Friday, July 15, 2011

Bradley's Fort

Bradley, my grandson that lives with me, is gone visiting his Dad for the month of July.  During his time away I have decided to built him a fort in the back yard.  He doesn't know that I am building it and hopefully it will be a great surprise when he returns.  Many years ago I built a eight foot high platform out of four inch PVC sewer pipe to aid in painting the house.  For 7 years it has stood silently beside the house not being used for anything.  I thought that this structure would be perfect to use for the elevated base to a fort built high in the sky for the boys of the neighborhood.  I thought that if I can get Bradley and his pals to hang out in the backyard, then I'll always know where he is and be able to watch what's going on with him.
The first order of business is to be sure the foundation for the fort structure is solid.  Holes were dug four foot down into the ground to have the structure a solid base to stand upon.  You can see here the bottom of the PVC structure and one of the tubes that will be fit down into the hole and be filled with concrete.  It was kind of a hot sweaty day when I started this project but my anticipation was at a high level.  The project will require steady work to be completed before August 5th when Bradley returns.

After digging the holes and filling them with concrete, mixed by hand in a wheel barrow, the base of the elevated support structure is set in place.  Here you can see the 5 1/2 inch carriage bolts that were pressed down into the wet concrete to hold the structure to the concrete base pillars that go into the ground.  Three rebar rods were pressed into the drying concrete in each hollow vertical leg of the support structure base.

The elevated support structure is completed.  A total of 14 bags of concrete has gone into the pillars in the ground and the vertical legs of the structure.  That's way over a yard of concrete and weighs in at about 1500 pounds.  I suspect that this structure will be standing long after Bradley has moved on in life.  Maybe the great grand kids will be able to enjoy it after old grand pop is long gone as well.  Building for future generations to come.

Today will begin the actual building of the fort walls.  It's been a labor of love so far and I can't wait to see the look on  Bradley's face when he gets back home.

Have a great day all and leave a comment to tell me what you think about the project.


  1. What a wonderful surprise for your grandson! I think he will love it! It sounds like you put a lot of thought into the project. It will definitely be sturdy and standing for some time! Keep posting as the project moves forward. I can't wait to see what you have planned!

  2. What a great project and I'm excited to see the final result. Oh, and maybe a picture of one VERY surprised boy!

  3. You are soooo inspiring, Dave. Love you!!!