two skinny jenkins

090708 – Sandcastle building 101
090708, 9:28 pm
Filed under: FUN

Castle Building

Not to brag, but my dad and i are killer sandcastle makers.  We have been honing our skills for about 5 (?) years now, and each year we seem to attract more and more spectators.

Nearly every person who stops asks us how long we have been working and what our technique is.  We can make a pretty impressive castle in about 2-3 hours, assuming that the pile of sand we made in the beginning of the week is still there.  My dad’s motto on our technique is: ‘pack sand, pack sand, pack sand’.  Once you have a really solid pile of packed sand, you can carve away anything.  Here’s how we make sandcastles step by step:

Tools of the TradeAbove are all our castle making tools.  In the bag, and perhaps most essential, is my dad’s metal spatula used for carving away sand.  I sometimes use the plastic one, but the sharper metal edge makes a much cleaner cut.

Packing sandWe use scrap wood both as scaffolding (to displace our weight and allow us to stand higher up on the sand pile) and for evenly packing down the sand for the base of the castle.   You  can also simply pack the sand with your hands.

Tower construction

Here, my dad adds sand to our mixing bucket then carefully scoops the wet sand into piles to later carve away into a tower.

Castle Carving

Working from the tallest portion out, we continually layer and carve down the wet sand until we are bored or tired.  Lastly, we take down the ‘scaffolding’ and sweep away
a road around the castle base.


1 Comment so far
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What should we sand sculpt this summer?
Looking for creative (but do-able!) ideas…

Comment by d & M

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