Introduction: Balance Board
A balance/wobble board is a good way to improve balance, as well as stretch and strengthen ankles. It's also a great and fun way for small kids to develop their motor skills.
Here are some ideas:
Wobble forward and backward or side to side.
Try with your eyes closed.
Stand on one leg. (carefully!)
Balance a book on your head while wobbling.
Try all of the above (very carefully!)
Play catch with someone while standing on the wobble board.
Time yourself to see how long you can keep your balance without an edge touching the floor.
Common sense woodworking rules apply. Be safe, read and follow the safety guidlines in your power tool manuals, measure twice, cut once, etc…
Materials and tools:
3 feet of 2”x4”
18”x18” piece of 1/2 inch good quality plywood
2 ½” inch wood screws
Circular or table saw
Jigsaw or bandsaw
Sandpaper or beltsander
Grip tape (optional)
Step 1: Support and Wobble Pieces
Cut three 12 inch long pieces of 2"x4".
Step 2: Mark Curved Pieces
Using a 5 gallon bucket, mark a curve on two of the 2"x4" pieces all the way up to the edge.
Step 3: Cut Curved Pieces
Cut the two curved pieces with a jigsaw or bandsaw.
Step 4: Cut Center Support and Deck
1. Rip a quarter inch off the remaining 2"x4" piece. The larger piece will be the center support and needs to fit enough under the curved pieces to not interfere with the wobble.
2. Cut an 18"x18" inch piece of 1/2 inch plywood. I'm using Birch plywood, but any nice smooth and strong piece will do. Your local hardware/home/lumber store often carries them in 2'x2' foot sections.
Note: For both of the above steps, use a table saw (preferably) or a circular saw.
Step 5: Sand Curved Pieces Smooth
Clamp together the curved pieces evenly and sand them until they are equally smooth. A belt sander with a medium or rough grit works well. There's no need to spend a whole lot of time and go to a very fine. As long as it's even and smooth, it's good enough.
Step 6: Center and Screw in the Support Piece Under the Deck
The middle of the support piece will be at exactly 9 inches in the center and 3 inches from each side of the deck.
Mark a dot and drill a 1/8 th inch pilot hole 9 inches from one edge and 5 inches from the other edge. Do the same on the other side.
Carefully align the support piece to the center and screw it in tight against the deck thru the pilot holes from the top of the deck.
Step 7: Align and Screw in Curved Pieces
Align the curved pieces evenly to the edges of the deck and screw to the middle of the center support piece.
Step 8: Screw in Curved Pieces From the Top
Mark 2 dots and drill pilot holes at 2 1/4 inches from the edge. Go 1 1/2 inches to either side of the 9 inch center. (7 1/2 inches from either opposite side). Do the same for the curved piece on the other side.
This distance will put the screw in the middle of the curved piece underneath and not make the 2 1/2 inch screw protrude thru the curve.
Step 9: Done!
Add grip tape if you want (the kind used for the tops of skateboards).
Happy and safe wobbling!
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