Find out, in his own words how Customer Service Team Leader Matthew Bird found an alternative use for an old tyre and Protec's Proscaff, protective scaffold sheeting, building the perfect sandpit for his young son.
My wife and I had been discussing purchasing a sandpit for our son for a number of months as part of his third birthday present. Having looked around at the Sandpits that were available online and in store at a number of retail outlets we were disappointed at the size, quality (generally plastic and/or a bit flimsy) and price. It was only after a visit to a petting farm that we noticed that the farmer had used an old tractor tyre to create a sandpit in the children’s play area and we were really impressed with the idea. We liked the idea of recycling, of using a durable item that would last the punishment
of children’s play and the weather, making something relatively unique and hopefully cost effectively. All factors considered my brief on this project was to source an old tractor tyre, devise a lining and
cover for it and provide a finish to it that would make it clean and safe for our son and his friends to play in. Build time target of a day.
The first stage of the project was to obtain an old tractor tyre which I achieved with relative ease. A quick call to a local reclamation yard where they confirmed they had one, 3ft across, £25.00. After craning the tyre out and cutting the rim out for us (much to the entertainment of my son), the reclamation yard put the tyre on the back of a flatbed truck and delivered it to our house.
Cleaning and preparing the tyre. Used soapy water and a scrubbing brush.
Stage three involved the use of some used scaffold sheeting that I had in my shed, a piece measuring 2m x 4m. My intention was to create a lining for the base of the sandpit. I opted for Proscaff because I had the material and consider it to be a really strong, reinforced membrane. I needed something that would contain the sand and provide a barrier between the paving and the sand pit. To be doubly sure, I folded it to create a 2m x 2m piece which I stapled to the inside of the tyre.
Stage four focused on providing a finish to the sandpit in an attempt to prevent it looking less like an old tyre and more like a “Tyre Sandpit” so I procured some white lining paint (the cheapest oil based gloss that I could find) and proceeded to spray the tyre white. The additional benefit of spraying rather than painting on with a brush was that the paint dried very quickly (within half an hour).
Stage five was to create a cover. Through unpleasant experience as a child I’m very aware of the issues that can be caused through a sandpit being left open to the elements with cats using it as a toilet and leaves/twigs getting into the sand so I wanted to create a cover for the sand pit. Fortunately, I had another piece of scaffold sheeting that I secured at the back with three nuts and bolts and then stapled in lengths of some scrap wood to provide weight around the side and front. I also managed to recycle a scaffold tie to act as a latch to hold the cover down. This is potentially a semi-permanent solution depending on how the Proscaff Scaffold Sheeting holds up, I may choose to make a circular wooden cover at some point but this solution offers a light weight and manageable cover that works for the time being.
Filled with eight bags of children’s play sand (although it can take much more), the sand pit was completed and ready for use by my son, Luke, who was very happy with his new garden toy.
The whole process took Matthew one day to complete and resulted in a very happy young man.