Most parents will decide to fit a playground set in their yard, and one of the best playground sets is a slide. And if you have purchased a wooden slide, you will discover that there is no fun at all if your kids can’t glide down the slide.
That is why we will provide a guide on making a wooden slide slippery, the best methods for doing this, and all you need to know.
There are various ways to make a wooden slide slippery; the most common way is to brush a good amount of olive oil down the slides.
Still, we will explain other methods like smoothing using sandpaper, waxing the slide, and replacing laminate along with their benefits and drawbacks.
Why Should You Make Your Wooden Slide Slippery?
Exposure to outdoor activities is vital for kids; a slide in the yard will encourage kids to come out and play. Kids can smoothly glide down the slide after climbing over, but the fun is sucked out if your wooden slide is not slippery.
Not only will the fun be drained from this activity, but there are safety concerns as well. Wooden slides tend to wear out and get rough bumps from staying out too long and frequent use; this is another reason why your slide needs to be slippery; it will reduce the effect of the roughness on your child’s backside.
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How Steep Should a Slippery Slide Be?
You should consider the terrain of where your slide will be located and the appropriate position; looking into the standard safety guidelines for your slide is a good idea, as it suggests the proper angle for your playset to be positioned.
The straightforward requirement is that your slide from top to bottom should not exceed 45 degrees. 35 degrees seems like a good angle for your slide and can be considered normal, while any angle above that will be too steep for your child’s use.
But the steepness depends on the size of the slide and the age group suitable to use it. A bigger and longer slide will be steeper; a slippery slide for your kids should not be too steep and should remain in the normal degree.
What is a Safe Angle for a Slippery Slide?
As we have discussed earlier, your slide should not exceed 45 degrees. And while 35 degrees may be considered normal, 40 degrees will be considered too steep. But for toddlers, the recommended angle is 24 degrees or should not surpass 30 degrees to keep these young ones safe.
Large slides that are situated in parks are manufactured to have an angle at 45 degrees or below. In terms of numbers, anything above 45 is considered unsafe and may risk an accident happening while using the slide.
How Much Space Do You Need at the Bottom of a Slide?
The amount of space you need at the bottom of a slide relies on the age group using the slide. The bottom of the slide is also called the use zone, and for toddlers, the use zone should be at least 6 feet.
For preschool children, the use zone is also 6 feet, excluding the exit area.
For more than 6 feet high slides, the use zone equals the height of the slide, ranging from 6 feet to 8 feet.
What are the Dimensions of a Playground Slippery slide?
The dimension of a playground slide varies with size, and most slides are measured by length along their diagonal. The slide should be 8 to 12 inches wide, 18 to 20 inches long, and 19 inches high for toddlers.
For large and unusual slides like the spiral slide, if assembled, it has a width of 33 inches, a height of 22 inches, and it measures 54½ inches deep. It also has a diameter of about 24 inches; this allows free passage for both kids and older kids.
What are the Best Materials to Make a Wooden Slide Slippery?
Some homeowners prefer to do a DIY project and construct it themselves when it comes to wooden slides. The skills required for this project are one thing, but using the right materials is another.
The best material for making a wooden slide is plywood that has been smoothed out with sandpaper, also called pre-sanded plywood.
Plywood is sturdy and firm; it provides excellent support and is well laminated, though you will want to use highly glossed lamination to make your wooden slide slippery.
Stainless steel and wood will also make a good combination for a swing. Stainless steel can be waxed easily, providing a smooth sliding experience; it is also durable and will take a lot of time to lose its slick nature.
Some maintenance is needed to keep your slide in good condition at all times. Lamination should be waxed periodically to keep your wooden slide slippery.
You should also use a scrubbing material, dish soap, and water to clean your slide; this prepares it for harsh weather conditions and makes it last longer; with these maintenance tips, you should expect a strong and long-lasting slide.
How to Make a Wooden Slide Slippery
Whether you have purchased a wooden slide or made one as a DIY project, all wooden slides work the same way. After frequent use, it becomes rough and slow; this kills the fun in using a slide and can also cause your child to have a sore bum. Generally, a non-slippery wooden slide is not safe for your kids.
Now that you have learned why your wooden slide needs to be slippery, we will explain in detail all the methods used to make your slide slippery. These methods are simple to carry out, so you can choose whatever method is convenient and suitable for you.
Oiling your slide
Applying olive oil to your slide is the most used and natural method to make your wooden slide slippery; it takes little or no time and is easy to carry out.
Regardless, after applying olive oil, the grains of your plywood will absorb the oil, but your slide will still have a rough feel. Only pre-sanded plywood will remain smooth after oiling.
After coupling, your child’s pants will get stained by some oil; needless to say, dealing with an oiled slide can be messy sometimes.
Sanding or waxing
This method involves using sandpaper to smooth out your plywood, taking out bumps and any rough edges. After sanding, apply waxing oil and spread it all over the slide.
This method is quick and effortless; however, it may need to be repeated constantly and monitored regularly, and its slippery effect does not last for a long time.
Lamination is gluing a thinner material to a wooden surface using adhesives. How slippery your wooden slide is after initial purchase or construction depends on the quality of the already prevailing laminate.
If your slide does not have a laminate, you should install one, but if it already has a laminate, you should wax it.
While laminate can make your wooden slide slippery, it can also cause it to be slow. This is because your laminate is old, has rough edges, and will need replacing.
You can laminate your wood with a plastic material covered in wood print or laminate your slide with stainless steel, which is the best option.
If you are using a laminate that already has laminate and has been sealed with paper, there is no need to peel the old laminate as you can glue it on top. But if you have to apply adhesive before installing your laminate, you should peel off the old laminate.
For a laminate with no adhesive on it, start by removing the previous lamination. Heat the edge of your slide with a steam iron or a heat gun until just a fraction of the laminate is free from the adhesive.
Use a painter tool, a flat metal, or a knife to peel off the laminate gently. If it starts cracking, apply more heat to soften the adhesive.
After this, use sandpaper to smoothen your plywood, then you can apply adhesives. After the application, fix your laminate and allow it to dry.
Conclusion: How To Make A Wooden Slide Slippery
It’s such a pain to have a wooden slide that is not slippery. It is slow and not fun for your kids; worse, they can sustain an injury because of the rough edges of the wood.
But there are ways to make your wooden slide slippery; this is by applying olive oil, sanding, and waxing, and by lamination. These methods are effective and can easily be done by anyone at home.
We have given the dimensions and the appropriate angle for your swing, which is 35 degrees. With this knowledge, ensure that the slide is safe for your child to use and meets the standard safety guidelines.
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We trust this article helped you learn How To Make A Wooden Slide Slippery. You may also want to check out Kidkraft Swing Set Review and Buying Guide.
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