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Wooden Products

Wooden Products

About Wood Splits


Round Pole Wood is an organic material, it is always trying its hardest to adapt to its changing environment. It moves, it swells and it shrinks; all normal behaviour for Round Poles.

Often, naturally occurring splits will appear in the poles. In warm sunny weather the wood shrinks, in wet weather it expands; the moisture content can reduce by 50% in warm weather conditions depending on where you are in the planet. These environmental changes cause the cracks. We design our round poles to be thick and strong so natural wood splits won't affect the overall strength of the pole.

Safety is as important to us as having fun and we’d like to reassure our customers that the majority of wood splits will never become deep or wide enough to affect the reliability and strength of our swing sets.


Small openings and hairline splits will occur when the dimensional timber becomes wet and then dries out. This often happens when the timber is doused in a rain shower and dries out afterwards in the sun. Each wooden playset has tolerances built into it, to allow for natural occurrences such as these; they are designed to ensure that the structural integrity is not compromised.


Certified FSC® pine from Northern and Central Europe is used in both round pole and dimensional playcentres and swing sets. To make sure it is as resilient as possible, the wood is vacuum pressure treated. This safeguards it against wood-destroying insects and fungi that can cause soft-rot.

After the treatment process it is natural for a green mottling to become visible on the surface of the wood. This colouration is caused when the copper based treatment, which serves as the preservative, reacts with the resin already present in the timber.

Pressure treatment is a vitally important process in increasing the long term resilience of the wood. Innovation in our timber treated products ensures that the preservative is both weather-resistant and safe to humans and your garden plants alike.

Wood is a natural product so requires some care and maintenance as it weathers over time. Periodically check over the whole product, sand away any sharp points and surface scaling and follow the timber advice in the instruction manual. It is important to maintain the condition of timber products to ensure both safety and longevity, full maintenance guidelines are provided with each play set.


Every effort is made to reject parts where loose knots cause splits to spread, however in the unlikely event you feel a part has a possible fault in the timber, contact us immediately with pictures of the parts so they can be reviewed.


Actiplay Wood Notice

Each piece of timber is unique, bearing its own knots, cracks and variations in colour.

These characteristics should be fully expected to be present at the time of delivery and continue to develop during the products lifecycle. 

Timber moves, swells, and shrinks according to seasonal changes in relative humidity of the air. 

Roundwood frames are constructed from timbers that come from younger smaller trees and are complete tree poles, stripped of any bark and other rough materials but subject to no further processing. 

When a full round timber dries, the exterior surface (sapwood) shrinks faster than the inner (heartwood) heart of the timber. Consequently, stresses occur in different directions during drying.  This means that the full round timber tends to develop a V-shaped check towards the centre. Sometimes these cracks can open alarmingly in length and width, but this is entirely normal and once the inner core has dried the crack will close (not disappear). 

Likewise, as the moisture in the air increases so will the free water absorbed by capillary action in the wood and once again the cracks will close. Both laboratory and field tests prove that the natural cracking and splitting does not materially affect the strength of the timber. 

Our frames are also designed and dimensioned to ensure these natural characteristics do not have an impact upon the structural integrity. 

Our roundwood timber is pressure treated with an environmentally friendly preservative. This is a process that penetrates to the core of the wood, helps withstand the elements and wards off insects, and fungal decay. After the treatment process it is normal for a green flecking to become visible on the surface of the wood. 

Performance guarantees do not rely on a periodic application of preservative, although you may wish to do so for aesthetic reasons and to further extend the life of the product, but do not use oil-based paints which prevent the wood from breathing. Because of the natural characteristics of such timber products, it is vital that parents check their play frame regularly to identify any splintering or lifting of the surface layers of the wood or any exposure of rough wood due to changes in cracks and splits. Affected areas must be rubbed down using coarse sandpaper to restore a smooth, safe surface.

There is no necessity to replace timber parts that exhibit cracks and splits. However, should your frame display a significant crack in very close proximity to a fixing point then please email a photograph that clearly illustrates the area of concern to sales@satb.co.uk, our quality team will analyse the information provided and confirm if remedial action is required. 

Do not fill cracks with any kind of filler. 

The diameter of the posts and beams can vary slightly according to the level of humidity in the wood and the outside variation in temperature. The outside diameter of the posts is intended to be smaller than the inside diameter of the metal corner bracket. 

-A very humid post can increase in diameter. 

-A very dry post can lose several millimetres in diameter. 

It is important that you do not put any product between the post and the metal corner bracket.