Cool Stuff > Exercise Machine
Bird Feeder |
Exercise Machine |
Cymbal Stand |
| Muskoka Chair
|My challenge was to create an exercise machine for a friend
who is in a wheel chair. The idea was to allow her to exercise
her arms while passively moving her legs to increase their
circulation and flexibility, while staying in her chair.
I was in the early stages of design and was weighing building
something completely from scratch vs. using old bicycle parts.
While visiting family in Ottawa it was suggested to me that I
visit Michael Watson who was known as the neighbourhood bicycle
tinkerer. I dropped in on him out of the blue at his home which
was surrounded by piles of old bicycles as well as strange
hybrids that he had built. Over the next couple of hours he gave
me a primer on bicycle mechanics and tools greatly increasing my
comfort level with going that direction. As I was leaving he
asked me to drop in the next morning before I headed back to
Barrie “in case I have a brainstorm”.
Next morning I dropped by and he handed me a detailed design for
the machine. While I did end up modifying and adding features I
have to admit that Mike’s design handled nearly every problem
that came up. Amazing! Thanks Mike.
The generosity and advice of Morgan Lemmon, owner of Barrie’s
Bikeland, was also very appreciated in this project as were the
suggestions of brothers-in-law Ray Dillard, Kent Daniels and
It was nice to work on something where detail and accuracy were
so important. This machine is completely adjustable so that the
optimum position of arms legs and feet can be set for people of
different sizes and needs. It also has gears and tensioners to
vary the speed and resistance of the moving parts.
I would be happy to share this design and give suggestions to
anyone who is interested in building one.