The ankle biters love the garden and we are in the process of building up our garden toys collection. When FFX tools asked us to review some of their products we decided to go for a Draper Variable Speed Router Kit priced at £76. This tool is essential for smoothing off edges for woodwork projects and has many other uses , a handy tool to own.

We already have a fabulous wooden play house so James decided to make a wooden seesaw to go with it. It was so easy to make and he had this done within two hours. We are beyond thrilled with it and it makes such a lovely addition to the garden.

Step by Step guide – by James 

Materials

  • Approx 14 ft wood
  • Car tyre
  • Old hose pipe
  • Assorted screws ( we used decking screws )
  • Penny Washers
  • Drill & Bits
  • Jigsaw
  • Workbench
  • Saws – wood and hacksaw
  • Mitre Box
  • Measuring Tape
  • Tennis Racquet & celebrations chocolate Box lid
  • Sandpaper
  • Safety Glasses
  • Router with chamfered bit (optional)
  • Angle Grinder (optional)

 

Step 1 – Main Body

You need 2 separate lengths of wood screwed together with a gap in the middle. Start by cutting the 2 main lengths the same size – roughly 7 ft each. Measure the width of the tyre; as this will determine the length of the 4 cross members.

For the 2 cross members to place either end of the seesaw they need to be cut them with an angled edge. Two reasons: aesthetics and strength. The screw needs to be flush with the angled edge as opposed to straight in from the bottom, it will stop the whole structure from twisting.

The other two cross members are for the middle and where just straight cut as they where hidden under the tyre.

After screwing the ends together it looked like this.

Step 2 – Curves

To ensure the seesaw is child friendly and smoothed I used the Jigsaw. For the tips I traced round a chocolate box lid – ensuring both sides were mirrored then they were cut.

Next job was to put in the cut-outs for their legs.Looking in the shed for something to trace for this didn’t turn up much. However in the toy shed I found a tennis racquet which actually turned out great as the cut outs were a nice “balloon” shape. So again I traced out all 4 measuring to ensure uniformity and cut with the jigsaw.

Step 3 – Smooth the edges

After cutting the curves in the edges where quite rough. I used the new router with a chamfered bit to put a curved edge around where the children’s legs would go.

One thing to note as you can see at some points of the chamfer it has cut a little bit rough. This was due to me passing the router too quickly, so take it slow. I simply sanded this off afterwards.

Step 4 – Handles 

To keep with the rustic theme I decided to use up some old hose pipe. I cut a total of four holes, two either end with a flat wood drill bit.I passed the hose through the top and screwed it to the underside of the seesaw.

When using flat wood bits, they can often cause splintering when exiting as you can see above. So ensure you drill top to bottom so that any defects are hidden underneath.

Step 5 – Tyre

Next I had to cut the tyre and this was not easy. Car tyres are full of metal re-enforcement, so cutting through it all took a long time. Preferably I think an angle grinder would have really helped, but that’s one tool I haven’t got round to buying yet.I then took the two remaining cross members that I made in step one and measured them so that they were separated the same length as the tyres width and equidistant from either end of the seesaw. Then a final few Screws and it was complete.

I was sent a voucher to use for a tool of my choice – all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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