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Forum topic by racerglen posted 1301 days ago 1154 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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racerglen

2257 posts in 1386 days


1301 days ago

The February issue of Woodworkers Journal’s out and has a wheelchair woodworker and his shop,
plus some info on the General line of wheelchair hight tools. They say the price is the same as their regular line .

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada


8 replies so far

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Pop

419 posts in 2552 days


#1 posted 1301 days ago

I was writing a short article on woodworking for people with physical disabilities in my woodworking assoc. newsletter. I talked with John Fried in Cass, West Virginia. He runs a woodworking school for people with physical disabilities. It’s a great idea & it’s working. He addresses a lot of problems most of us don’t even think about like using a hand plane from a wheel chair with no leverage. If any of you are interested his web is: www.frielwoodworking.com.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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William

8936 posts in 1448 days


#2 posted 1300 days ago

I’m spending a lot more time these days in my wheelchair than out and am considering having to lower all of my benches and tools. I will have to pick up that issue for references for possible future purchases for lower tool stands. I’ve considered just cutting the legs on my existing equipment. I sort of want to save everything though just in case my kids want to use all this after I’m gone, they wouldn’t have to buy more just to raise it all back up.
The problem I have now is that I work both ways depending on the day, sitting on bad days, standing on good. I’ve been seriously trying to come up with a way to make everything height adjustable. Some of my equipment, this wouldn’t be a hard task to accomplish. Other things though would be much more complicated.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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foolturner

9 posts in 1298 days


#3 posted 1296 days ago

I’m in the same situation as William. We’ve had give our 3 story house for a one level place and I’m planning a much smaller shop. I won’t be building any more big projects so I’m putting the big machines on casters and pushing them aside when not in use. The table-top ones like the drill press and chop saw will be mounted on a bench running the length of the shop and will be all one height so each will act as infeed and outfeed for each other. My worktable, also on casters, will act as a rack for the few long pieces of lumber. Since I have a balance issue, there will be a handrail running along the tool bench and grab bars where needed. I’m planning on having pulleys mounted to wall studs or ceiling joists to aid in moving stuff when needed. I’m not sure about the height issue. I have a sturdy metal stool with splayed legs I’m going to mount on casters and try rolling around. And my 5’1” 110# wife will help when I need an extra pair of hands. 30 years of spoiling her has paid off!

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foolturner

9 posts in 1298 days


#4 posted 1296 days ago

Pop – can you check the website URL for Jim Fried and his school? Thx

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Robinson

30 posts in 1298 days


#5 posted 1295 days ago

Much of the reason that my current shop that I was (am still) moving into and setting up was such a huge mess was that during much of 2009 I was barely able to walk 100’ using two canes and getting worse (long story nobody wants to hear). During that time the wood shop got very little use and no improvement.
The upshot was that I gave a lot of thought to what I was going to be able to do if anything with the shop. I have been a farmer all of my life among many other hats over the years. I started looking at options for not only doing some shop work but even getting to and from the shop. The shop is 400’ away from the house and 200’ away from the farm shop and the barn where we keep the horses.
My health has become very much improved over 2010, the canes are parked and walking for miles is not a problem. Standing is not a problem. My life is back to normal, what ever that is. Still, I will be 69 this spring and none of us really know our destinies or if we will face disabilities next year or even tomorrow regardless of age. We bought a used electric golf cart for getting around both at home and at one of the antique tractor shows that I love. I never dreamed how useful it would be. It has a small dump bed on the back, tractor type tires and we haul stuff in it constantly. Stuff like horse feed, hay bales, firewood, fence tools and supplies and this winter horse water. I do make myself keep walking and only use it now for hauling and traveling to distant points on the farm. All travel to points within about 1,000’ of the house are done on foot. I would be a whole lot farther along on my wood shop now but I started what was supposed to be a very small horse boarding operation last August and it exploded on me. :-) We figured we would maybe take in 4 horses over the winter. We now have 17 client horses in addition to our own 5.
One of the things I was rethinking about the woodshop was what type of projects I would be making. Things I do now tend to involve heavy sheet goods and often lumber that is quite long. I started looking at projects that could be completed using mostly things like the scroll saw, bandsaw, lathe etc. which could be worked at sitting down or at least sitting on a stool.
I have one of those walkers (belonged to my late mother) that has large wheels, lockable hand brakes, and a padded seat where you can turn around and sit down. I have never used it but was looking at it becoming a shop fixture.
I had added a small electric hand plane to the tool mix because a conventional hand plane was painful on my knees to use.
I am a Shopsmith nut and was looking at modifications to them. I also use a Ridgid TS3650 as my primary tablesaw but I have several bench saws that I was going to get rid of but have kept just in case I might need them. While I am fine now those thought are always now in the back of my mind.
I still think the biggest factor for me would be the choice of projects like candle sticks or sconces or conventional clocks rather than pie safes and extra large grandfather clocks. I have never been into pen making but a lot of guys love it.
One of the things I have thought about is the whole shop. I have a 36’ x 40’ basement space available and considered moving it there but access could become a problem. I also still have a plan shoved back over in the corner of my mind for a woodshop built on over on the north side of the house where I could build on a nice shop room as big or bigger than a 2 car garage but build it up level with the house floors. That sounds good even today because it would always be warm / cool and I could build it with a bit of an air-lock entry between it and the house to control sawdust. It would be really nice to just go out there any time I wanted and do a little work any time day or night regardless of rain or shine… I better quit talking about it before I talk myself into something I can’t really afford right now. :-)
Our house has steps at 2 doors but we have 2 glass patio doors that are roll out level and the yard is level (with a slight slope) with the concrete patio. My current woodshop is wheel chair accessible and the lower level is connected to the upper level by a 4’ wide enclosed ramp.

-- Francis Robinson, Central Indiana, USA - - Shopsmith fanatic

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Pop

419 posts in 2552 days


#6 posted 1295 days ago

foolturner. You’re right. I haven’t been to the Friel site for some time. It’s gone. He now has a Youtube site. www.youtube.com/user/frielwoodworking

Robinson, among your Shopsmith modifications are you using a lift-assist? I’m 70 and gravity is getting stronger. I have one on order. My Shopsmith has been reduced from my primary tool to my drill press. I also use it for special set-ups that only a Shopsmith will do. By the way I’ve owned, rebuilt & repaired SS for around 50 years.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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Robinson

30 posts in 1298 days


#7 posted 1295 days ago

No lift assist yet. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one if I actually needed it but I am actually quite strong other than during the worst of my little health problem. I did have a little problem the first of the week loading hay bales on my truck. I don’t usually have a problem with hay bales that typically weigh 45 to 55 pounds but the guy that I bought the bales from got a little carried away and most of his bales were about 65 to 75 pounds. A real bargain per pound but tossing them up about 6 feet high on the truck took everything I had. I think next time I will take a low trailer. :-)
At one time I considered using a rope and ceiling mounted pulley to lift it upright but never actually needed it. I try very hard to not baby myself as long as I can still do things. I want to stay as strong as I can.
I have built a modified Shopsmith drill press unit that is a double headed drill press and using it I doubt that I will even have an occasion to lift any of the Mark V’s upright anymore. I call it a “push-me Pull me” drill press (after the Dr. Doolittle llama.

It is on wheels and I can set up each side differently or keep one side set up one way for the duration of a project and still have a dedicated drill press available for general use.
I have a small fleet of Shopsmiths.
I should move this to another thread rather than hijack this one.

-- Francis Robinson, Central Indiana, USA - - Shopsmith fanatic

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Pop

419 posts in 2552 days


#8 posted 1295 days ago

Hi Robinson love your double headed drillpress. (double headed was the term used when 2 steam engines were hooked to the front of a train) I have one clone it’s a MP-1 (how original) imported by a local company from Taiwan. It was never intended to be exported. It was made for local (Taiwan) use. It’s a little better made than a Shopsmith. Hard to believe but true. I have cut it down built a cabinet to hold 4 sanding disc & put a Shopsmith 6 X 48 belt sander on it.

Yea, I guess we better get this thread back on the wheelchair track.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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