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Picture of Gaga Pit
gaga-bocce.jpg
complete.jpg

Gaga ball is a game my kids enjoy, so we built two gaga "pits" to play in. One is a retractable pit on our bocce court, and the other is in a family member's back yard.

We'll focus on the back yard version. It's a really simple build that can be done in an afternoon with basic tools.

This design is meant to be as cheap as possible and quick to build. You can certainly use better/more materials and get a nicer result if you are willing to spend more time or money, but we're happy with this version.

I'll also show how to add a gate to the pit so that you can get a lawn mower into it.

Be safe

Any construction project can be dangerous or fatal, so please take appropriate safety precautions and consult a professional when you need help.

Use a respirator when cutting wood, especially if it's pressure-treated. Use hearing protection when using power tools. Always wear safety glasses.

Also, playground equipment can be dangerous or fatal, so consider your audience when choosing the materials and dimensions. This project is plenty sturdy for my little ones and their cousins, but you might want to add more brackets or more vertical supports if you expect more climbing or use by older kids.

I am not a professional, and I am just sharing my experience for information and entertainment purposes. I cannot be held responsible for any damage or injuries that result from actions you take.

Steps

These are the steps:

  1. Determine materials based on the size of the pit
  2. Choose your tools
  3. Assemble
  4. Optional: add a gate
  5. Play!

Step 1: Materials and Dimensions

Picture of Materials and Dimensions
side.jpg
layout-alt.jpg
gate-latches.jpg
with-gate.jpg

There are three key materials:

The framing angles that make the connection are what make this project so simple.

Use screws that are compatible with pressure-treated lumber.

The total cost of materials should be around $200.

Dimensions

Our pit has 6 sides that are 8' wide and about 28" tall.

The size is arbitrary: anything between 20-48" will work, and the overall size is dictated by the amount of space you have and the budget.

I chose the 28" height because it was easy enough for kids to climb into, but the gap is small enough to keep the ball inside the pit while only using 3 courses of lumber.

Each side is 8' because I bought 8' boards. Based on the available space and the expected number of players, I chose a hexagon.

As built here, you'll need at least 22 8' boards. 18 are for the horizontal pieces (3 per side, 6 sides). 4 are for the vertical pieces: at 28", you get three from each 8' board.

If you add in the gate, you'll need two more vertical supports. You may notice some 2x4s in my build (in place of the 1x6s). If you stick with the 1x6, add one more board to your purchase.

Sources

I have included links to some of the materials and tools I used. The materials for this project are available at a typical big box home center. None of this content is sponsored.

Tools

This project requires minimal tools. The only essential is something to drive screws, and it doesn't have to be a powerful drill/driver.

A hand saw is sufficient, and your lumber supplier might be able to cut the vertical pieces for you.

You don't even need a tape measure! I chose the vertical support dimensions by stacking up 5 boards. Once you've cut one, use it to mark and cut the rest.

Here's what I used:

  • Drill/driver for attaching boards
  • Hammer for bending the brackets to the right angle
  • Saw for cutting boards
  • Speed square, a guide for making circular saw cuts and squaring up each section
  • Safety
    • Ear protection
    • Safety glasses
    • Respirator with 3M 2097 cartridge
shambuda20007 months ago
I love Bob's Burgers.....