Wood Seesaw or Teeter Totter

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/05/2019 - 10:37
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Make a teeter totter or seesaw for less than $20! You'll just need some 2x framing lumber, a bolt and screws, and our free, easy step by step seesaw plans. 

This project has been built hundreds (if not thousands) of times and beloved by children everywhere.  Build and use at your own risk. 

wood teeter totter or seesaw woodworking plans

Reader submitted photo by  KIMMOPT



teeter totter or seesaw dimensions
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

2 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long

2 – 2x6 @ 8 feet long

1 – 10” 5/8” bolt with nut and four washers

1 – 1x8 @ 3 feet long

1 – 24” 1” dowel or closet rod

Common Materials
3 inch screws
Cut List

2 – 2x4 @ 96”

2 – 2x6 @ 24” (uprights)

2 – 2x6 @ 36” (long base)

2 – 2x6 @ 24” (short base - both ends cut at 30 degrees off square ends NOT parallel to each other)

2 – 2x6 @ 12” (scrap piece can be shorter than 12” – used for handle)

FROM EACH 2x6 cut one each of the 24”, 36”, 24” and 12” to conserve boards

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Attach long base supports to uprights with lots of screws and glue.

Step 2

Then add the side supports again with lots of screws and glue.

Step 3

Build the seat part by sandwiching the handle supports between 8 foot long 2x4s and attaching with glue and lots of screws. Drill a 5/8" hole in center of 2x4s for the pivot bolt.

Step 4

I used scrap 1x8 boards for the seats, covered in a foam chair pad cut in half and outdoor fabric. I drilled three holes in the uprights with 5/8" bit so the seesaw could be adjustable. The most difficult part of this seesaw was getting the bolt holes lined up. We ended up just making the bolt holes a little larger so the bolts could pass through easier. On the bolt, we put washers on each side of the uprights to protect the finish and for a smoother ride. For the handles, we had extra closet rod dowel, so we just cut to size, and drilled a hole and inserted the rod. We then glued and screwed in place.


Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Thu, 05/10/2012 - 03:36

LOVE IT!!!!! I have 2 daughters with birthdays in June and July this is going to be my 4 year olds Gift!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH. I found your blog one day when looking for ideas on ways to make your own storage items. At that time had not used a saw and had a hard time with a drill. I started small with a hand saw and a hammer and nails. My husband and the small family owned hardware store got a kick out of me. My husband saw that this was not just a fase I was going through and I was kind of good at it. He has been teaching me how to do things and has went through his tools and has giving me a buch of things he dose not use any more. I now have a buch of wood working tool and loads of support form my huband. This has brought us closer as well. We were having a lot of trouble when I started this and by us working together amnd him showing me how to do things we have spent more time together and have enjoyed each others company. Thank you so much


Thu, 05/10/2012 - 08:09

I am working on this right now, but I think the short bases are supposed to be 2x6. Therefore, I think the cut list should read 2x6 rather than 2x4 for the short bases. I'm a beginner builder, so correct me if I'm mistaken!

Milca (not verified)

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 11:31

Built a playhouse for the kids 3 years ago with little improvements each year. This year I was thinking we needed a seesaw to complement the rest. What perfect timing :) Thank you sooooo much for taking the time to draw up the plans!

jeremiah (not verified)

Wed, 11/21/2012 - 09:11

First off, I love this project and thanks for posting it!

I am using 2x6 for everything.. but when I drill out the hole for the dowel it will not fit into it.. 1inch dowel, 1inch bit..

I dont want too much wiggle, but I was wondering what size bit you used..

Thank you!
Happy Thanksgiving too!

Elimarcos Morais

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 09:23

I really liked the instructions, I will build a seesaw.



Sat, 01/10/2015 - 13:23

The dimensions under "cuts" for the short base is wrong. It says it is a 2x4 but it should be a 2x6.


Thu, 05/21/2015 - 20:28

I needed a seesaw as a prop in a show my wife is producing. This plan went together in nothing flat, mostly with lumber I had lying around the shop. FYI, the trick to getting the 5/8" holes to align is to use a 5/8" dowel to line everything up as you put it together.


Fri, 07/24/2015 - 15:57

How did you attach the seat?  I covered it in padding and fabric but do not see a way to attach the seat now.  Thanks!