A 6 by 6-in. piece of wood 12 ft. long is used for the center pole. Bore a 3/4-in. hole in each end to a depth of 6 in. Place a 3/4-in. bolt in each hole, the bolt being long enough to protrude 2 in. beyond the end of the wood. Short pieces of wood are nailed on the center pole about 2 ft. from the end that is to be used for the bottom. This should form a hub on which to place the inner ends of the extending spokes that hold the platform. The spokes are made from twelve pieces of 2 by 4-in. material 12 ft. long.
Usually a wheel can be found in a scrap pile suitable to place on the pin that is in the top end of the center pole. The wheel should be open or have spokes. This wheel is used to attach wires for guying. The bottom pin in the center pole is placed in a hole that is bored into a block of wood about 12-in. square and 3 or 4 in. thick. A piece of sheet metal should be drilled and placed on the pin between the block and end of the pole to make a smooth bearing. The center pole is now placed in position and guyed with six wires that are about 35 ft. long. Stakes are driven into the ground and the wires fastened to and to the wheel at the top end of the pole. Care should be taken when attaching the wires to get the center pole to stand perpendicular. Twelve hooks should be placed at equal distances around the center pole about 1 ft. from the top end. Wires are fastened to these hooks and to the twelve 2 by 4-in. pieces used for the spokes. The wires should be tied around each spoke about 2 ft. from the ends. Space the spokes with equal divisions and cover the outer 2 ft. of the ends with boards, as shown in the plan sketch on the right hand end of the drawing. The boards may be nailed or bolted. If bolted and the wires made in a loop at the hooks, the swing can easily be taken apart and changed from one place to another.-Contributed by A. O. Graham, Fort Worth, Tex.
Illustration: Side and Top View
This is a very simple device, but one that will afford any amount of amusement. The center post rests in an auger hole bored in an old stump or in a post set in the ground. The stump makes the best support. The center pole should be 10 ft. high. An old wheel is mounted at the top of the pole, and the pole works in the wheel as an axle, says the American Boy. The wheel is anchored out by several guy wires. The seat arms may be any length desired. A passenger rides in each seat and the motorman takes his station at the middle.
Illustration: Home-Made Merry-Go-Round
Swinging on the Merry-Go-Round
As a home mechanic with a fondness for amusing the children I have seen many descriptions of merry-go-rounds, but never one which required so little material, labor and time, and which gave such satisfactory results, as the one illustrated herewith. It was erected in our back yard one afternoon, the materials being furnished by an accommodating lumber pile, and a little junk, and it has provided unlimited pleasure for "joy-riders," little and big, from all over the neighborhood. It looks like a toy, but once seat yourself in it and begin to go around. and, no matter what your age or size may be, you will have in a minute enough thrill and excitement to last the balance of the day.
The illustration largely explains itself, but a few dimensions will be a help to anyone wishing to construct the apparatus. The upright is a 4 by 4-in. timber, set 3 ft. in the ground with 8 ft. extending above. It is braced on four sides with pieces 2 in. square and 2 ft. long, butting against short stakes. The upper end of the post is wound with a few rounds of wire or an iron strap to prevent splitting. The crosspiece is 2 in. square, 12 ft. long, strengthened by a piece 4 in. square and 5 ft. long. These two pieces must be securely bolted or spiked together. A malleable iron bolt, 3/4 in. in diameter and 15 in. long is the pivot. On this depends the safety of the contrivance, so it must be strong enough, and long enough to keep firmly in the post. Drive this bolt in a 3/8-in. hole bored in the post, which will make it a sufficiently tight fit. Make the hole for the bolt very loose through the crosspiece, so that there will be plenty of "wobble," as this is one of the mirth-making features of the machine. Use a heavy washer at the head. The seats are regular swing boards, supported by a stout and serviceable rope. A 3/4 -in. rope is not too heavy. One set of ropes are passed through holes at the end of the crosspiece and knotted on top. The other set should be provided with loops at the top and slid over the crosspiece, being held in position by spikes as shown. This makes an easy adjustment. Seat the heavier of the riders on the latter seat, moving it toward the center until a balance with the lighter rider is reached. A rope tied to the crosspiece about 2 ft. from the center, for the "motive power" to grasp, completes the merry-go-round.
Put plenty of soap qr grease between the crosspiece and upright. Be sure to have room for the ropes to swing out at high speed, with no trees or buildings in the way. The "wobble" mentioned will give an agreeable undulating motion, which adds greatly to the flying sensation. This will be found surprisingly evident for so small a machine. As there is no bracing, care must be taken to have the two riders sit at the same moment, or the iron bolt will be bent out of line. If it is to be used for adults, strong clear material only should be employed. --Contributed by C. W. Nieman.
A German device for the amusement of children is a whirl on an ice merry-go-round. It is made by placing a vertical shaft or stake, provided with a couple of old cart-wheels, in a hole in the ice. One wheel acts as a turning base and prevents the shaft from sinking into the pond, and the other forms a support for the long sweep attached for propulsion purposes, and should be fastened to the shaft about 3 ft. above the base wheel. The sleds are made fast in a string to the long end of the sweep, which when turned rapidly causes the sleds to slide over the ice in a circle at a high speed.
If the sweep is long enough to have each end from the shaft the same length, two strings of sleds may be attached, which will balance the device and make the turning much easier.