We acquired our Rainbow Clubhouse III playset through our most recent real estate transaction. The set is really showing its age, but the upside is these are the best built residential swing sets on the planet and will eventually be passed on to another family after ours.
I remembered these beefy, redwood clubhouses from when I was a kid and always wanted one. As with all Manic Maker projects, the clubhouse needed some updates and TLC. I assessed what we had, and what we really needed. We had just moved a much smaller A-frame swing set with us across country, so I had extra lumber and parts to make any necessary alterations.
This set in particular had a lot of extras that increased its footprint, but also added to my weekly yard maintenance. So after some familial negotiations, we nixed the monkey bars-to-nowhere and added a third swing in exchange. The bottom of the clubhouse was also unfinished which led to a rat's nest of weeds and detritus. I built a stage platform over this section and eliminated the need for extra weed trimming.
The ropes were all rotten from sun exposure and the elements. I opted to add climbing rocks to make up for this loss on the rock wall. We replaced the mildew stained rubber grips with plastic handles and tightened up all the hardware.
In another stroke of genius, I removed the hazed acrylic lenses from the periscope and binoculars. So now these items no longer collect rainwater and gnats. This left me with the last hideous piece of the puzzle, the signature red, yellow, and blue tarp.
After a decade in the sun, it was now a rainbow of weak pastels and algae stains. There are many aftermarket canopies available, however most of them are too small. I located a PlayStar tarp, but it was still 6 inches short of the original Rainbow canopy. The best solution was to trim the mast to make up the difference. I used clamps to test fit the replacement, and then with circular saw in hand removed 5 inches from the two tallest posts. There is still adequate room for an adult to stand on the top level without ducking and the new green cover blends in better with the wooded surroundings.
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