Did you know Earth Day is this Wednesday?? It’s got me (and everyone) thinking about reusing and recycling, and I just love today’s project for that – a Tire Teeter Totter! Yes, just an old tire given a new life. I really love how it turned out (and so do my kiddos!) Just a used tire, some scrap building supplies, and we were set!
See, super awesome!
How to Make a Tire Teeter Totter
We had all the supplies for this project, except for the giant bolt screws, on hand. And except for the tire, but we were able to grab that from Discount Tire (you can get an old tire to use in a recycle project at no cost). So the whole project was virtually no cost.
Tire Teeter Totter supplies
For this project, we used a pretty big tire, but I don’t think that was necessary. In fact, I think the rugged tire was probably a little harder to cut through (reinforce steel cable rim) than a regular tire, so when I make another one, I’ll grab a smaller tire.
For this project you’ll need:
–scrap wood (our board was about 10 inches wide and in length it extended over the tire on each edge maybe 4 inches – this is totally up to you how big the board is) – also, scraps for the handles and tire blocking
–electrical conduit pipe (we had some left over from our railing we built) – this is super cheap and can be found near the electrical stuff
–6 bolts with washers
–optional: paint (I used paint we had on hand, leftover from the kids’ rooms, but you could also leave it plain)
Tire Teeter Totter Tutorial Instructions
Let’s dive right in! First up, cut the tire. We used a saws all, and it takes lots of muscle (I couldn’t have done it myself) – –
Cut it so that you have 2 halves. You can make 2 teeter totters out of one tire.
Next up is the tire blocking. When you cut the tire it looses some of it’s integrity and gets more flexible. Plus you need a spot to attach the seat, so blocking solves both those problems. Use a rectangular piece of wood that fits inside your tire like shown below. We cut the corners at an angle for a little better fit.
We used screw bolts to attach the tire blocking wood to the tire. one on each of the 3 sides. First we drilled a pilot hole through the tire and wood:
and then attached the bolts through those pilot holes, and then repeat that for the other side:
Next up, cut the board for your seat to length. We also cut off the corners so they wouldn’t be sharp for riders. Then I made sure to sand it really well. You can also cut the blocks for the handles while you’re in the cutting mode – you’ll need 4. And on the handles, drill out holes that the conduit will slide into.
I then taped off stripes and painted my seat, but that’s optional. You could leave it plain, or paint it solid, or really do whatever you’d like!
If you do stripes, just let it dry completely and then remove your tape lines.
Alrighty, assembly time! Flip the handles upside down (with the conduit inserted into the holes already) and then flip the seat board upside on top of it and drill screws through the seat into the handles to attach them.
Then you’re going to flip the whole tire upside-down on top of the seat so you can attach it by screwing through the blocking into the seat.
By attaching everything upside-down, you won’t have any screws exposed on the top-side of your teeter totter. An angled drill came in handy for that tight spot inside the tire.
Here’s a better view of how the handles came out. You want to be sure that the conduit is high enough that you can grab onto (wrap your hand all the way around) the pipe
My kiddos are already having a blast with our Tire Teeter Totter – – I see lots more in our future!!
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