Intro: Sensational Seesaw
Seesaw or Teeter Totter...different names, but the same fun.
I have two girls that are about the same ages, but it seems like many of the parks around the suburb I live in don't have this classic playground item. When I take my girls to my small hometown and visit the (probably not up to current safety standards) park the girls love playing on the seesaw. So I decided to make them one.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
This project can be done for about $30 and, if you are organized and don't have to look for all your tools, it can be built in about an hour.
Since my girls are little, I decided to make the main part of the seesaw out of 2x4s. This can easily be done with 2x6s as well and would be sturdier for longer. The thing I like about this is the design is simple and it can be upgraded as they grow.
3- 2 x4x8
1 - 2x6x8
1 pound - 3" screws
1 - 1/2" bolt (I later upgraded to a 5/8" galvanized bolt that was 10" long)
4 - washers
1 - nut (whichever size of bolt you decide on..
I also had a few things around the garage that I was able to use...so you might need an additional 2x6 and a dowel rod/pvc pipe for the handle. If I make another for anyone, I'll probably use all 2x6s
Step 2: First Base Cuts on Your 2x6x8
Cut two three (3) foot sections of your 2x6.
Drill holes (the size of your bolt) at equal distances from the top.
You can later adjust the height as your children grow. I did the math for a right triangle in my head (a2+b2=c2) while I was going to bed one night. Math and sleeping do not go well together, so needless to say my angles were all wrong initially and the slope of the seesaw was way off. I ended up making a final hole about a foot up for now. As the girls grow I'll move it up, and may create a longer cross section to keep the slope of the seesaw in better balance.
Step 3: Assemble the Main Cross Section
Cut 3 feet off one of your 2x4s and place it in the exact middle of the other two 2x4s.
You are creating a 2x4 sandwich so the ends have a space in them and the middle is reinforced.
Screw these pieces together, keeping in mind not to put a screw in the middle where you will drill the hole for your bolt to go through.
Drill the bolt hole through your stack of wood.
Pick up that section of 2x6 that was leftover and cut it in half.
You can keep it square, but I rounded mine. I used the base of a small trashcan as my pattern. My jigsaw blade must have bent a little bit so it wasn't perfectly rounded. Functional, but not as pretty as I wanted it.
Take these sections and place them in between the end of your 2x4s, but leave room for the seat (I left about 12" from the ends).
Screw them in. on both sides of the 2x4s
Drill a hole for the handle. I used some leftover PVC pipe I had, but you can get a big dowel rod at any hardware store. Cut these to be about 6" long and push them through. I did not secure the handles because the PVC fit snug in the holes I drilled.
I had some plastic