RatRodRower

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Jul 10, 2015
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Hi Guys! I was and still am not able to build a bike this summer/winter because of various reasons, covid beeing one of them...
But feeling that I need to build SOMETHING and also be able to work off some tension and in the same time work out, I decided that it was time to start a new project...
While working on a cruise ship ages ago I used to work out on the rower a lot, and after I recently saw one of this wood built water rowers at a friends house I thought that it should be possible to build something likes this by myself...
I did some resarch and stumbled on a project called OpenErgo. There it was, a rower made out of wood with some bike parts. And quickly I also found a smaller, more apartment suitable version of it on this site.
So I went down to the basement searched through the bike boxes, looked out for suitable pieces of wood and took out my Ikea scraps...:
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Jul 10, 2015
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Berlin
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Then I tried to create a system with some shifter sprockets to make the thing chain driven, but it only worked when the machine was put into a vertical position. As soon as I placed it back on the floor, gravity was pulling the chain out of the sprockets...
As I fast really frustrated I didn't take any pictures besides those two...
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IMG_20201108_130538577_HDR.jpg
 
Jul 10, 2015
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Berlin
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As the chain system did not work, I had to switch plans and get rid of the sprockets. I brought the wheel to a bike shop, as I was missing the proper tool to take the casset of the freewheel hub, only to find out that they could take it off, but only with the free wheel unit.
IMG_20201112_200913107.jpg

So I had to come up with my own tool to get the sprockets of...
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I soaked it with WD40, screwed the largest sprocket to a piece of railing an used brute force and the law of the larger lever...
IMG_20201112_200802956.jpg

And back on:
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Jul 10, 2015
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Berlin
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This weekend I finally found some time to continue. So I cut several shorter pieces to replace the wooden parts in the front and the back and tried to construct the footrests.
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I even manged to use the pedals of an old therapy trike (donor for the next summer BO) ;-)
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Oh, and I also slotted all the Ikea parts that hold the hubs and also the railing that holds the wheel.
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This is the before picture, complety forgot to take the picture after all the slotting was done. The slots are way to wide, but with some larger washers it works..
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Jul 10, 2015
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Berlin
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Done (almost):
IMG_20201115_170222768.jpg


Still ToDo:
  • Change footrest (looks nice but needs a different aproach)
  • Some rubbery stuff needs to go underneath to stop it from wandering
  • brake/resistance system (I'm thinking adjustable magnets....)
  • (maybe rise the front hub a bit higher)
  • Paint
 
Jul 10, 2015
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Berlin
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This weekend I started with a plan that lead me into failure, but ended with a success....
So here's what happened:
I started by cutting up some plastic tubing and countersinking the larger holes in the metal band.
IMG_20201121_153906982.jpg

Then I used the small pieces of tubing as spacers to mount the metal band to the rim with the self drilling screws.
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Then I mounted some of the magnets to the derailleur, using a piece of a plastic fender.
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The derailleur was then mounted to the railing.
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This was the setup I had in mind from the beginning on and at first it seemed to work fine, but as soon as the magnets got close enough to the rim, the complete setup started to bend and the magnets pulled themselves firmly onto the rim. That was more breaking power than I intended... :mad:
So a new plan had to be made...
 
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Jul 10, 2015
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Berlin
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As the adjustable setup proved to be unstable I focused on making a fixed setup. A first attempt made me realize that the metal band wasn't really necessary as I felt that the main pull came from the screws and the band was to uneven to get the magnets really close enough.
IMG_20201122_132706140.jpg

So I got rid of the band and screwed in the screws only with the spacers. This was a very good decision as like this I can adjust every single screw if it sticks out too much.
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In the final setup I managed to build in 3 magnets close enough to make the pull recognisable.
IMG_20201122_153404480.jpg

 
Jul 10, 2015
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Berlin
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Afterthoughts and ToDo:
As much as I like the sound, the machine is really loud (probably due to the magnets) and the resistance is not adjustable. So I'm thinking of a different setup, maybe with a tyre and a dynamo and putting adjustable pressure onto it....

So still on my ToDo list:
-fixed parking position for the seat when the machine is stored in upright position
-paint
-system for adjustable resistance
 
Jul 10, 2015
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Berlin
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Yesterday was tweeking and building day. I spent almost the entiry day working out some of the details on the rower and in the same time assisting my 7 years old to build his Lego bounty ship (it's for 9 years up, but he did fine and only needed very little help). So side by side we were building on our own projects. A really nice way to spent a saturday afternoon...
IMG_20201128_175619040.jpg


Here's what happend with the rower:
I did some online research about break systems and stumbled over this video about the system of an induction break:


This lead me to the conclusion to drop the adjustable resistance and instead install an induction break. So I got rid of all the screws in the aluminum rim and repositioned the magnets. It works quite well and the faster it turns the more resistance this setup produces. And also the the machine got much quieter...

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I also switched the rubberband to a shorter and stronger one and reconfigured the pulley attachment to make it easier to switch rubberbands in future.

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On the freewheel I fixed the CD-spacers to their end positions with a piece of inner tube. this also provides a bit more grip for the pull string and hopefully reduces a bit of the wear on the string. But most of the wear comes from the one and a half turn the string has to go around the freewheel and the resulting crossover under tension (I already tried with half a turn, it doesn't provide enough grip...)

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I also found some M6 screw-on feet to replace the four screws on one small side. With those installed I can store the rower upright without scratching the floor.

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With a hinge and a string tensioner I built a hook to fix the roller seat in the storage position.

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And to round it all up, I slightly repositioned the footrests to a better angle and the footstraps to a lower position. This fixes my feet in a much better position and gives me a few centimeters more stretch.

IMG_20201128_224304403.jpg

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Still on the ToDo list:
-readjusting the wheel axle (there is a bit of wiggle) to get the magnets even closer to the rim
-color?
 
Oct 18, 2014
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Newport NC
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Jul 10, 2015
715
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Berlin
www.graedel.de
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What a wonderful machine for Winter!
Is there a place that you can wet-sand, stain and clear-coat the wooden portions? After all that work, it wouldn't do to not put the artist's finishing touch on it...
Thank you!
I'm still thinking of a fitting paint job for the metal part of the machine (or leaving it as it is). For the wood I'll probably stain and wax it. But the seat definitly needs some sort of cushion (I did about 30 min on it yesterday and it started to hurt....)
 

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