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A project I finished today: wheelchair upgrade

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  • The Metal Butcher
    Good work. I'm sure the mom and kid are very appreciative!

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  • alanganes
    And just a couple of additional views of the installed part.

    Click image for larger version

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  • alanganes
    started a topic A project I finished today: wheelchair upgrade

    A project I finished today: wheelchair upgrade

    This is a couple of views of the footplate of a wheelchair that is used by a friend's son:

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    Note that the plate is attached to the frame at the rear of the plate closest to the seat. The plate is secured by just two 4mm screws, they are barely visible in the first photo. Now this is fine if the person who uses the chair has no use of their legs and the plate has only to support the partial weight of their legs and keep their feet from dragging on the ground. But surprise! not everyone who uses a wheelchair has the same issues. Imagine. Anyhow, the guy who uses this chair is over 6' tall and has a condition that sometimes can cause involuntary movements such that he presses down on the plate placing some considerable weight on it. Well after enough times of that happening, it sheared off the bolts.

    My friend called the supplier for the wheelchair, who came, looked at it, and said that they would get in touch with the manufacturer and get it repaired. That was last September, no kidding. So the poor woman was pushing her son around with his feet getting caught on the ground. When my wife heard about this, I was enlisted to see if there was something I could do.

    Knocking out the sheared off bolts and nuts was nothing nor was replacing them. Of course that does nothing to address the underlying issue. So I came up with this simple bar to transfer some of the load to the outer tubes on the frame.
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    The notches on the ends sit on the chair frame and the relieved part on the top is where the footplate sits.

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    While it was not a hard and fast requirement, I did not want to permanently alter the footplate to attach the bar. So I made this quick little die set to bend up some thin stainless fender washers to fit down in the slots in the footplate plate.
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    I squashed them down in the die set with a shop press. It worked really well considering that I had never tried that before and did not really know what I was doing. The three washers are fastened to the bar with 8-32 countersink head screws and they hold the bar very securely in place.

    This will hopefully be somewhat more robust than how it was before. Time will tell I guess.
    Last edited by alanganes; 03-04-2022, 08:45 PM.