A do-it-yourself balance swing is made from boards, logs, car wheels and other materials available on the farm. The presence of a long lever is important for the attraction, and any suitable object will act as a support, even a stump of a cut tree remaining in the clearing. In order to properly build the scales, you need to know their peculiarities of functioning.
The principle of the swing-balancer
To understand how a swing works, you need to consider their design. The base of the balancer is the support. It can be permanently fixed by concreting or digging into the ground, or simply stand on the ground. A long lever with seats for people sitting is fixed on the support.
Based on the description of the swing-balancer, the operation of the attraction resembles a pendulum swinging from side to side. The device is made according to the principle of the simplest scales. The point of attachment to the support is the center of the lever. The resulting two opposite wings must have the same length and mass in order to maintain balance. When the children sit on the lever seats, under their own weight, they begin to rise and fall alternately. It is advisable that a child with approximately the same body weight sat on opposite lever seats, otherwise there will be an overweight in one direction.
The balancers are rolled by pushing them off the ground with the feet. To get a soft landing, a shock absorber is installed on the back of the lever under the seats. The role of this node is played by a piece of plastic or rubber pipe, a piece of a car tire, a thick spring.
Pros and cons of balancing swing
The main advantage of balancers is the ability to adapt the child in society. The swing is intended for collective skating only. Alone, with all the desire to have fun, it will not work. During pair skating, children find a common language, learn to communicate in a team.
Another plus of the swing is the development of children. To roll out on a balance bar requires physical effort. Children develop muscles in their legs, back and arms.
If we talk about the disadvantages of a swing, then an unpaired number of children in a team sometimes causes a dispute over the sequence of riding. Alone, a child is not interested in such an attraction and is useless. When children have significant differences in body weight, the balance bar is difficult, and sometimes even impossible to use. The disadvantage is the age limit. It is impossible to ride too young kids on a swing. The balancer is not suitable for children with poor physical development.
Types of children's street swing-balancer
By design, there are many varieties of balancers. Craftsmen with their own hands create designs with additional options, but they all work according to the same principle of scales:
- Classic swing balancer for a playground is a long log, bar or board with two seats at the edges. Usually they are equipped with handles. The lever is mounted on a support, which is a concrete block, a dug-in post, a sawn tree stump, or any other suitable object.
- A sophisticated design is considered to be a spring balancer. A feature of the swing is the design of the working mechanism. At the bottom of the lever on both sides of the support, powerful compression springs are installed at the same distance. Less effort is required to control the balancer. It is important to keep your balance and push off slightly with your feet.
Advice! Spring balancers are suitable for children under five years of age.
- A tire ride is considered a mobile structure. The support of the balancer is a half of the wheel, to which the board is fixed on top. Children themselves can carry the swing around the playground.
- Swivel balancers have a special support device. It is made of metal and necessarily has a hinge rotating on a bearing. It is to it that the swing lever is fixed. During entertainment, children can not only swing, but also rotate on the balance bar around the support axis.
Important! Rotary balancers develop motor skills in children, improve coordination of movements.
- Double balancers have one common support, but two parallel levers. Each of them is equipped with one seat on one side. Four children can have fun on the swing at the same time, but each pair is independent of each other.
- The paired balancers are made according to the principle of the classic swing design. The difference is that there are two seats at each end of the arm. The swing can accommodate 4 people at a time. Since the seats are located on the same lever, both pairs of children ride at the same time. They cannot be independent of each other.
Any considered pendulum swing with their own hands can be made by every parent for their child.
What you need to make a swing-balancer for the country
To make an attraction for children with their own hands, only two types of material are used: wood and metal. If considered in general terms, the balancers are still plastic or combined. Each design has its own positive and negative qualities:
- Wooden balancers are most often assembled by hand. The popularity of the swing is due to the availability of material, ease of processing. The design is lightweight, easy to manage. Wood is a natural environmentally friendly material that is safe for children. However, the wood quickly disappears if the swing is outdoors year-round. Staining, antiseptic treatment helps to shed the life of the balancers.
- Metal outperforms wood in terms of strength and longevity. However, the material must be similarly painted to protect against corrosion. It is more difficult to make a balancer with your own hands. You will need a welding machine and experience with it. In addition, metal is more expensive than wood. The swing turns out to be heavy, more traumatic for children.
- Plastic balancers are lightweight, safe, do not disappear in dampness. The disadvantage is the impossibility of making it with your own hands. A swing made of plastic is bought in a store. You only need to assemble the attraction with your own hands according to the attached instructions.
Advice! Plastic balancers are designed for small children only. This nuance must be taken into account when choosing a model.
A combination swing can have all three types of materials. For example, do-it-yourself support is made of metal, the lever is wooden, and the seats are plastic.
Sizes of children's swing-balancer
For a suspended swing, the size requirements are shown in GOST. Balancers are not subject to government regulations. When making an attraction with your own hands, it is individually determined for what age it is designed.
Approximate sizes are determined in the following ranges:
- The length of the arm depends on the height of the swing support. The larger it is, the longer the board is needed. If you put the short lever on a high support, you get a large working angle. Children will be able to climb higher, but it is more difficult to control the swing. Typically, the arm length ranges from 2 to 2.7 m.
- The height of the swing beam depends on the support, and this parameter, as discussed above, is related to the length of the lever. However, you need to take into account the height of the child. If the support is too high, it is difficult to climb on the seat, push off the ground with your feet while swinging. Too low a support will reduce the travel angle. It is not interesting to ride on such a balance bar. On average, the height of the support varies from 0.5 to 0.8 m.
- It is equally important to equip comfortable seats on the lever with your own hands. The following dimensions are optimal: width - 40 cm, length - 60 cm, while the height of the handles is 20 cm, and the height of the back is 30 cm.
Optimally calculate the dimensions so that during the swinging of the balancer, the seats rise to a height of 50-60 cm from the ground.
Swing balancer schemes
How to make a swing-balancer with your own hands
Before starting production, you need to decide on the purpose of the attraction. In other words, it was decided to assemble a swing balancer for adults or children with your own hands. The choice of material depends on this, so that its strength corresponds to the load, as well as the dimensions of the structure.
The video shows an example of children's entertainment in the country:
How to make a wooden scale swing with your own hands
For a children's attraction, a tree is considered the best building material. The lever is created with your own hands from a long log of a bar or board. Only a bar or log is suitable for support. The board can be used if its thickness is at least 50 mm. The principle of making balancers from any lumber is the same.
To support the swing, you need to install two racks parallel to each other with your own hands. The distance between them is equal to the width of the lever, plus a small gap, allowing free rolling. If you make a swing balancer for children with your own hands stationary, then the racks are dug in or concreted in the ground. To build a portable attraction, stops are attached perpendicularly to the lower ends of the racks. Each post becomes shaped like an inverted "T". The jibs connecting the post to the stop prevent it from loosening.
In the upper part of the racks, coaxial holes are drilled with their own hands. A similar procedure is carried out with a lever. The hole is drilled exactly in the center of the workpiece to maintain balance. The lever is wound between two posts. Connect it to the support with a metal threaded rod, fix it with nuts. The lever should swing freely from the effort of the hand.
Now it remains to fix the seats from pieces of board, handles, and, if necessary, also backrests. Wooden balancers are sanded with sandpaper, treated with an antiseptic, painted or varnished.
How to make a swing-balancer made of metal with your own hands
At a metal attraction, a pipe with a diameter of 50 mm plays the role of a lever. The cross-sectional selection is increased if the swing is designed for adults. A profile is a good choice. Due to the edges, the square tube can withstand heavy loads.
The support at the stationary swing is a pipe with a diameter of 75-100 mm concreted in the ground. For a mobile balancer made of tubes and elbows with a diameter of 32-40 mm, a cross-shaped support is welded with their own hands, installed on the surface of the earth.
To fix the lever, the top of the support is equipped with a U-shaped bracket in an inverted state. Coaxial holes are drilled on the side shelves. In the center of the lever, it is optimal to weld a sleeve across the pipe, through which the pin is passed during fixation to the U-shaped bracket. Instead of welding the sleeve, you can drill a hole with your own hands in the center of the lever itself, but the pipe will weaken at this point. During a heavy load, it will bend here, and maybe even break.
The seats on the lever are fastened with their own hands from wooden boards. Ready-made plastic chairs from children's bicycles will do. The handles are bent out of a tube with a diameter of 15-20 mm. The finished swing is degreased, primed, painted. A rubber hose is pulled over the handles to make it more comfortable for children to hold on.
How to make a pendulum swing from tires with your own hands
Old car wheels are considered good balancer material. Moreover, the swing can be made for pair skating and, as an exception, for single skating.
A classic swing-rocker with their own hands is created from a half of a tire and a board. The wheel acts as a support. The tire is cut in half. One part of it is fixed to the center of the lever with the help of embedded bars with self-tapping screws. The other half of the tire is again sawn into two equal parts. Each of them is fixed with their own hands to the board under the bottom of the seat. The elements will play the role of shock absorbers. Each seat is equipped with handles, the board is sanded, painted along with the support. The version of the balancers turns out to be mobile. The swing can be carried around the site, hidden in the shed for the winter.
In stationary classic balancers, the support legs are dug into the ground. Tires here only play the role of shock absorbers. The wheels are driven in vertically at the points of contact of the ends of the lever with the ground. During riding, there is a springback from the tire.
The wheel is the only exception that allows you to build a single-seat balancer with your own hands. To make a gurney, it is enough to fix a piece of board to the tire half, the length of which is equal to the diameter of the tire. On such an attraction, the child is independently able to have fun.
In the video, a swing from an old tire:
Balance weights are considered interesting entertainment, but for the safety of use, it is worth listening to some useful tips:
- For skiing, it is optimal to allow children themselves from the age of 5 years. At this age, their coordination is better developed. The likelihood of a child falling is reduced.
- Children under the age of 5 years old ride under the supervision of their parents.
- There must be shock absorbers under the arm seat. The elements additionally act as restraints that prevent the legs from being pinched by pressing the lever to the ground. The shock absorber must create a clearance of at least 23 cm.
A few simple rules will keep your kids safe on the playground.
Do-it-yourself swing-balancer in a simple design can be built in a few hours. If you choose a complex design with springs or a swing arm, you will have to allocate 1-2 days of free time.