Here is a blast from my past that just might give some of you an idea for a project for some kids you know.

Aug 22, 2009
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
This is a picture taken about 60 years ago. I am on the left, my brother who is 2 years younger is on the right, and my sister who is 3 years younger than him is in the middle.

My dad had my mothers brother who was a welder make it from a vehicles brake drum and an axle. I am fairly sure they put new races and bearings on the axle and sealed the center of the pipe because that thing lasted many many years and never had to be greased. The axle was extended with a long piece of solid round steel but it was not very large diameter but it held up well over the years. My dad dug a square hole about 3 feet deep and put the solid steel round in the center and filled it with cement including about 6 inches of cement above the ground. The center pipe above the drum is the size of pipe used to hold parking meters, and a top cap had holes for the chains. Each angle iron had a side cut away when it got near the drum, and lug-nuts held down the angle iron. The seats were solid wood, and painted with a couple of coats of a good oil based paint so it held up for many years of winter and summer weather. The seats were arranged with every-other one having both ends touching the angle-iron, and the other seats sat on top of the wood of the seats at the ends. There were 6 seats in total. 3 touching the angle iron at each end, and 3 sitting on top of the seats that sat on the angle-iron. All seat ends had chamfer cuts. There were eye bolts through the seat boards to hold on the boards and the eye facing up had the chain in it at each seat end, and the bottom of the eye went through the angle-iron. All the neighbors hood kids used that merry-go-round. We use to really get that thing going. If everyone one stood up and held onto the chains and walked in towards the center on the angle-iron the whole ride would turn much faster.

The kids in the neighborhood all liked that merry-go-round a lot.

If you make one of these, be sure there is enough room all around it for a kid to fall off of it. Some did, but never got hurt. Sometimes we would see how fast we could make it go. Interesting, that when we all stood up and walked in to the center, the effort required to hold on did not increase as it spun faster, because we were all closer to the center of rotation.

We also had a big swing set made out of the same parking meter pipe, with 3 swings, and that pipe is so strong it still stands today. After we all grew up, that swing wet was part of dad's grape vine support. The swing set also had the pipes mounted in deep wide holes with a lot of cement, but only a slight rounded dome of cement stuck out of the ground with the pipe of each 4 legs in the center of each. The sides were A frames with a cross bar, and sometimes a kid would do a belly flip on purpose around one of the cross bars of an A frame. The cross bars are just high enough to get a lawn-mower under them. That swing set could have 3 kids going as high as they could and the top bar did not flex enough to notice. That metal was pained with several coats of Rustoleum Aluminum paint. The top bar had big eye hooks through it for the swings.

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When a kid fell off, they always fell outside of it, Centrifugal force a work, but very few ever fell off of it. And it sat low enough that the grass gave a safe rolling landing. The thing that got kids most upset was when they up-chucked if they could not handle the ride. Every kid for blocks around rode on that merry-go-round and no one ever got hurt on it.
The Catholic grade school I went to had a homemade merry go round. The used wood and galvanized pipe. I was too young to remember how it was mounted but you could get a dozen kids easily on it.

I think a lot of playground equipment was made that way back then. No safety concerns at all. The playground was blacktop. Occasionally someone would fall and a teacher would put mercurochrome on the wound and send them back out.
A year or so ago, someone said to me, "I remember you when you were a kid, you were the one with Kennywood in your back yard."

I have had a couple of people say that to me over the years.
When I was a kid in the 1950's my cousin's dad built us a bucking bronco out of a 55-gallon drum mounted on old coil springs.
You would climb on, and your buddies would pull on the ropes tied to each end of the drum to buck you off.
We always had a few bruises after a day of "rodeo".
I guess kids were tougher back then.
There were 6 of us boys , all of us were 8 years old in 1954 ....we lived thru those merry go round things and monkey bars, lol we are all still alive today,,and healthy to the best of my knowledge...
There were 6 of us boys , all of us were 8 years old in 1954 ....we lived thru those merry go round things and monkey bars, lol we are all still alive today,,and healthy to the best of my knowledge...
You weren't weak !