|Project by Tootles||posted 04-06-2012 07:47 AM||3202 views||0 times favorited||23 comments|
I originally wasn’t intending to post this as a project – technically there is not much merit in it. But by the time I had finished it and handed it over I felt so rewarded that I thought it would be good to share the story.
I do volunteer work for a local charity that designs and makes one-off items to simplify the lives of people with a disability. Recently I was asked to make a cup holder for a client, whom I’ll call Tom. I don’t know what Tom’s disability is, but that is not important. He is wheelchair bound, does not have great control of his arms and hands and cannot talk at all clearly. But he has a mind and knows what he wants. One of the things he wants is to be able to drink without the assistance of anyone else.
To achieve that, someone once made him a box with a hole in which to place a cup (picture 5). This worked for some time except that his wheelchair table was modified such that he can no longer have it close enough to him. Then, to top it all off, someone bought him a new cup that has a handle and so it does not fit into the hole. Enter our charity – can we please make him a new cup holder?
After some discussion with one of his carers, we decided that it was necessary to not only alter the shape of the hole, but also to raise the cup and move it closer to him. This could all be achieved by simply adding a new cup holder to the existing box (picture 6), which is really heavy and so stable.
The making of this cup holder was fun because I also recently bought a new router. I did not have this project in mind at the time, but it proved to be just the tool that I needed. Plus I took the opportunity to test the router and router table (if you can call it that) that I have in the workshop at school to chamfer all the edges.
But the real reward came today when I took the new cup holder to install onto the old one. It was a simple job, just plane down the high spots in the corners where the MDF had peeled upwards and then put in four screws to hold the new cup holder onto the old one. Tom wanted to help! I’d no sooner screwed in the fourth screw when Tom’s carer put it on the table of his wheelchair with empty cup in place and a straw bent as required. Tom went to it, wanting a drink. So his carer poured in a drink and Tom drank with relish.
Tom wasn’t finished though. As I was packing up, he made it clear that he wanted to carry my toolbox and cordless drill case to the door. So onto his table they went and he wheeled off with us in tow.
Chances are that I’ll never meet Tom again. But I hope I made today, and some of his tomorrows a little brighter, because he certainly did that for me.
-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking