DIY: How To Make A Seesaw Out Of Wood (Family Fun Outdoors)

  • Here’s a great idea for a DIY project - A wooden seesaw 
  • We start with a complete list of materials and equipment needed 
  • Our step by step instructions are super easy to follow 
  • Plus, safety tips to remember when making a wooden seesaw

Do you have toddlers or younger kids who love playing on the seesaw when they go to the park?

Are you looking for a great way to bring the fun of playing on a seesaw to your own backyard?

Do you enjoy DIY projects and hands-on experiences that can help you bond with your kids and feel like you get to be creative in the process?

If any of this sounds like your situation, you’re in luck! In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about how to make a seesaw out of wood. This is a fun project that will keep you occupied for a little while and help you feel like you’re really contributing to your kids’ outdoor play, too.

Building your own seesaw may be a little bit of a challenge, and you’re going to need to know how to use some power tools to get the job done. However, it’s not an expert-level job either, so you’ll probably only need to have intermediate woodworking skills to complete this task.

Check out the information below to help you get started. We’ve divided all the information into easy-to-follow sections, including a list of equipment you’ll need, materials you’ll want to have on hand before you start building, and of course the steps themselves.

By the time you finish reading, you’ll be ready to get out there and start working right away!

Materials Needed

  • 90mm x 45mm x 2.4m hardwood
  • (2) 390mm x 45mm x 2.4m treated pine
  • 190mm x 45mm x 3m hardwood
  • 400mm x 20mm x .5” galvanized gas pipe
  • 25mm x 1.2m oak dowel
  • 2 brass cap ends for the pipe
  • 5” flanges for the pipe
  • 65mm batten screws
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    100mm batten screws
  • (4) 15mm coach bolts with washers and nuts
  • Sandpaper in 240, 120, 80, and 40 grit
  • Rubber mat
  • Wood filler
  • Polyurethane glue

Equipment Needed

  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Earmuffs
  • Nail punch
  • Orbital sander
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    Putty knife
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    Pencil
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    Quick clamps
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    Rubber mallet
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    File
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    Safety glasses
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    Utility knife
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    Socket set
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    Work gloves
  • Builders’ square
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    Combination square
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    Drill
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    Mitre saw
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    2 adjustable shifting spanners
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    Impact driver
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    Drill bits: 7mm and 4mm standard, pilot and countersink 5mm, Philips head, hex batten screw head
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    Spade bits: 28mm, 35mm, 20mm, 12mm

Steps

  • 1
    Cut your treated pine into the following pieces, or have the hardware store cut it for you:
  • (2) 803mm
  • (2) 848mm
  • (2) 1200mm
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    (4) 395mm
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    (2) 270mm
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    (2) 180mm
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    (4) 200mm
how to make a simple seesaw
  • 2
    Cut your 90mm hardwood into the following pieces, or have the hardware store cut it for you:
  • (2) 300mm
  • (2) 400mm
  • (2) 190mm
  • 3
    Cut your 190mm hardwood into the following pieces, or have the hardware store cut it for you:
  • 110mm x 190mm
  • 300mm
  • 4
    Cut the oak dowel into two pieces.
  • 5
    Measure and cut the rubber mat to make cushions and stoppers for the seesaw. The recommended size is 190mm x 90mm for the stoppers and 400mm x 190mm for the cushions. Use two layers of wood glue to attach to the appropriate pieces of wood.
  • 6
    File the thread on the flanges away with the file to remove the threading and make the flanges into washer-like pieces.
  • 7
    Lay out a triangular frame using the following pieces of lumber:
  • 803mm left-hand side
  • 848mm right-hand side
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    395mm inner upright
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    1200mm base
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    270mm inner X piece
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    200mm frame attachment
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    180mm triangle axle
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    200mm solving piece
how to make a seesaw out of wood
  • 8
    Use the mitre saw to cut 45-degree cuts from the tops of the left-hand and right-hand side pieces.
  • 9
    Make a 10-degree cut on each piece of the dowel used for the handles of the seesaw.
  • 10
    Pre-drill and place a countersink for 65mm screws on the short ends of the triangular frame and 100mm screws on the long ends.
  • 11
    Repeat the countersink placement process for the uprights on the triangular frame. Do not drill into the center of the top piece of lumber as you attach the frame together with screws.
  • 12
    Use a 28mm spade bit to make a countersink for the flange on the central triangle in the base of the seesaw.
  • 13
    Repeat the construction process for the other triangular frame.
  • 14
    Join both frames with the 200mm frame attachments by drilling a batten countersink and a 7mm clearance hole all the way through the frame.
  • 15
    Drill a 4mm pilot hole in the attachment piece and screw into place with 125mm screws on both sides.
  • 16
    Drill a 28mm spade bit hole into the handle post and insert the dowel into the hole. Ensure the dowel placement is even and screw into place with 65mm screws.
  • 17
    Drill a 28mm spade bit hole in the two pieces of 400mm hardwood, then center these pieces parallel on the seesaw and put the 190mm pieces on top of these. Drill coach bolts and nuts into this box and attach with screws.
  • 18
    Attach the stoppers and handles using pre-drilled holes and screws.
  • 19
    Sand everything and attach the seesaw to the central frame using flanges and screws.

Safety Tips

  • Always be sure you sand down rough ends of wood. This prevents children from getting splinters playing on your DIY seesaw. You may want to consider sanding and finishing all the wood in this project. It’s not required, but it can protect your kids and keep your seesaw working longer, too.
  • Make sure you take into account little fingers that might get in the way of the seesaw’s working. This project includes an axle box in one of the steps to keep your kids from being able to put their hands in the inner workings of the seesaw. If you go with another how-to guide, however, keep this in mind.
  • Always put down rubber mats, wood filler, or both for outdoor play. This will make it easier on your kids if they fall off the seesaw and will also give them some added cushioning while they play on it, too.

Conclusion

So what do you think? Are you ready to get out there and build your kids’ new seesaw for your backyard use? As you can see, it may be a fun challenge to build a seesaw, but there’s no reason why you can’t complete it as long as you know a little bit about how to work with tools, especially power tools. Now that you’ve read through this article, you’re already well on your way to understanding how to take care of this project.

Don’t forget to pay close attention to the safety tips in the section above, too! You should always keep safety in mind when you’re building anything your kids will be playing on, whether it’s for backyard use or not.

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