Had to share... My middle son (5 yo) has a few medical problems and had
to go in for a "minor" operation... Allow me to say, that there is no
such thing as a "minor" sugery when it's your kid they're cutting on.
Surgery was on his heel, went great, he's fine... Mom's still a little
fried, but you'll have this... Anyway...
Short version of the background... We have a wheel chair for him that
a friend got at a sale. Very nice chair, like new condition. Because
of the surgery he'll have a cast on the lower portion of his left leg.
I call a place to inquire about a leg lift and anti tip bars (wheelie
bars) for the chair we have... Girl on the phone says "no problem, have
it in stock" and proceeds to give me costs of rental/purchase and
directions to the shop... I think GREAT it's on the way home, they have
the stuff... So.. leave work a bit early, find the place with no
problem, walk in, talk to the manager and he informs me they don't
carry this stuff, never did... who did I talk to etc... He was very
polite and even offered to rent/sell me a new chair... Gee thanks...
(he was polite and meant well)
Now I am faced with the oh so appealing proposition of going home to
SWMBO (a most reasonable and understanding woman - they're all this
way right?) and explaining that the pieces for the chair, that I was
responsible for getting, ain't gettin got...
What does any self respecting powertool owning husband do? Adaptively
engineer a replacement... (I come from a long line of adaptive
Off to the BORG for parts.
The chair's leg rest comes off and leaves a nice standard (kinda
standard) sized hole with a nice cross bolt thru near the bottom for a
stop... I head into the pipe section and find pleasant surprise #1 a
BORG employee that was pleasant, helpful, and .... knowledgable. I had
the chair with me, explained what I wanted... The guy opened the pieces
and parts and we assembled it right there to make sure it fit. He then
got me unopened stuff to ease the checkout. 2 stainless nipples, 1
adapter, and a flange later I'm heading out the door... Where I find
pleasant surprise # 2... No lines and a plesant, fast cashier... Whoo
Get home and start the process after dinner and a few required
errands... Ball practice for the oldest and such... Assemble the pipe
pieces... To prevent scratching the chairs paint I wrap the little
assembly consisting of a 3/8" od 6 inch nipple, a reducer, a 1/2" od 4"
nipple, and a flange in electrical tape. Test the fit on the chair leg
support hole, add one layer of duct tape, and I'm good to go. Now for
the support its self... I grab some scrap pieces (this is why you never
throw out/burn that extra stuff) of ply and lay out an assembly from my
scratched plans... One piece for the bottom of the support 7" X 8",
another for the left side upright 7" X 7.5", and a piece for the right
side upright and divider (middle section as you look at the chair, the
cast is on his left leg) that was 8" x 14" so I ended up with
something like this:
It's looked like an upside down small h. With this example the left
upright was screwd from the bottom and the right from the side.
Attached the pipe assembly and Voila'.... One handy leg lift... Now on
to the finish... Hmmm, it's 10 PM so paint is pretty much out... Ah,
here we have a nice new roll of duct tape... So away I go with strips
of the master mechanics favorite (I had serious thoughts of the
Red/Green show here)... Nice little over lap, even spacing... Now what
to do with the inside???? Ah here we go, a nice piece of blue wool
blanket that I was using as a cover for a tool... I won't miss a couple
inches... Snip, snip, staple, staple and it's done... The inside of
the brace now has a nice soft cover.
I was rather pleased with myself... So off for final
approval/inspection... SWMBO loved it... My life was good...
Found that the price for purchasing a leg lift starts around $250
minimum ... I spent a whopping $10 on mine... Now granted my insurance
would probably have covered some/most of the cost... But ya know I just
have a problem with that for some reason.
Took it along to the hospital and they didn't even realize it wasn't a
purchased piece of the chair... :-)
God I love woodworking...