We live in Florida. Anyone who has ever been in the Sunshine State during the summer knows it can get uncomfortable quick without some shade to take cover under.
I've built the covered sandbox with built in bench seating already. You can view that project video build below.
I originally planned to build a handy dandy simple and easy shade canopy. Then, at the last moment, I had another idea and will feature that in an upcoming project build.
However, This design is not without its merits so I thought I would still share this with you just in case someone may find it helpful.
DIY Covered Sandbox with a Shade Canopy
7 - 1x4 furring strips (actual furring strips are 3-3/8" wide not 3-1/2" as a normal 1x4 would be. If you use regular 1x4s you will need to adjust the length of two of the box side pieces from 31-3/8" to 32-1/2".)
3 - 2x4s
2 - 2x8s
1 - 2x2 (If you have the ability to rip material on a table saw then you can use the waste from the 2x8s instead of purchasing this.)
2 sets of 3" strap hinges
1 Box of 3" screws
1 Box of 1-1/2" screws
6 Bags of Play Sand
1 Roll of Shade Fabric
2 - 2x8 base pieces @ 48"
2 - 2x8 base pieces @ 31-3/8"
9 - top cover slats @ 3-3/8" x 48"
2 - 2x2 seat back bench cross members @ 18"
2 - 2x2 seat bench cross members @ 11"
2 - 2x4 vertical posts @ 60"
1 - 2x4 Horizontal canopy cross piece @ 52-1/2"
2 - 1x4 Canopy Support Pieces @ 60"
2 - 1x4 Post Spacers @ 7-1/2"
Cut the 2x8s to length and attach using 3" screws.
Attach three of the top slats directly to the base of the sandbox.
The second set of slats can be set in place on top of the box using spacers to ensure the correct spacing between each one. Then place the 2x2s just inside the frame and attach with 1-1/2" screws.
Note: I cut angles into the ends of my 2x2 pieces in order to lower the profile on the bench seat. Hopefully this will help ensure no one accidentally sits down the wrong way on one of them or scrapes a leg.
Then flip the section over and attach it to the first section using 3" strap hinges.
The third top section can be assembled now. Refer to the video above for a visual account of the process I used to build not only this section but the whole sandbox base and top cover as a whole.
Here is where we will deviate from the video above. Now attach a 3/4" thick spacer centered on the sides of the sandbox with 1-1/2" screws.
The vertical posts can now be attached to the spacers with 3" screws.
Note: For added stability and security you can cut the vertical post about a foot longer than the measurements listed above. Then dig a hole on both sides of the project and bury the extra length.
If you live somewhere that receives high winds or your children are especially monkeyish, this would provide some added piece of mind that the canopy cover would not catch the wind and topple over.
Attach the cross piece with 3" screws.
Cut 1x4s to length and if so desired taper the ends as shown here. Be sure to round off any sharp edges with a sander and 80 grit sandpaper to lessen the chance of tearing holes into the shade cloth.
Attach the pieces with 3" screws.
It takes about 7-1/2 to 8 feet of shade cloth to cover the top. You can attach with grommets if you want to be technically correct or you could staple or nail some thin strips of wood over the ends of the shade cloth onto the 1x4s we attached in step 8.
You may be asking what the need for the spacers between the sides of the sandbox and the vertical posts are for.
They are to provide some space so that the lid can open and close freely without hanging up on the posts.
As you know lumber expands and contracts. The extra space just allows our project to do so without compromising its functionality