front and rear wall-frame plans for hole placement.
The two roof rafters can be further secured to each other by placing a piece of galvanized strap over the apex and nailing it to the top of both rafters.
Next, add the climbing wall
Lay (centralize) the uncut plywood sheet on the frame. The top of the sheet should be flush (even, line up) with the top of the collar tie. It is easier to cut the openings etc. after the plywood sheet has been fixed to the frame.
First screw the sheet to the rails and rafters with 50mm screws approx 200mm apart (as shown in photo). Then drill and bolt the perimeter of the sheet to the rails and rafters, approx 50mm (2") in from the edge of the sheet (as marked with the x in the photo)
Mark and cut the sheet. Cut off the top corners of the sheet flush with the rafters. Use the front elevation plan for reference when cutting out the door and climbing holes.
The placement of the climbing holes (approx 120mm (5") diameter) and the door shape, angle and size - approximately 750m x 500mm (30" x 20") can be of your own choice. It is a good idea to make the door on an angle (about 7 degrees). Gravity will ensure the door will then always swing open, rather than swing shut and therefore avoid the possibility of jamming little fingers.
Save the piece cut out of the door hole, as this will become the door.
Ensure that the frame members are parallel and square.