How to Build a Backyard Merry Go Round

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BACKYARD MERRY-GO-ROUND
By Robert E, Wilson
PRES EN TING yo ur youn gsters with
their very own merry-go-round will make
you a very popular father, and your
children will be the envy of every child in
the neighborhood.
Construction starts with digging a hole
20 in. square and 18 in. deep. In areas of
severe cold, make the hole 30 in. deep. A
form of 2 x 6s around the top of the excavation produces a concrete “pillar” that
projects above ground level. Next obtain
the front-wheel assembly from an autowrecking yard, including the spindle,
bearings, backing plate and wheel. Be sure
the bearings a r e in good condition. Drill
four holes in the backing plate to accommodate four 1/2-in. bolts, 12 in, long. Suspend the spindle and backing plate, with
the long bulls in place and nuts turned just
hand-tight, over the excavation and fill it
with concrete. After the concrete has
seasoned several days, remove the nuts,
install lock washers and tighten the nuts
thoroughly so the backing plate is solid.
Fit the inner bearing on the spindle, slip
the brake drum in place and tighten the
large retaining nut. The wheel now is bolted to the drum.
The next step is to build the 2 x 4 framework that supports the merry-go-round
platform. Two pairs of 2 x 4s, 8 ft. long, are
half-lapped as shown in the detail, and all
joints strengthened with steel angles. Two
4 x 8-ft. sheets of 5/8-ln, exterior-grade plywood are nailed to the frame and bolted to
the wheel. The intersection of diagonal
lines from the comers of the platform locate
the center from which is scribed an 8-ftdia. circle. Cut an opening at the center of
the platform over the wheel nut.
Power for the ride is supplied by a 1/4- hp- electric motor. A 2-in. pulley on the
motor is V-belted to a 4-in. pulley on the
gearbox of an old washing-machine base. A 5-in. pulley is fitted on the vertical shaft
of this gearbox. that originally rotated the
wringer rollers. From this pulley a 56-in.
V-belt is fitted around the car wheel. The
platform on which the gearbox is bolted is hinged so the weight of the box keeps ten
sion on the belt Speed of the ride is about
14 to 16 r.p.m- * * *
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