Skip to main content
Buy TET Life art on Skateboards and more. etourist Skateboards 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 …

Batman v Superman: Dawn of the Onesie #Sadbatman

Although we haven't seen it clearly for sure, film director Kevin Smith (who has seen a well lit, color photo of the suit), says Ben Affleck's Bat costume is pretty much identical to the Frank Miller, Dark Knight Returns suit. If that's true then Ben's world weary Batman will be going 'old school' and be wearing his underpants on the outside (as he should).

Boom Crash Opera Born Classic But Not Again

Boom Crash Opera are an Australian Band that reached the peak of their popularity in the mid to late nineteen eighties. They are a band that I knew about at that time but was never really excited by until they released their ill fated double album Born and Born Again in 1995 (Album cover pictured).

At the time of its release I was very much into emerging Australian musical acts and was also looking out for new sounds that were different and had kind of a futuristic/electronic sound. Artists that I was buying at the time included; Swoop, Nine Inch Nails and Pop Will Eat Its Self. As well as a really interesting release by David Bowie, the concept album, Outside.

Born was a fairly radical departure for Boom Crash Opera (BCO). The first single, Gimme, was often compared to the sounds of Gary Glitter, particularly his single, Rock n Roll part 2, because of the pounding drum loops. Watch the video below.



My favorite single from the album is dissemble which probably went nowhere on the char…

getpaidtodraw.com - Your Questions Answered.

Is it a scam? Is the sales message too good to be true? Can you really sit back, relax and get paid thousands of dollars in residual payments?

If you've discovered the site getpaidtodraw.com and have been looking for someone who has bought this product before taking that leap then this review will peel back the glossy sales message and give you the answers. Prior to buying this product I came across much distrust and misinformation about getpaidtodraw.com by people who hadn't purchased it. There was a real need for information so I decided to take the leap and make the purchase specifically so I could write this informed review. Note that I am not, in any way, a getpaidtodraw.com affiliate.

For this review I will be focusing on the getpaidtodraw system which includes; the ebook, instructional videos and database along with access to the systems author Jules Camber (who replies to emails as 'Jamie, President of Champ Entertainment, Inc and Beats365, LLC'). I'll touch …

Upgrading the World's Smallest Skateboarding Manual Pad - Driveway Skateboard Obstacles

Having successfully manualed on the world's smallest skateboarding manual pad numerous times I felt it was time for an upgrade.If this is your first time here, the world's smallest manual pad is basically a small sheet of half inch thick marine ply board roughly one and a half feet by three feet laid flat. It may not actually be the world's smallest manual pad in terms of the height but it's definitely a beginner level skate obstacle.To upgrade it I had some lengths of two by four pinewood beams, that could give my manual pad some perfectly respectable height, without being beyond your average beginner skater who's just learned how to ollie onto a curb.I broke out my jigsaw, drill, and other tools. Scrounged together pretty much all the big nails and screws I had and time lapsed the build. Watch the video below.I didn't really get to skate my new, improved manual pad that day but promised I would in my very next video. Unfortunately skating my new obstacle didn…

Book Review: Short Range - Stephen Leather

I haven't read a novel in quite a while so I was looking forward to Stephen Leather'sShort Range, which is his sixteenth Spider Shepherd thriller.

The book was given to me as a gift, and I can't say I was familiar with Stephen or this book series. Essentially it's my first introduction to the character of British MI5 Agent, Dan 'Spider' Shepherd.

Fortunately I do like a good thriller novel, and Stephen includes enough information about his lead character, as the story unfolds, that I didn't feel like I was missing any crucial information from past adventures.

The basic premise of Short Range is undercover agent Dan Shepherd is assigned to an operation to take down a terrorist group. His assignment crosses paths with another operation using a child informant to help them take down a drug dealer. Meanwhile Dan's personal life is about to be shaken up in a way he never sees coming.

As far as police thrillers go this one hits the ground running, quickly ge…

Kids today are smarter than their parents?

How often have you heard it said that kids today are smarter than their parents? I’ve heard it quite frequently in the media – even Dr Phil has said it. I say speak for your self. It’s not true and don’t let the media fool you.

Today’s kids may have access to more information that may give them more choices but in my experience, they only take in what they want to hear and still make stupid, uninformed decisions. Just like we used to at their age.

Like any cross section of people there will be exceptions. There are kids that are genuinely smarter, more mature and responsible for their age. However the vast majority know everything they need to know by the time they turn fourteen. They’re ‘adult’ enough to be responsible for all their own decision making so parents should just let them do what they please…right? Just like we thought at fourteen.

Don’t be fooled. Just because your son knows how to download MP3’s onto an ipod, or your daughter can chat to five friends at the same time on he…