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Old 03-05-2019, 12:59 PM   #1
Quarry Creeper
 
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Default Wood suggestions for backyard course

So, now that winter is quickly coming to an end, I need to start planning my backyard crawler course.

Rocks are hard to come across around here, although I do have access to bricks (which I hate using since they scratch the hell out of my trucks), and my wife will not allow firewood in the back (evasive beetles have been a problem around here), so I'm left with lumber.

I had originally planned to get some pressure treated wood and just go with that, but now I'm reconsidering it because of the potential risks with having it near the garden and/or around my dog/kids.

Is treated wood the only thing I can reasonably use in all seasons, or is there an alternative I'm missing?
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:11 PM   #2
I wanna be Dave
 
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

the real question is, are you renting or do you own the house?, do you plan on moving?

if you own, get some dirt or multch and start making piles. you can then make your own rocks and formations using the concrete method. several youtube videos on this.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

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Originally Posted by CM9000 View Post
the real question is, are you renting or do you own the house?, do you plan on moving?



if you own, get some dirt or multch and start making piles. you can then make your own rocks and formations using the concrete method. several youtube videos on this.
Ha! Yeah, I own the place. Have been here over 15 years with no intention to move out any time soon.

I set up a backyard race track last summer, but then the crawler came in and I want to add a course for those as well.

Dirt was not dirt cheap last summer, but I may need to haul in a small truck worth of it. Rocks are the biggest issue for sure - expensive as hell.

But I do want to make some wood features like bridges, ramps, etc., so some form of lumber will be necessary. Just wondering is treated wood is really the best stuff to get.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:26 PM   #4
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Default Wood suggestions for backyard course

How long do you realistically want the wood to last? Running the same course for 5 years might be kind of boring.

You may want to consider simply going the 0 cost option, and reclaim wood from shipping pallets. It's typically heat treated Southern Yellow Pine, but sometimes you can find some nice Oak as well.

Sometimes on Kijiji you will find people giving away garden rocks or concrete rubble, so keep an eye out for that as well.

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Old 03-05-2019, 01:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

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How long do you realistically want the wood to last?
A few years at least. Hauling out dead wood would be super inconvenient (had to get rid of an old shed a few years back and it cost me a lot).

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Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
You may want to consider simply going the 0 cost option, and reclaim wood from shipping pallets. It's typically heat treated Southern Yellow Pine, but sometimes you can find some nice Oak as well.
Hmm, that might be an option.

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Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
Sometimes on Kijiji you will find people giving away garden rocks or concrete rubble, so keep an eye out for that as well.
I've been checking and hope to have more luck closer to summer. Natural rocks is what I'd really love to have. The more natural, the better. Lumber was not my first choice, but with the wife not wanting outside wood here, I'm limited.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

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Originally Posted by BashNSlash View Post
I've been checking and hope to have more luck closer to summer. Natural rocks is what I'd really love to have. The more natural, the better. Lumber was not my first choice, but with the wife not wanting outside wood here, I'm limited.

I'm always checking for free stuff in my area, you never know what you'll find.



I have a habit of picking up scrap wood from commercial wood shops, cutting it to length, and selling it as kindling firewood. Some of it is nice hardwood, that would be good for a rope bridge feature...







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Old 03-05-2019, 02:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

Untreated cedar or redwood - but expensive.
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

Short of the kids/dogs eating and chewing on it, the pressure treated lumber won't give you any problems. It's what any wood deck, porch, on a house is going to be made with. Having said that, it's probably the most expensive option. Like others said, try and find old pallets, scrap wood, rocks where you can find them, etc. If you've got any commercial areas or industrial parks within a short drive, you could approach them about taking some old pallets. They're not going to give you the ones that are still usable, but they generally have a scrap pile of them that are too beat up to use for shipping. At any given time, we have ten to twenty of these waiting to be hauled away where I work.
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

You can mold in bridges with the wood. Just cover it with concrete.

I think there was a how to thread on here, the guy also posted his course on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIVYnAgOmj8

Last edited by CM9000; 03-05-2019 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

I just hit the jackpot! The neighbors across the street had their tree chopped down and I was lucky to grab some wood! This jump started my crawler course!
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

I've been using a mixture of materials around the house. Scraps from wood projects for stuff to get tires on, rocks pulled out of the lawn, crushed stone. Pallets give a nice way to get elevation when you stack them. Google around "DIY rc crawler courses" for some ideas. Simple 2x4 scrap structures are easy. Best part about it, the worse a carpenter you are, the better the obstacle are!
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

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Best part about it, the worse a carpenter you are, the better the obstacle are!
LOL. I guess I'll have the best backyard crawler course in Canada

When it's a little drier outside, I'm going to start consolidating the rocks I've got out there and put them in a pile. I've got a nice pile of bricks already from last year, but those are too abrasive to crawl on so I'll use them for supports and bridges.

Can't wait to get this started!
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Old 03-21-2019, 12:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

Just to come full circle with respect to rocks, since your region is more or less no different than that of Upstate NY, there's got to be a zillion places for you to find some rocks. Drive a few minutes out of the city and find some streams or rivers. They will be full of all the rocks you can fit into your car. There's also a lot of what looks like farm land on the Google Map view that I did. Don't be afraid to ask some of those farmers if they've got a rock pile that you can rummage through. Most farmers have a big pile of rocks that they're happy to get rid of.
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Old 03-21-2019, 12:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

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Originally Posted by Jim85IROC View Post
Drive a few minutes out of the city and find some streams or rivers. They will be full of all the rocks you can fit into your car.

I've thought about this myself, but it goes against the "Take only pictures, leave only footprints" philosophy that the ecologists like to promote.



Something to keep in mind.
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

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Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
I've thought about this myself, but it goes against the "Take only pictures, leave only footprints" philosophy that the ecologists like to promote.



Something to keep in mind.
Yup. That's why I haven't done this already. I'll have to check on Provincial "mineral collection" laws or whatever they call it to see if I can still collect rocks legally, but within a certain weight limit.
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
I've thought about this myself, but it goes against the "Take only pictures, leave only footprints" philosophy that the ecologists like to promote.



Something to keep in mind.
To each his own. I have no idea what Canadian laws are regarding rock collection, but I can't possibly imagine anybody in the States giving you a hard time for grabbing the occasional rock off the ground.

But, like I said... there's also the option of asking local farmers. They're usually pretty eager to get rid of rocks that they plow up.
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: Wood suggestions for backyard course

I built this over the winter, I was thinking about putting it outside but I'm not sure how long it would last.

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