|Look at that joy!|
|Trust - Will my sister drop me like a bad habit?|
Before I go on, I need to give the standard warnings. Like anything that kids get their hands on, they can get hurt on a teeter totter. They can also get hurt having a pillow fight, putting rocks down each others' pants (yeah, that really happened), or jumping from the couch to the coffee table while playing "The Floor Is Lava." So please use discretion and supervise your kids.
While this is not an instructional, step-by-step as to how to make a teeter totter, you can see by the pictures that the design is quite simple. It is made from two eight-foot 2X6 boards and one eight foot 4X4 redwood post. I used the redwood post because redwood is naturally moisture resistant and insect resistant, and I figured that if it can handle those two things, it should be able to handle my three kids. This also means that it does not need to be painted. The 2X6 boards were painted using some left over exterior paint.
|Note the decorative chalk designs|
The whole project took me about two hours to cut and put together, not including the time to paint it. One thing I realized is that the handles do not work really well. The kids put so much torque on the handles that they regularly break off. A little more engineering with longer lag screws, anchor sleeves, and some wood glue solves this problem. However, if I had it all to do over again, I might choose simple rope handles. All of which leads me to this realization: some projects, especially ones that are tested out by kids, need to be fixed and modified on a regular basis. This is part of the wonderful world of engineering for kids who operate outside the realm of normal physical constraints. This is part of being a Renaissance Dad.