Wednesday, January 12, 2011

365 Jobs, Day 12 -- Scooter Board Ramp

Tuesday, January 12, 1982

It's called a scooter board ramp.  I built my first one on this day, 29 years ago.  I've had to repair it a few times as kids have pounded it over the years.

Pediatric occupational therapists use scooter boards in treating kids who have various motion or balance issues.  Here's a picture of a commercial model in use:

The kids don't think of it as therapy; they're just having a blast.  OT's are tricky that way.

The plywood base of the commercial model is sturdier than the 1x3 legs I used.  I had wanted to use plywood, too, but weight was an issue, and I was building a customized model to the exacting needs of one particular OT: my wife.  So I chose the less sturdy design, knowing I'd be on call to make occasional repairs.

My version uses a 1" dowel as a hinge, allowing the ramp to be folded back over the platform when not in use.  Or the ramp can simply be lifted and stored elsewhere.  Here are some close-ups of the hinge detail:

The platform is 12" above the floor.  Its dimensions are 22" by 34".  The ramp is 24 1/2" wide (to fit outside the platform at the hinge) by 41" long.  

Here's how it looks, folded:
 and open:
It's a pleasure to build something that gives joy on a daily basis while helping kids in therapy.

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