When I began woodworking, I was already in a wheelchair. As I collected my power equipment, it became a safety issue for me to lower the work areas to a safe height. Yesterday Gary brought to my attention an article in Woodworkers Journal E-zine about “Access by General”, the Canadian woodworking equipment manufacturer. They are now making a line of modified equipment just for wheelchair bound woodworkers. In my not so humble opinion, This is a great step into the future for those of us that are now unable to stand while working in our shops. Still having a lot of my metal working equipment from when I was in the welding business, it was a snap for me to make the necessary modifications to my equipment as I got it.
I am a pre-baby boomer and as the crop of baby boomers reach old age and come to have restrictions to their physical activity, they need modified equipment. And let us not forget all the disabled vets returning to us from Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the comment section of the article, one gentleman checked on the price of a General drill press. He was told the regular price was $1600.00 and for the Access model, $2100.00. $500.00 to cut 12 to 18 inches off a piece of tubing? Come on General. In my opinion this is gouging the people least able to afford it. By the time we are disabled and in a wheelchair, we are restricted to Social Security, a disability pension or worse.
I am going on record that if anyone with a disability and confined to a wheelchair and needs my services to lower a piece of equipment, let me know in a PM and I will make the adjustments free. The only thing I ask is that the equipment be brought to me as I do not travel well. If you want to see the work I’ve done on my equipment, please go to my LJ site and see if this will be of use to you.
As for a $2100.00 drill press; check out my 1944 Walker/Turner model 900. I can raise and lower it to any height I feel comfortable with. My investment? $100.00 and the adjustment consisted of just 2 set screws. My band saw was free and I have invested less than $200.00 in modifications including the mobile base. My table saw? Another freebie.Investment, again less than $100.00 including the mobile base.
So guys and gals a little networking goes a long way in procuring our equipment. Let your neighbors and friends know your needs, and you will be amazed at the results.
Are you listening General? If you are going to gouge us we can find much less expensive ways to enjoy our therapy and hobby. Don’t screw up a good deal.
Just my not so humble opinion. Rand