How To Make a Teeter-Totter

Most kids today head over to the park or the playground to meet their simple yet unpredictable taste, playing on the jungle gym, the swings and the teeter-totter. If you are a parent who wants to do something special for your children—and also happens to enjoy home improvement and challenging yourself with DIY (do it yourself) projects, then one project that is particularly tricky, very satisfying and makes a wonderful gift for your children, would be building them their own teeter-totter right in your yard.

Be forewarned however, this is not for people who casually work on projects—this is for someone who is serious about building a teeter-totter, and is willing to get (or already has) all the tools necessary to make it. Here is a step by step process you can go over and follow.

  • Ready the appropriate tools and materials. This can be a pretty daunting task if you are not well-equipped to begin with. It does not mean that it is impossible however; it will just take a little longer. The tools and materials you will need are: an eight-foot two-by-six and a ten-foot two-by-four sturdy wooden board, a circular saw, a scroll saw, a belt sander, wooden clamps, a couple of pipe pieces (galvanized), a hand-held drill with the appropriate bits, a drill press, a box of screws (about two and a half inches), as well as a pencil, a pair of scissors, tape measure, a piece of paper, and lastly, three pieces of very large drafting paper. If you manage to collect all of these, then continue on to the next step of the process.
  • Draft your work and create some templates. The first thing you should do is to make a little sketch of the teeter-totter to be on your piece of paper—this will act as an outline. Next, you can make templates for each part of the teeter-totter, the base, the fulcrum-post as well as the seats, by using each one of the drafting paper to do so. The first will have to be traced using the two-by-six you have (which should be marked halfway) and making any changes you want to the draft (curved edges and whatnot). The fulcrum will be using the width of a two-by-four and folding it to the appropriate size, the base will also use the two-by-four, only it is not folded.
  • Build the teeter-totter. Using the templates as the foundation, you can begin making the teeter-totter—use the wooden clamp and your belt sander to properly sand the wooden two-by-six and shape the fulcrum –post—drilling it so that the galvanized pipes will fit in. Drill the proper holes to the base and connect them to your drilled fulcrum-post and attach it to the ground with the drill as well. You will need a top rail through the top of the fulcrum-post (drilling it again). The rest is simply connecting the galvanized pipe (which should be set together to resemble handles) on each end of the teeter-totter, using the screws to secure its position. Finally, use cement or sand to bury the base of the teeter-totter so that it is completely attached to the ground.

And there you have it, a wonderful new teeter-totter for your child and one more reason to pat yourself on the back.


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