‘The bouncer’ – Gathering Materials

Having got an idea of the design we’d like, lets get looking at what we’re making it from! We don’t need a full list just yet, there’s always room for changes as we proceed but we might discover something to save us some time!

  • On the ‘making installation really easy’ front, for the London Playground Party I’m proposing to use a cargo lifting sling – webbing to spread the load, a 1 tonne rating should hold the weight! Just 1m will be long enough – if anything, too long!
    Current source: Amazon
  • Again on the ‘quick setup’ issue, I’ve used carabiners lots – easy, quick, strong, safe. In the UK I’ve found some at a fair price – and I’m assured they will be strong enough as it says ‘EN 362’ – I looked up the specification on this, it’s for fall prevention systems, well in excess of our needs. Current source: Screwfix and Screwfix depending on style and preference for steel or aluminium.
  • Rope – there needs to be an adjustable section and rope can make this really easy. I have a background in sailing, so I will probably head towards Force4 chandlery and look to grab something in a Dyneema – like this in 6mm diameter. I may well also go to them for the bungee cord – I’m considering the best way to test how bouncy it is and how to make a reasonable estimate on how much is needed!
  • Spreader bar – this I’ve no idea on yet! It really needs a decision if it should be wood or metal. Either is probably getting sourced from a local DIY store.
  • Webbing straps – possibly going back to Force4 for this as well, they sell 50mm wide webbing – as ‘toe strap webbing‘. I admit the range of colours is limited – I think I’ll go for working with the blue. However, on the upside we can be sure it’ll be strong enough as its being sold for use as a safety feature for dingy sailors – so the breaking strain is listed as 3200kg, even allowing a safety factor of 8 that’s more than strong enough for this.
  • Fabric for the ‘seat’ – another I’ve got no certain plans on. The inside isn’t too important, I think I’m going for a blue theme, however I’m struggling with the outside. I want to make it more fun, possible a Thomas the tank engine theme – needs fabric with large prints on, this is where I hate shopping online as it’s so hard to get a sense of scale.

I think that covers most of the major elements. Now, in many ways the most complex bit is the seat – it’ll need most ‘assembly’ as it’ll need each element stitching together. On top of that it’s probably going to need the most ‘design’ – it needs to combine an inside fabric, padding, straps, outer layer, buckles to keep the little in safely. Since this is all going to take time, that’s what we’ll be doing next.

‘Adult sized baby door bouncer’ doesn’t quite roll off the tongue – and no doors (or doorways) are likely to be involved in this ones use – so I might just refer to this as ‘The bouncer’ or ‘Project 1’ from now on.

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