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Making a cylindrical back roller

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Forum topic by deadherring posted 07-21-2015 06:17 PM 722 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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deadherring

35 posts in 1110 days


07-21-2015 06:17 PM

Hi,

I would like to make a roller similar to the ones you see in the image below. I have some back issues and will use it to roll my back open in the morning. The idea is that you drape yourself on your back over the roller and roll your body over it.

I came across one at a friends that I would like to make, it differs from the pics below in that it is stiffer and is meant to support a person when rolling over it and it is also bigger so I was planning to make it out of wood. It is then covered with carpet. I need to take some measurements next time I am at my friends, but figure about 18”-20” high (when lying the long way on the ground) and about 36” wide.

My question is re: the best material to use and the best way to make it.

First, material: I was thinking I could use 3/4” ply and double it up and cut 2 circles for the cylinder ends and then cut strips of doubled up ply to connect between the two circles. I was thinking I could pocket hole the strips to the cylinders—will that method be strong enough if a person is draped over the thing?

I was at home depot today and saw they have pine stair treads that are an inch thick and look pretty sturdy, is that a better way? Or buy pine boards and glue two together for thickness? Still use pocket holes?

In terms of actual construction,the thing has be a round cylinder so I was thinking I would cut a 45 degree bevel into both sides lengthwise of the wood strips to they will mate with the strip next to it on each side and therefore maintain a round shape that will roll.

I think the circle that is formed when the strips connect to the circle ends has to be the same on each side in order for it to be symmetrical and roll and maintain a cylinder shape so I thought I would cut a smaller circle to attach to the two ends and build the circle from the strips around that smaller circle to ensure the two ends are the same? Hopefully that makes sense.

Appreciate any input on the best materials and way to do this to ensure it comes out symmetrical and strong.

Thanks!!

Nathan


15 replies so far

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5730 posts in 2834 days


#1 posted 07-22-2015 04:48 AM

I would suggest using DWV, drain/waste/vent, pipe.

DWV pipe is made out of ABS plastic, is black in color, is available in different diameters, wall thicknesses, has the description printed on it, and is available at big box stores, hardware stores, and plumbing shop.

You can buy end caps or make your own out of ply/wood. You can even add weight if you want.
You can add padding or paint them. If you paint them use the Rust-Oleum spray paint for plastic.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 907 days


#2 posted 07-22-2015 05:39 AM

So you want to make a wood cylinder that is 18-20 inches in diameter, and 36 inches high? Like a drum or a straight-sided barrel?

Something like this, but with capped-off ends:

To figure the bevel angles of the staves, take 360, divide by the number of staves (24 in my example above) then divide that by two (360 /24 = 15. 15/2 = 7.5). That is the bevel angle (7.5 degrees in my example, NOT 45)

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watermark

482 posts in 1409 days


#3 posted 07-22-2015 05:55 AM

I think oldnovice ^^^ has the easiest solution. Only problem I see is they usually only sell that stuff in 10’ or 20’ lengths. look around for construction projects or call around to contractors if you know of any who might have a cut off lying around. I run a water utility and have given away a heap of cut offs to people with simple projects who have no need for a full length of pipe.
Good luck I feel for you with the back problem. I bought an exercise ball to roll over to help out with my back problems.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

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oldnovice

5730 posts in 2834 days


#4 posted 07-22-2015 06:15 AM

My hardware store, OSH Ochard Supply Hardware, sells it in lengths from 12” to 48” in 12” increments, the thin wall DWV intended for inside use.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 907 days


#5 posted 07-22-2015 07:11 AM



My hardware store, OSH Ochard Supply Hardware, sells it in lengths from 12” to 48” in 12” increments, the thin wall DWV intended for inside use.

- oldnovice

Really?? in 18” diameter???

View KellyB's profile

KellyB

77 posts in 648 days


#6 posted 07-22-2015 01:17 PM

Have you checked with a physical therapist or trainer about this? It might not be the best exercise, and might even do damage. Been there.

You might also want to look at an exercise ball; Gold gym versions are available at W’mart, and offer some other options for core training.

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Ocelot

1471 posts in 2104 days


#7 posted 07-22-2015 01:29 PM

If it’s 36” long, you might want to have a disk in the center also. Then you could use thinner material and end up with a much lighter product. Since the load (a person) would be centered, you might could even make it from 1/4” material or at least no more than 1/2”.

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oldnovice

5730 posts in 2834 days


#8 posted 07-22-2015 05:48 PM


My hardware store, OSH Ochard Supply Hardware, sells it in lengths from 12” to 48” in 12” increments, the thin wall DWV intended for inside use.

- oldnovice

Really?? in 18” diameter???

- jerryminer

No, it is available in 18” diameter, the maximum is 6” diameter.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View deadherring's profile

deadherring

35 posts in 1110 days


#9 posted 07-22-2015 06:28 PM

Thanks for all the replies. The PVC solution would be ideal, except isn’t that only available in up to 6” diameters?

What I’m looking for is about 18” in diameter—the reason is because the exersize I’m looking to do is roll open my back and pelvis and that requires that I sort of drape myself backwards over the roller and roll back and forth. A smaller PVC such as 6” won’t allow me to do that, I think what I need is closer to 18” in diameter.

@jerryminer: That’s it exactly. Thanks a lot for the explanation on figuring the bevel angles. If I decide to go with the homemade route would you have a recommendation on material to use? Once I got the angles right, would I just glue and clamp together or is there a fastener or joint of some kind required?

Would you describe this project as particularly challenging to get round or if I am careful I should be able to do it? I’m no expert but I’ve made a number of projects successfully.

Thanks again everyone, really looking forward to finding a solution, whenever I use the roller at my friends house it makes my back feel really good.

Nathan

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jerryminer

528 posts in 907 days


#10 posted 07-22-2015 09:15 PM

Nathan—- I hope we are helping.

You might want to look at a “Yoga Ball” (suggest by Kelly B above, as an “exercise ball’)

If you go “homemade” I would take Ocelot’s advice above and include a disk (or two) in the center. Then you could use pretty thin stuff for the staves (1/2” or less). Glue and band clamps would do it, but assembly might be hard to do all at once. You could glue up in sections, or glue-and-nail as you go, brad-nailing to the disks.

You might also consider “bending ply”—-would probably be easier than coopering a barrel—-just bend the ply around some plywood disks.

Or…. what about a Sonotube? (a cardboard tube made to be a concrete form) slip a few plywood disks inside and fasten in place. Done

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1801 posts in 605 days


#11 posted 07-23-2015 04:05 PM

Nathan,

jerryminer set you on the right track for doing it that way. However, you’re going to have to use a lot of staves and cut precise mating angles for it to end up relatively round and uniform enough to roll easily.

I would go with jerryminer’s last post ^^ and make 3 or 4 disks from 3/4 plywood. Drill a hole through the center of all the disks and then use a piece of all-thread and some lock nuts to fix the disks concentric and evenly spaced. Then take a piece of 1/4 ply and a spray bottle. Tack the end of the sheet to all the disks so it will “roll up” straight. Then roll it around the disks using the spray bottle to wet it when required to get it to bend. Put glue on the large disks a section at a time or it will likely set too much to be effective before you get all the way around. Tack it in with brads every so often and when you get to then end, trim it to fit flush with your starting edge.

That may sound like a lot of work, but I think you’ll find it much faster/easier than trying to cut and fit 25-30 staves into a round piece.

Maybe if you call around to some industrial supply places or some electrical contractors, you might find a big wooden spool that you can trim the ends up on? I have one that’s about the right length (32”) but the diameter is smaller than you want (12”). I imagine they come in all different sizes though.

Hope this helps a bit and best of luck whatever route you take.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1836 days


#12 posted 07-23-2015 05:21 PM

I’d look into making it the same way people use laminated MDF to make the drums for DIY drum sanders. Cut the discs out, glue them together to make the cylinder, then use a jig on the TS or router table to make the perfectly round. Cheap, relatively simple, and it’ll be easy to use contact cement to apply the carpet/padding.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7483 posts in 1473 days


#13 posted 07-23-2015 05:31 PM

Check with HD or Lowes (or your local lumber supply) for Sonotubes. They are pre-made cardboard tubes for pouring concrete columns. It would be easy to cap the ends and you could put a center “wall” in it also to support the middle. Cover with carpet, and waa-LA instant back roller.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View deadherring's profile

deadherring

35 posts in 1110 days


#14 posted 07-24-2015 07:20 PM

Hi all,

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I started out today at home depot and looked at the 16” cardboard tubes they sell for pouring concrete footings. I didn’t like the way they gave when I pressed on them, I just didnt think they would stand up to the wear and tear of putting my weight on them every day, so I went on to the local brick supply house.

There, I got a 15” PVC pipe, the walls are pretty thick and I see them standing up much better, I don’t honestly think they even need any reinforcement. They only sold it in 15 foot increments so I got lots of pipe to make additional rollers for friends and family.

I’m thinking I’ll cut a plywood disc to fit into each end and I’ll screw it in place to cap it. In terms of adding carpet on top of the pipe—is there a recommended adhesive or glue for gluing the carpet to the pipe? I’m thinking I’ll add staples—not sure how well it will hold when stapled into the pipe?

Thanks for any ideas.

Nathan

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 907 days


#15 posted 07-24-2015 08:22 PM

You can buy “carpet adhesive” at a carpet store or BORG, but any general-purpose construction adhesive would work. I would scuff-sand the PVC first and NOT staple into the PVC—those staples will likely pull out and possibly stab you. You could staple into your plywood end-caps though.

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