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Laughing Place
Project Summary:

My Laughing Place project is my own mini Splash Mountain. Well kind of, and it's really for my son. It will be a small mountain which will resemble splash mountain in my backyard. It will be about 12ft tall. It will have a sliding board down the front of the mountain with a clubhouse on the inside of the mountain which juts out the side of the mountain like an old cabin or something.

Sat Feb 23 00:00:00 EST 2008

Springtime is approaching and so is the time when I plan to break ground on a new project that I am excited about called the laughing place. Its going to be a small mountain designed very similar to splash mountain. Its a play area for my son in our backyard. It will have a sliding board down the front instead of a water flume and will have a clubhouse inside the mountain. I want to thank my friend Andy for taking this picture in Disneyland for me. I have been a little busy this past year and have not made it out into the parks to take any photos for research. Thanks Andy! I hope to formalize the design, figure out my materials and begin constructing the frame of the laughing place project by the end of March. So look for more updates in the coming weeks!

Mon Mar 03 00:00:00 EST 2008

Today I marked off the easement in my backyard so that I could figure out exactly where to build the laughing place. See, I unfortunately didnt really know about things such as easements until after I purchased my first house Now I find that I cant build anything substantial in the back 20 feet of my property. For someone who spends his spare time doing nothing but coming up with new ideas to build and then building them, this is pure torture! Well I guess Ill make do with what I problems I have been dealt with.

Here you can see the post I placed in the ground. I cant build anything too permanent behind them.

Heres a shot from further away. Im currently planning to build my small mountain just in front of the area between the two left stakes. I have to check with the city tomorrow though to see how close I can build it next to the property line.

Tue Mar 25 00:00:00 EDT 2008

I think I have finalized most of my measurements. At least for the core wooden structure of the mountain. The brown circle is my tree that you see in the earlier pictures. The grey box is the core wooden structure of the mountain. It is 7ft wide and 10 ft deep. Ill release more details of the structure once I have a chance to properly sketch it out.

Thu Apr 03 00:00:00 EDT 2008

Well, The Laughing Place may not be the best name for this project but Ill stick with it for now. See I decided that simply building a mountain in my backyard would look out of place (as if there was a way to make a mountain look normal in your backyard) So Im going to re-theme the entire area into a Critter Country like theme where the mountain is in the middle of a forest like area. Here you can see me removing my old patio. It was a small brick patio that was their when we bought the house. My wife and I wanted a larger patio anyways. So I decided to rip it out and I am going to replace it with a more natural looking (but larger) flagstone patio.

Sat Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2008

Lookout! No good can come to allowing someone like me to rent equipment this big!

Here I am ripping out some old stumps to make way for new plants that will fit our new Critter Country theme. They were yew bushes (I think that is how you spell it). I found out yew bushes are poisoness. That was one reason for pulling them out and the other was they were far to uniform looking to be in a natural forest like setting.

Thu Apr 10 00:00:00 EDT 2008

This is the start of me trying to better document my design with google sketchup. This is the start of the core structure for the mountain. The pathway to the top of the mountain where you go down the slide will work its way on a series of ramps and platform that wind through this structure. At the base you can see the 12 concrete footers that will go into the ground to support the structure. The vertical supports on top of the footers are 44 cedar beams. The dotted line across the top of the photo is 12 ft 6 inches high. That is the projected very top of the mountain where the tree stump ends.

Here is a front view of the same model. Its easier to see how high the mountain will be compared to a typical adult. To a kid Im guessing this mountain will seem life size!

Wed Apr 16 00:00:00 EDT 2008

Here you can see the mountain site all prepped and ready for beginning to put the foundation in. I will be putting in 12 concrete tubes to support the structure of the mountain!

Here is a better shot of where the base of the mountain will go.

It is not easy building an entire land!

Here is another shot of the chaos in my yard.

Thu Apr 17 00:00:00 EDT 2008

Okpretty soon here if I keep doing projects of this magnitude, I am going to have to buy myself a truck. I could only load 8 bags of concrete in my honda accord before my car began to look like this. I found this great industrial supply store nearby where I was buying concrete tubes It was awesome The yard part of the store is a hard hat area! Everybody else there was backing up these big trucks; and here I am in my little honda accord trying to cram concrete tubes and rebar into the back.

I rented a Toro Dingo to dig the holes for the foundation. It worked pretty good.

The bit kind of swung on a swivel which allowed it to go straight down even though the machine was on uneven ground; but, if it hit a rock or a root then the bit would drift a bit off target and I would have to straighten the hole manually.

Mon Apr 21 00:00:00 EDT 2008

Alright! We have a mountain base. I will be erecting the wood frame of the mountain on top of these concrete supports. When I started this project I was not entirely sure how many bags of concrete this would take. 62! I purchased 62 bags of concrete, loaded them in my car, unloaded them, loaded them 3-4 at a time into a concrete mixer in my driveway, poured that into my wheelbarrow, wheeled it around to the back of my house, and then shoveled it into the footers all in a period of 24 hours. Needless to say my arms were ready to fall off! (I should have just had a truck come in, but I was unsure whether I could time everything right)

Here is another shot of the mountain base.

Here is nice shot of the construction site. I should have one of those signs that says Pardon our pixie-dust, we are re-imagineering this site for your future enjoyment. just like Disney. Perhaps that will be a nice small future project.

Sat May 10 00:00:00 EDT 2008

Here I am preparing to start building the mountain superstructure.

Here is another shot of me getting started.

I now have three of the twelve upright posts into place.

This isnt a great photo because my wife took the photo from inside but it gives you a sense of scale for the mountain.

I finished up Saturday with a decent start on the framing of the mountain.

Tue May 20 00:00:00 EDT 2008

Construction is so hectic that I am beginning to go into the late hours of the night trying to get as much done as possible. Here you can begin to see the wood structure taking shape.

Another shot of current construction progress.

Sat Aug 02 00:00:00 EDT 2008

Here is a shot of the new patio I finished earlier this year. The natural style of the flagstone should work with the mountain much better then the old brick that was there previously.

Here is an updated photo of the mountain. The 3ft and 5ft platform supports are done. You can see the 7ft platform and 9ft roof supports are almost done.

Another shot of the mountain in its current state.