The teeter-totter, also known as a seesaw, is a common playground fixture. Although there are many different ways to construct one, they all use the same principle. A teeter-totter is nothing more than a plank balanced on a central fulcrum.
Create a basic drawing of your teeter-totter or print a blueprint to follow.
Cut the 2 by 4 piece of lumber into six equal pieces. Each piece should be 20 inches long. Two pieces will make up the fulcrum posts; the other four will create the base. Mark the position of the hole for the rod on the two fulcrum posts. The hole should be placed in the center, 2 inches from the top of the fulcrum post. Mark the center of the remaining four pieces of wood.
Drill out the hole in the upper section of the fulcrum posts. Cut notches in the four pieces of base wood. Two pieces should be notched at 3 inches from each end. The other two pieces should have notches 2 inches off center.
Assemble the base and fulcrum. Attach one fulcrum post perpendicular to the center of the piece of base wood, between the two notches. Repeat the process for the other fulcrum post. You should now have two T-shaped pieces. Attach these two pieces by using the remaining two pieces of base wood as crosspieces.The notches should fit together to create a box that sits level on the ground with the two fulcrum posts in the center. The cross pieces should fit tight to the upright fulcrum posts, and extend past the base wood by several inches. Add screws through the wood at the notches to secure the attachment.
Sand the exposed edges down to rounded corners for safety.
Insert the metal pole through the holes in the fulcrum posts, and cap the ends.
Cut the 2 by 6 piece of lumber into one 80-inch piece. Mark the center point with pencil. Mark the positions of the handles on each side, 10 to 12 inches from the end of the board, centered width-wise. Mark the curves on the end of the board if you are going to shape the seat area. Drill out the holes for the handles.
Cut the PVC pipe into one-foot sections, and use the "T" joint to create handles. You can also construct the handles out of wood or metal. If you have a lathe available to use, wooden handles can have a nicer look. Fit the handles into the holes and secure with wood glue.
Sand off all rough edges of the plank. Round off the corners and shape the seat if you desire.
Assemble the teeter-totter by placing the plank across the bar on the fulcrum posts, centering the plank over the metal bar. The bar should run the width of the plank. If you measured correctly, the plank will balance itself on the bar. If it is not balanced, slide the plank until you find its balance point. Then attach a steel strap on the underside of the plank with several screws, run the strap across the bar under the plank and affix the opposite end in the same manner. This will prevent the plank from lifting off the bar during play.