Happy Tuesday! Thank you for your kind words over on Facebook and Instagram about our house. We feel so thankful to be here and it already feels like home.
I did not even expect to make a post about this but I shared the project on my Instagram and you asked for it! We promised the girls that flipping/ gymnastics/ fun bars would be the first thing Joel did when we moved into our new house and last weekend he delivered.
Granted, I did not help with the project, but from inside in the air conditioner it didn’t seem too hard. Yes, hot and a little labor intensive (you have to dig post holes) but not difficult.
To make 2 bars just like ours you’ll need: *this post does NOT contain affiliate links. Just good ole regular ones.
A post hole digger
3 – 4″x4″x8′ posts – we used cedar but pressure-treated will work too
2 – galvanized 3/4″ x 48″ lengths of threaded pipe
4 – 3/4″ galvanized threaded floor flanges
8 – 1/4 x 2″ lag bolts
a bag of drainage rock – any smallish pointy rock will work
a drilla 1 1/8″ drill bit
First up we picked the location of the bars. They would have been great under the shade of a tree but then we would have had to dig through roots. We chose the back of our yard. It gets some afternoon sun but not for long. The holes for the posts were dug so that the outside of each would be about 48″ apart. Each post hole was dug approximately 3 feet deep. (pardon the pics below. They were screenshots from my instastories)
I watched my big kid work with her daddy. They made a plan, took “turns” “digging” and paused for strategery.
and the little kid took 2.5 minutes to create a pretty good mess.
Once the three holes were dug, he placed the posts in the ground and had the girls tell us how high they wanted their bars. Joel held the bar out and let them grab on. I’m not strong enough for that. I would have had them stand on their tip toes and reach up high. I would have measured that height and added an inch or so.
I wanted to make it so they could get up by themselves without help.
With the height marked, drill holes, a little bigger than the bar circumference, all the way through the posts. A 1 1/8″ bit for 3/4″ pipe would have worked perfectly – we used a 1″ bit and had to wallow out the holes.
If for some reason the bar doesn’t end up to be level, you can change the height of the post by adding dirt or making the hole deeper, until the bar becomes level.
Once the bar heights were set and the holes were drilled, he hogged out a little extra on the outsides of the bars to that the threaded part of the flange could fit into the post. This is where you use the lag bolts to attach the flange to the post.
He checked to make sure the posts were level vertically then checked the cross bars to make sure they were level horizontally.
I told you he set the posts without using concrete. This is where the rocks come in. He mixed rocks with the dug-out dirt, filled the hole a few inches at a time, and packed it in and around the posts. Anything will work to pack the dirt – he used the handle of a garden hoe and a skinny stick.
If we ever needed to go back and add concrete we can but I’ve swung on the bars and they are super sturdy.
We all love them.
They’ll be used for years to come.
They’re also so much prettier to look at than plastic coated bars from a big box store.
Custom and made with care. Thank you handsome, for your labor of love.
Let me know if you have any questions on the project. I won’t answer it myself but relay it directly to the expert.
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Thanks for reading, friends!
6 thoughts on “Backyard Jungle Gym Bars (without concrete!)”
Fantastic! I shall be adding these into my big kid garden plan! So simple and yet so classic and attractive – not an ounce of primary coloured plastic in sight!
Do you have an approximate cost on materials?
80.00 just bought yesterday 🙂
The floor flanges are a little spendy – I bet there is a cheaper way to hold the bars but we like the way the flanges look. You'll also save $40 by using pressure treated posts instead of cedar.
Where did you find the material (bars)?
It was all at home depot!