A Seesaw Merry-Go-Round (May, 1924)

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A Seesaw Merry-Go-Round


A LOT of fun can be had with the teeter-totter merry-go-round shown in the illustration, and any boy can make it who is at all handy with carpentry tools. If built substantially it will amuse the youngsters, big and little, for years. It will go up and down like a seesaw and spin around like a top until the passengers are dizzy.

All that is needed is an old pair of roller skates, a piece of 1-in. pipe, 18 in. long, a good ash plank about 1-1/2 in. thick, 12 in. wide, and as long as possible to get it, and a solid post or tree trunk, about 1 ft. in diameter and 3-1/2 ft. high. If ash cannot be obtained, a plank of birch, maple, or oak will do very well.

Make sure that the tree trunk is solid and saw one end off very smooth and level. At the lower end spike two cross pieces of wood with screw-spikes, so as to form a base and hold the post in a firm, upright position. It is very important that the post be firm. Dig a hole and set the base 12 to 18 in. below the surface of the ground, filling in around the post and packing the soil down thoroughly. Bore a 1-in. hole vertically in the center in the top of the post 6 in. deep. Have the pipe threaded for about 6 in. at one end, and screw the pipe

tightly into the hole in the post with a pipe wrench. So much for the post. Bore a 1-1/4 or 1-1/2in. hole through the middle of the plank; if no expansion bit is available a series of little holes can be drilled in a circle and the wood cut out with a knife or a chisel. Now take the two front ends of the roller skates (extension skates are the best), hammer the clamps out flat and attach these to the plank on opposite sides of the hole. They should be screwed on, preferably by drilling suitable screwholes through the iron skate tops. The arrangement of the two roller-skate ends is clearly shown in the photograph. The distance between the two outer rollers must not exceed the diameter of the post or the circular bedplate upon which they are to run. If a large wagon-wheel hub can be obtained and sawed in two this will make an excellent bedplate or runway if placed on top of the post, upon which the rollers will run. This is what was done in the picture, but it is not essential if a good solid hardwood tree trunk is used. The half hub must be firmly screwed to the top of the post by screw bolts sunk below the top surface.

If this apparatus is carefully made it is astonishing what a lot of rough usage it will stand and how smoothly it will operate. Care should be taken, of course, in attaching the roller skates, to be sure that the four wheels are in a single line which passes through the center of the pipe.

The plank with the rollers can easily be lifted from the post and taken indoors for protection.

  1. Erika says: September 14, 20073:23 am

    okay, don’t laugh, but we HAD one of those! this was in the 70s, it was great fun, and I’ve always wondered if it was just some figment of my grandfathers imagination, or whether some other kid somewhere was also merrily making themselves feel sick whilst trying to throw their little brother off it mid spin…

  2. Stannous says: September 14, 200710:46 am

    On Page 2, the six-legged lean back chair is just like one featured on The Simpsons episode, “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace.”


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