Firehouse Playset

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 11/07/2011 - 11:58
Difficulty
Beginner
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Build a solid wood firehouse playset with these free simple easy plans! Made of solid wood, this sturdy playset will last and last!

When we brought Grace home as a brand new baby, amid all the happiness and excitement of welcoming your first born into the family, I secretly felt like I had gone to prison. Because I had been stripped of every freedom, even the most basic and essential.

The freedom to sleep, the freedom eat.  The freedom to use the bathroom, to take a shower, to have an uninterrupted thought.  I was no longer free, but rather held captive by a baby demanding to nurse every hour, night and day.  A baby that punished me by screaming for hours if the phone rang, the dog barked, or if left with someone other than me.  
The job of a stay at home mom is not filled with soap operas and naps.  For me, it was survival, just making it through another endless night of walking a crying baby, another feeding, followed by another diaper change, with no end in sight.  People ask me why we have not had more children, and I openly tell them I just am not strong enough to take care of a newborn again.
But this week, I feel like something even harder has happened to me.  I feel like a even more basic freedom has been taken from me.  I feel empty.
I have been denied the freedom to put my daughter to bed.  To play with her, to hug her, to care for her.  That might have been prison, but this is the dungeon.
Last week, I boarded an airplane, and I did not gate check a car seat.  My daughter stayed home.  I have somehow without intention become a working mom.
And I tell you, being a stay at home mom is the hardest job on earth.  But being a working mom ... is the most impossible job on earth.  Because we mom's, we can handle no sleep, exhaustion, selflessness, but this being away from our children is so much more difficult.  My arms are definitely stronger than my heart.
Today, I am so happy to be back home.  My husband and I attended the BlogWorld Conference, and had some meetings in Los Angeles last week.  I thank you everyone for your patience with me, as I have not been able to keep up with comments and emails.  I can't tell you how glad I am to be home, even if the temperature difference is a full 60 degrees from California to Alaska!
As the Holidays approach, expect me to focus on posting plans for toys and gift items - for those of you without children I do apologize. I'm definitely skewed toward children's projects, just because I am a mom, and my world revolves around a preschooler - but we will I promise get back to regular furniture projects.
I am so happy to introduce today a Firehouse Playset.  It's only fair, after building the dollhouse!
Now for some Firehouse Inspiration!!!
image from Zillow
image from PBase
Best luck building!

Dimensions

Preparation

Shopping List

1 - 1/4 sheet of 3/4" hardwood plywood (shown in PureBond Formaldehyde Free Birch Plywood)
2 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x4 @ 4 feet long

Common Materials
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
Cut List

3 - 3/4" plywood @ 15 3/4" x 15 3/4"
2 - 3/4" plywood @ 15 3/4" x 8"
4 - 1x2 @ 18 1/4" (legs)
4 - 1x2 @ 15 3/4" (side trim)
2 - 1x4 @ 17 1/4" (front trim)
2 - 1x2 @ 17 1/4" (Bottom trim)

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Drill
Jigsaw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Instructions

Step 1

Have your hardware store cut the plywood into strips 8" and 15 3/4" wide, by four feet long as shown in the diagram. If they are really nice, they might even do your crosscuts :) Remember that the saw blade takes up space, so measure, cut, measure cut and so on to get the most accurate cuts.

Step 2

From all of the shelves, notch out the corners as shown above with a jigsaw. Sand any rough edges.

TIP: Cut holes out with a hole saw kit on the top and middle story to add a fireman's pole :) just make sure you place the holes so they don't conflict with your interior wall placement.

Step 3

Now cut the doorways out of the interior walls. You can make doorways larger or smaller to fit your child's needs.

Step 4

Mark on all of the legs the placement of the middle story. Attach legs as shown in diagram.

Step 5

Step 6

Flip the whole project upside down and nail bottom trim on starting with smaller pieces.

Step 7

Now add the longer trim pieces to finish out the bottom. You can also add wheels underneath to make the playset mobile.

Step 8

Now flip the playset back over and attach top trim as shown above, flush to bottom of top story.

Step 9

Cut desired shape out of 1x4 front/backs and attach with finish nails and glue.

Now it's time to paint and accessorize!!!

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. 

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

Comments

meganleiann (not verified)

Mon, 11/07/2011 - 16:11

That is by far the best summery of the difference between a stay-at-home/work-outside-the-home mom I have ever found. That is why we can never judge each other. As rough as it is being home, being away must be a strange mix of relief and torture.
Thanks for being so relatable. I love reading everything you type, even if I'm not planning on building for awhile.

bhoppy

Tue, 11/08/2011 - 05:14

So cute!! How was your trip to CA? How did Grace do without you guys for 5 days? I'm guessing better than her mom and dad;-) That's been my experience at least... I used to have to go out of town for work and my munchkin was fine.. it was her mom that was a mess:-)

Courtney F. (not verified)

Tue, 11/08/2011 - 18:10

I'm a first time mom going through exactly what you described, Ana. Thank you for sharing how difficult it was for you at first, being a stay-at-home mom. All my friends who have children describe their lives in such glowing tones, I was beginning to wonder if I was the odd woman out. It feels so much better to know that there are others who've felt the same as I do...and that things do get better, and babies grow up into amazing kids like Grace. :) Thanks.

dananryan

Wed, 11/09/2011 - 22:35

Hang in there! I went through the same when I was a first time mom and, like many military spouses, I was very alone and far away from any family. There were many nights of exhaustion and many more tears shed by myself and my baby. Demanding babies are tough but they grow up to be amazing. My former colicky baby is now 15 years old and 6'2" tall and makes up tenfold for every sleepless night by being a wonderful person.
And I would gladly go back to those nights, when I was my baby's only comfort and we shared that special mother-baby bond. I would rather relive that complete loss of freedom than preparing to send my baby off to college in 3 years.
Being a first time mom is a challenge, but it might help a little to realize that you will never experience a more unconditional love than your baby has for you.
Good luck!

Christy Panzarella (not verified)

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 02:12

Ana, I dont know how I missed this post when you first posted it :/ Anyways, my daughter was like yours when she was born, and it was horrific. I often tell people I have PTSD from my first one, Im not having more. Because it was horrific. Now, almost divorced, and playing a single parent to a 2 year old, while share parenting - Ive learned not to have my daughter at home half the week. You think its rough being a SAHM, or being a working mom? Try working 40 hours in 4 days with no kid, and then being a 100%SAHM 3 days a week with kid. Super hard on the heart, and body.

Gues. Randy Raynort (not verified)

Tue, 12/25/2012 - 07:23

Will be making this for one of my grandsons, as soon as Christmas is over
Daughter will be here in Feb. To pick it up. She lives in Texas.