Who doesn’t love a DIY? Well actually a lot of people, oops for them, but personally I love to! Ever since I was old enough to hold tools my dad (who is very handy) used to let me assist him on projects around the house. I just love getting my hands dirty.
I have been obsessed with all things monochrome and Scandi in my newly build home so I’ve been on the look out for the perfect slide for our toy room. What do you do when you don’t want to spend $500 plus crazy shipping to get one you’ve fallen in love with on Instagram? Why you spend 3 weeks and about $1000 making it yourself!! Ok so that’s not entirely true but I can definitely say that when I finally finished my DIY slide and the kids made it safely down, I had a huge sense of pride and accomplishment.
Half the job is having the right tools and thanks to Ryobi I was in good hands. Their ONE+ range is so awesome and the best part is I was able to use the same rechargeable battery pack across all the tools. My husband even bought a hedge trimmer last week and was able to use my battery packs for that too. Yes, I said ‘MY’ because they’re mine! ALL MINE!
I had no formal plans to go by in making this slide, so wrapping my head around how it would work and drawing up the plans took a while, then I had to get the wood I needed and a lot of ‘winging it’, as well as several Bunnings runs were involved. I opted for MDF boards I had bought to use as a table for Ambrosia’s 2nd Birthday party and a whole bunch of scrap hardwood that has been lying around the side of my house since our build and garden bed was built. *It is really important when working with MDF that you wear a mask. You do not want to be inhaling the sawdust from that.
I started measuring everything up and then quadruple checking everything because once you cut it it’s gone. Once the parts were cut out I used the clamps that came with the folding table to clamp my wood to the table. This allows all your pieces to be supported and you can have your hands free to support the tool you are using. The clamps are so easy to use, you just pump to tighten and then a simple click releases the grip.
The folding work table I chose was an easy choice, as I prefer to be able to fold things away for storage in our garage and allow it to be used for its intended purpose of parking our cars. This table was so sturdy and the perfect height to work on, as well as the added bonus of coming with clamps that pack away neatly into the body of the table and a shelf for me to be able to sit things away when I’m not using them without having to constantly walk away from the bench to retrieve a different sizes drill bit or screw driver. It only takes 30 seconds to set up and hold a whopping 180kgs.
Once measured I used my 18V ONE+ 2.5AH Drill Driver Kit to drill some holes in areas I needed to turn the blade. It’s sometimes tricky to go around corners with a jigsaw blade, so I drilled some holes to make it easier. The hole allows some freedom of movement. I made sure I used the smallest blade in the set and the largest drill bit I had available and they were a perfect fit. My favourite part about this drill was the keyless chuck making it super easy to transfer between drill bits. I was even able to do it with one hand. Winning.
I’ve always been a little intimidated by a jigsaw, not sure if it was the sound or speed that made me nervous but after using the 18V ONE+ Jigsaw I was able to adjust the speed and start super slow until I gained confidence. A simple roll of my thumb increased or decreased the speed. It came with 3 different blades and had adjustable settings which allow you to choose with a quick flick between thick or thing wood or steel. The fact that it was completely cordless also helped in being confident to manoeuvre around without having to worry about a cord.
Once all my MDF was cut I needed to cut the thicker plank of hardwood I was going to be using as support. The MDF was only 10mm thick and not only would it not support the weight of a child, but it would split if I tried to screw into the side of it. Attaching the thicker pieces of wood to the under side was a good solution and made it easier to assemble. To cut this wood I used a Mitre Saw . I have been wanting one of these for at least 5 years now and I’m so happy with this one. It has a clamp attached to help hold down longer planks, again leaving you to work the machine with two hands, a dust bag so all the saw dust is neatly collected out the back and a safety shield which automatically covers the spinning blade after you have let go of the handle. BUT my favourite feature, boy was I excited when I saw this, was the exact line TM laser technology! This means no more squatting and squinting and pulling the blade down to check if your wood is right on the millimetre, there is a beautiful red line across your wood and you know every line will be perfect.
Now all my pieces were cut. I headed to Bunnings one more time for some Hard as Nails and Gap Filler to assemble and fill in the areas that weren’t completely touching. As well as needing longer screws for assembly and of course paint.
After pre-drilling holes into one side and screwing it all together I added some more glue and let it sit overnight before flipping over and screwing on the other side.I then added the gap filler and once that dried I sanding it all back smooth and gave the whole thing a light sand so that the undercoat would stick.
I chose to use spray cans as I thought I would be easier to get a smooth finish. I gave it two undercoats, with a light sand and wipe down in-between. The square sanding block helped get into the corners I had used the gap filler in and lastly the Dulux dura max in high gloss to finish it. This dries in an hour but I chose to let it dry over night between coats anyway. Always remember when using spray paint to wear a mask and work in a well ventilated area. Don’t forget to use drop sheets and consider what might get some spray back if there is any wind. Last thing you want is something valuable (your partners car) to be damaged. *note: i ended up using 3 cans of each.
All done! The kids love it and I think its gorgeous. Hope you give it a go and if you have any constructive criticism or feedback please comment and let me know. If you’d like any further product information please head to the Ryobi Australia website and check out their range. www.ryobi.com.au
Here are some videos of my kids who have clearly mastered the slide already. Glad they love it. I think I’d have cried if they didn’t.
Thanks for reading. Love you all – Zoe xoxo