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Adjustable Seesaw

Putting the fun in "fundamental physics"
  [vote for,

A drawback of the conventional seesaw - or teeter totter as I believe they're known elsewhere - is that if two individuals of greatly differing weight (a doting but overweight father and his slender young daughter, for example) attempt to operate the device, the lighter of the two ends up spending much of their time suspended in air. No need for Tubby Dad to go on a diet just yet though - to solve this they simply require the Adjustable Seesaw.

The Adjustable Seesaw features a collar encircling the main beam of the seesaw. The collar is secured to the beam by a large rubberised wingnut. When the wingnut is undone, the beam can be slid through the collar, adjusting the distance from the pivot to the seats at either end. This obviously changes the characteristics of the seesaw, allowing a small child to lift her hefty parent with ease, or perhaps enabling a robin alighting at just the right moment to catapult the wino collapsed on the other seat over the fence.

The Adjustable Seesaw: it's entertaining, simple to use and provides an introduction to first class levers so fiendishly subtle, the kids won't detect the presence of funducation until it's far too late. Mwa ha ha ha!
DocBrown, Sep 06 2006

Love the idea (+) http://www.freepate...ne.com/5951406.html
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 06 2006]


       Another advantage is that it serves as a backyard trebuchet, sending the child screaming with joy into the air, and perhaps into the neighbor's yard.
ldischler, Sep 06 2006

       I just sit nearer to the fulcrum. This solution is more complex and therefore better.
wagster, Sep 06 2006


       I spent a year in the US when I was young and they had these at the school I went to.
webfishrune, Sep 06 2006

       It also avoids the crushing of your delicate undercarriage [wags], since you can keep it on the plump padded seat at all times.

Which state was that [webfish]? It's just I've spent a fair amount of time in the US and I've never seen one.
DocBrown, Sep 06 2006

       I love the idea, but . . .   

       I've used a see-saw with a series of metal saddles that rest on the fulcrum tube. You pick up the entire board and move it until the leverages are as you desire (or within three inches of it). There's a loose chain under the whole thing so you can't take the board home with you.   

       I Googled the title: "Adjustable see-saw apparatus - US Patent 5951406 from Patent Storm. The seesaw device is adjustable as to the lengths of the moment arms on the beam, ... "
baconbrain, Sep 06 2006

       The principle behind the first device you describe is the same [bacon], but this implementation is different (and better, in my not so humble opinion, giving infinitely variable adjustment rather than a crude and limited set of fixed configurations).

As for the patent, well, yeah, fair enough. I followed my standard procedure which is to check the HB and if it's not already on there I put it on. I assure you I did have the idea independently and since I'm UK-based and not subject to US patents...
DocBrown, Sep 06 2006

       I kinda thought you were UK when I saw "grub screw". I don't know what that means, but I assume that isn't about sex.   

       <Google>Okay, it's what Americans would call a "set screw". Probably with wings for easy turning.
baconbrain, Sep 06 2006

       Which state was that [webfish]?   


       It worked like Baconbrain said.
webfishrune, Sep 07 2006

       //it's what Americans would call a "set screw". Probably with wings for easy turning.//   

       I thought a grub screw was always embedded and turned by an Allen key or similar, therefore if it had "wings" it would always be a hand screw.   


       Just verified this, most online sources define both a grub screw and a set screw as "a small headless screw"
webfishrune, Sep 07 2006

wagster, Sep 07 2006

webfishrune, Sep 07 2006

       That sounds fun
wagster, Sep 07 2006

       //It worked like [baconbrain] said//
Ah well in that case I'm happy to leave this up, as I think it's an improvement on that design and quite distinct.

I'm not sure whether I'm using the correct terminology for the screw, you're probably right about that [webfish].

       [edit] In light of comments above, have changed the main idea. Wingnut it is!
DocBrown, Sep 07 2006

       seesaw with teeth - pictures two long saws head to head, positioned cutting edge up, balancing in middle.... "two men enter, four halfs leave."
xenzag, Sep 09 2006


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