Do It Yourself: How To Make A See-Saw

How to make your own seesaw from scrap lumber. A quick easy project the kids are sure to love!

Building your own seesaw can be a fun project that will add hours of enjoyment to your playground. A homemade seesaw actually requires very little in the way of lumber. This project is so simple it can be done with scrap wood left over from another project. Surprise the kids with this classic piece of playground equipment.

Materials you will need:

2 x 8 and 2 x 4 pressure-treated lumber

1" galvanized pipe

1/4" metal dowels

Quick-drying concrete

Marine rope

Circular saw


Liquid Nails construction adhesive

Drill and bits

Galvanized screws

Sheet of sand paper or sander

Optional: posthole digger

How to build your seesaw:

1. Cut a piece of two-inch by eight-inch lumber to the desired length of nine feet to form the seat board.

2. Cut a piece of two-inch by four-inch lumber to the same length of nine feet to form the brace board.

3. Cut two sections of two-inch by eight-inch lumber to thirty-five inches for the uprights of the seesaw. Sand the edges smooth with sand paper or a sander.

4. Dig holes for the uprights, using a posthole digger if you have one on hand.

5. Secure the uprights in the ground at least seventeen inches deep, leaving eighteen inches above ground. The uprights should be set about seven and three quarter inches apart to fit a two-inch by eight-inch seat board between them. Set them securely in the ground with quick-drying concrete.

6. Using a jigsaw cut out a U-shaped notch two and a quarter inches deep in the top of each upright. The notches will hold the pivot bar made of one inch galvanized pipe

7. Cut a U-shaped notch one and quarter inch deep and one and a quarter inch wide in the center of the brace board.

8. Mark a line lengthwise down the center of the seat board.

9. Using Liquid Nails construction adhesive, attach the brace board with the notched side down. Secure with galvanized screws driven from the top of the seat board every six inches along its length.

10. Position a piece of galvanized pipe in the notched area. The pipe should be long enough to allow an inch and a half overhang on each side. Add pipe straps to further secure the pivot bar if desired.

11. Drill quarter inch holes in both uprights to allow the placement of metal dowels that will keep the pivot bar in place.

12. To construct the handles measure in sixteen inches from the end of the seat board and one and a quarter inches from the sides. Drill two, five-eighths diameter holes to fit the marine-rope handles. Insert the rope, and tie knots in the ends to secure it. Singe the ends of the rope to keep them from fraying.

13. Sit back and watch the kids have a great time on the seesaw that you built.

Your seesaw should continue to be a source of enjoyment for a long time to come. Although it's essentially maintenance free, it's a good idea to treat the lumber with weather sealant from time to time to keep the lumber smooth and in safe riding condition.

There you have it. You've built a seesaw. As with any playground equipment, adult supervision is recommended.

© High Speed Ventures 2011