Here is detail on building the the slide for the solar dino play structure.
The slide is made from 3/4 inch exterior plywood along with some Medium Density Overlay (MDO) plywood.
The tail has two sides that support a sliding surface between them.
The two sides of the tail are made fairly deep (about 18 inches at the thickest) so that they form a beam that is deep enough to support the slide and sliders.
As with all the parts on the dino, all of the exposed edges are rounded over with a router, and then sanded smooth.
Our slide has a slope of 7.5 vertical inches in 12 horizontal inches (27 degrees). This is a number I picked up off some of the slides we visited, but either I measured wrong, or the waxed MDO is slicker than most slides. Our slide turns out to be a bit of a rocket.
I lengthened the legs on the bottom a bit to take a little of the grade out, but its still pretty fast. But, the kids think its great!
To transfer the shape of the tail from the drawing on the shop floor, I laid some clear vinyl I had around over the floor and traced the slide on the vinyl. I then cut out the tail shape from the vinyl, and then traced around the vinyl onto the plywood.
The slide is long enough (114 inches) that two pieced of plywood are spliced together to make it. A combination of the bottom legs and the sliding surface supporting 2X2's hold the spliced pieces together.
Click on pictures for full size
The MDO plywood is used for the slide sliding surface because it its nice and smooth, and it does very well in outdoor environments (its used for freeway signs in some areas). To make it a bit slicker and protect it without painting it, I waxed it, and this may have been overkill, as it is pretty fast.
The slide is attached to the two side pieces and supported by 2X2's running down the sides. Everything screwed and glued -- make sure all the slide surface screws are flush.
The slide fastens to the dino body as shown in the pictures. The 2X2 attachments are secured with screws only so that the slide can be removed easily.
A rectangular opening is cut in the back wall of the dino "driving platform" to make it easier to get on the slide.
Be sure to check for anything that sticks up on the sliding surface.
The top of the slide side rails are rounded over, then sanded smooth with fine sandpaper, ad then waxed to avoid splinters in hands.
Gary September 5, 2009