The teeter totter has been a classic favorite with kids for decades. Here is a simple method to help you build your own teeter totter without having to spend much. This can seat 4 toddlers, and keep the kids engrossed in outdoor activities, instead of sitting locked in the world of virtual gaming.
Tools and Materials Needed:
• An 8 foot 2x6 board
• A 10 foot 2x4 board
• 3 sheets drafting paper
• Measuring Tape
• Scroll Saw
• Belt Sander
• 3 inch screws
• Galvanized pipe pieces
Step 1: Initial Steps
Make a sketch of the outline of the teeter totter you want to build, to have an idea how it would look after being built. Keep in mind that the lumber has to be pressure treated as it will be subjected to outside natural forces.Take the wooden boards, and mark the dimensions, using a measuring tape, on to them. You need to cut along the lines marked. Cut the 2x4 board neatly into six identical pieces of 20 inch lengths.
Step 2: Sizing Up
Take the block of 2x6 lumber and cut an 80 inch piece. Make a mark at the center of this piece.
Step 3: Template 1
Make a pattern for the seat on the teeter totter. Measure a piece of the drafting paper to the 2x6 piece width. Now cut to this size using a hacksaw. Fold this into half, so as to draw a neat round curve. Make sure that sharp edges get removed while forming the round curve.
Step 4: Template 2
A second curve can be added on the down side for a neat look. Finally, cut these curves on the piece of folded paper. Open the paper and make a mark at its mid point for placing the teeter totter handle posts.
Step 5: Template 3
Mark the 2x4 for block width on a drafting paper, for the posts at the fulcrum. Fold the paper again and neatly cut it along the mark. Fold as you did before, and make a curve, so that the top part gets rounded.
Step 6: Template 3 Continued
From the end that is rounded, leave 2 inches towards the inside, and make a circle in the center. The circle diameter must be the same as that of the pipes. Once this is done, cut the paper and unfold it.
Step 7: Last Template
Now trace the base of the teeter totter on the drafting paper. Simply take the 2x4 block dimension, and mark it as in the previous steps. However, this time you need not fold up the drafting paper. From the side that is short, start drawing a neat curve, end it at the longer side. Cut out. Your last piece of the template is ready now.
Step 8: Tracing
Place all the templates on the wooden blocks corresponding to each. Attach the 2x6 board, by clamping to the work surface. Using a belt sander, sand up the rough areas. Sand the seat curves, posts and the teeter totter base.
Step 9: Drilling
Use the drill to make holes into the teeter totter fulcrum posts, so that the pipes can be fitted in. After drilling, make countersink holes, 4 in total, in 2 base feet out of the 4 present. Finally, connect these to the posts. After the 2 feet at the base are linked up, lay the holes for attaching and grounding the other feet at the base.
Step 10: Securing Seats
Make a hole, using the drill, through the upper surface of the fulcrum posts, and slide in the top rail through these holes. This shall enable the 2x6 seats to rock in their place, back and then forth.
Step 11: Final Steps
Cover up the base, so that it is buried in sand. Set up the 2 pipes, of ½ inch each, with flange and fitting clamps in a T shape. Using the scroll saw, cut handle bases, and notch up with same sized pegs, to attach to the handle holes. At each end of the 2x6, attach the handle by strapping up the pre-inserted strap to the bottom portion of the handle. Secure using 3 inch screws at the edges of the handle. Paint the teeter totter as you desire. It is all ready.
With the dimensions you used, it can seat 4 toddlers comfortably.