Bouncer

So I woke up from a nap one day on my living room couch and in my mild delirium, looked up at the 14′ ceiling and got an idea. After a couple days of calculations and a good 3-hour session of Home Depot Engineering ™, this is what Travis and I came up with.

You’ll notice the elegance of the design. The thing I’m most proud of is the almost total off-the-shelf nature of this project. The only piece we needed to modify was the outer PVC and that was a simple chop job. Everything else (except the bungees of course) was used as it was purchased. It should be noted that it was through this project that I gained my appreciation for 1/2″ bolts. So cheap and so incredibly useful.

We cut the first bungees to fit from the corner down at ~6 feet each. This turned out to be just too little play for a material with a maximum extension of around 210%. So we modded to the mounts by adding an outer sheath of PVC to the main support bars (so it could spin) and then tied longer bungees (that Travis already had) in the center. This provided a very nice extension and a good deal of bounce.

There are 10 strands of cord in total and each one “should” support about 15-20 pounds, depending on how springy you want it to be. This makes it really easy to change people since you just have to add or remove a couple cords to the biner.

At first we just used a harness made from webbing, but that proved to be a bit “intrusive” since at the bottom of the bounce, you’ve got a couple G’s on you. So we opted to use the chair from Travis’ hang glider. It works amazingly well as long as you don’t try to flip. Since your CG is about at shoulder height, it’s quite difficult.

Once everything was settled and the inital novelty of acting like a giant baby in a bouncy swing wore off, I found myself using it as a chair to watch movies in. It’s amazingly comfortable being suspended, although I still need to fabricate a head rest. Then it would be awesome.

One interesting personal observation. Normally I sit still and don’t fidget much. In fact, it *really* annoys me when people unconsciously bounce their legs or arms and it starts making some horrid noise that’s painfully obvious to everyone but them. Sitting in this chair, however, must bring out years of pent-up anti-fidgeting and I just go nuts. It’s fun - for me. I’m not sure about everyone else watching the movie…

Pictures coming soon once I get the time to take them. :-P