'Build me something cool please...'
While running the Enchanted Forest (My carpentry company), I was asked to build lots of treehouses, decks and outside projects.
By far the best one however, was the pirate ship. What a great project that was.
A wealthy Russian guy asked me to design something more fun than the playhouse his architect had designed for his new garden.
Pirates of the Caribbean has just come out, so I suggested a pirate ship. Brilliant… he loved the idea.
So, I designed a ship and plodded off to south Wimbledon to show this guy my design.
After a few requests which were a bit odd (like a life ring on a pirate ship?), we were off.
I delivered a huge pile of timber to site and started building. I love jobs were I can just make it up as I go along.
Then we hit the first problem. The neighbours.
Their main issue was the pirate ship in the middle of their multi-million pound view across the golf course. I had already checked planning with the council, so there was not much they could do.
At the end of the project, and once it was ‘blended’ in with the garden, they did come around.
The frame was simply planed timber. Stained and sealed as I went.
Decking for the deck areas and custom made windows and doors.
The captain’s cabin was furnished with a wealth of toy swords, pistols and associated pirate ‘stuff’ off Ebay. I also bought a children’s chart table with chairs.
Personally, I wanted to surround the whole ship with blue rubber chippings to simulate water, but I believe they turfed it after I left.
Good old Ebay came to the rescue again when it came to the sail. He had asked for a working sail, so I found a guy selling offcuts of sail canvas. For £100, he made me a custom sail with all the eyelets and seams.
Cannons were plastic soil pipe from Wickes, with some old galvanised chain and wooden wheels.
I added a pair of waterproof speakers to the top deck and a sound effects module. That really pleased the neighbours!
Ebay again provided the skull and crossbones flag.
A trip to the local tyre centre got me a tyre for the swing, and the slide and climbing wall parts were ordered online.
These are the kind of jobs I love, no real plan, but you know what you want it to end up looking like.