Skip to main content
Now building my TET.Life Store.

'MacGyvering' the Millennium Falcon of Fitness Equipment

Back when my Orbital Walker was
shiney and new.
Back in February of 2014 I bought myself an Orbital walker to supplement my exercise, or lack of exercise, I was getting from 'walking' my dogs for an hour each day.

I say lack of because at the time both our dogs didn't really walk fast enough for me to break any kind of sweat, they kind of 'meandered', whilst window shopping smells and places to pee.

Fast forward to now and I've pretty much exercised on my walker five days a week, every week. My sessions started out at ten minutes and increased to forty minutes for the last three years.

Consequently this machine is starting to become the Millennium Falcon of exercise machines. As Han Solo said;

She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

Those 'special modifications' are ones I've made to hold this thing together rather than buy a replacement.

It's an AU$200.00 piece of equipment and, it's still good, except for the broken bits. The problem is the broken bits are kind of essential to it working.

Upright column fix on both sides.
The bottom weld on the main upright column broke on one side some time last year. The weld was still good on the other side so I  bolted a metal plate onto the broken side to stop it breaking altogether (I can't weld so this was the next option). The plate was just a piece of bracket I had lying around the house that I flattened out. A 'MacGyver' fix, if you will.

So earlier this year the rest of the same weld finally broke. I MacGyvered another 'found' metal plate on that side. It seems to hold  well but if I undid both metal plates the main column would probably lift right out, or just fall over.

The latest fix is for a problem that's been grinding away for a while, literally.

At some point last year the right pedal axle came loose enough for it to spin in the hole where it's held onto the pedal arm by a lock nut. I tried to tighten it back up but the head of the axle is held with a puny little allen key (I can't tell you how much I hate allen keys). I could never get any leverage because the lock nut at the other end was proper locked, and no amount of WD40 was shifting it.

See the thread sticking out of the nut on the left?
That's how thick the pedal axle used to be.
I've been meaning to do 'something' to fix it for months but the machine was still useable so... I kept using it. Just last week I decided I better do that 'something' to fix it. I had a closer look and couldn't believe how much of the axle had grinded away.

I was amazed it hadn't snapped the day before, during my 40 minute routine.

It looked like this was the end of the road but I thought, I'll see if I can fix it. Not by buying a new part or anything, that would be weird. I'll MacGyver something.

These cheap skate bearings fit perfectly inside the pedal housing.
My solution turned out to be filling the inside of the pedal casing with old skateboard bearings, which to my sensibilities, is an upgrade. There were no bearings in the original design, just two plastic collars around the axle.

It seems to be working well, though for how long, only time will tell. Since the hole in the pedal arm was partially ground away as well. I'm betting that'll break before my new axle and bearings system do. In the short term I'm pretty sure it'll hold together for a little while yet...


[Footnote: It turns out the pedal arm hole (where the axle is attached) was ground away too much as well, and partially broke the next day. However I have an idea...

You may think, just throw it out already and get a new one but, if it's being replaced anyway, why not have a go at fixing it? It might just work... and, you know, the rest of it IS still good.]

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

Finding Time to Skate - Swap a Skateboard Session into Your Weekly Workout Routine

A common problem among skaters dealing with work/life commitments (typically older skaters with families, careers, or both) is finding the time to actually spend on a skateboard. In fact, life in general getting in the way of skateboarding, is what often leads so many to drop out of the sport, only to rediscover it later, once everything else starts to even out.

I'm certainly in that category. Never really giving skateboarding away altogether but only using a skateboard to get from A to B, when I didn't have a vehicle, for many years. In the last couple of years I've been trying to get back into the sport properly, i.e. building up my trick list and skating for fun and not just to get from A to B.

The problem is I have so many interests, projects, paid work, and more, that I would often leave skateboarding to the end of my day. Kind of as something to look forward to. Except I wouldn't be that motivated to really improve because my mind would be fried from everything …

Filming Myself Skateboarding - Finding a Balance and a Reliable Video Editor Phone App

I like filming myself skateboarding. The problem is I'm not interested enough in the filmmaking  process to film great shots or tell a compelling story each video to compensate for my lack of ability on a skateboard.

It's not that I'm bad at skateboarding, and I understand there is an audience of people who like to watch how other beginner (or aging relearner) skaters progress. I'm part of that audience.

As much as we love watching pro skaters video parts and competition runs, for many of us that level of skating isn't as relatable as watching someone going through the same struggle we're having with trying to land basic pop shove-its and kickflips.

I recently broke the drought of not making skateboard videos for the past six months by posting a new driveway skateboard session that I filmed, edited, and uploaded from my phone. You can watch it below.



This video would have had a bit more of a story had the bit in the middle, where I gave my initial thoughts on …

The Star Wars Saga: Episode II, Attack of the Clones *All Spoilers*

Continuing my series of posts, as one of my local TV stations shows every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens, here is my response to and thoughts on Star Wars, Episode II, Attack of the Clones.

After The Phantom Menace I just wasn't interested in seeing Episode II in the cinema. I don't think I made any effort to see it or even had any anticipation for it's release.

The Star Wars Saga: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace *All Spoilers*

One of my local TV stations is showing every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens in theaters this Christmas.

I plan to watch each film, at least two of which I've never managed to watch all the way through. Then I thought I'd blog about each movie here. Not so much a review but more my thoughts about the film, ranging from what I like, to what I see as a problem and maybe my thoughts on original trilogy re-releases and updates.

This post I'll start with Episode I, The Phantom Menace but first, a little history of my fandom.

Embarrassing Yourself with Doof Doof Music

Ever since Spinal Tap popularized the notion of turning an amp up to eleven audio systems have been rising to the challenge of louder, more awesome sound.

In particular, car audio systems have embraced the notion of the bigger the noise the better the sound must surely be. What I'd like to know is, if these sound systems are so good, why do they make all music sound the same... Doof, Doof, Doof?

You've all heard them. Pimped up cars, with audio systems seemingly worth more than gold, volume blasting way past eleven. Sound waves booming long before you make a positive visual on the car... Doof, Doof, Doof.

It has to be the audio system right? Surely all these people can't be playing the same tune? Doof, Doof, Doof.

Could it be that the more money spent on a car sound system the less musical range it will actually play? Maybe these people can't afford to buy music after purchasing the audio system so they all play the same demo track? Doof, doof, doof.

In my own car I have a…

Book Review: Brand It Purple by Ashley Knoote-Parke

It seems almost redundant to review Brand It Purple given you probably won't find a hard copy edition without digging into the second hand market. The book's author and publisher, Ashley Knoote-Parke, seemingly, disappeared off the face of the Earth around about 2015. Which is a story in itself.

However, the book is still a very informative guide and, while not specifically targeted at women, many may relate more to a book written by an experienced female entrepreneur.

Brand It Purple is a personal marketing and branding guide released in 2009 by then, star on the rise author, Ashley Knoote-Parke, an English born, South African expatriate, who made Adelaide, South Australia her home.

There she started her own publishing company releasing a photographic, coffee table book of South Australian sights, along with books showcasing female, then male, entrepreneurs. As well she published 'Brand It Purple'.

I came across the book being sold at a discount price at a weekend mar…