Aug 262015
Guard in use

The parts used

The client is particularly vulnerable to fractures to his ankles and so used to place his feet behind his wheelchair footrests to protect them from collision, which caused discomfort and pressure behind his knees.

The stainless steel tubular guard provides the necessary protection to give him the confidence to keep his feet on the footplates.  Quick-release clamps (used on boats for attaching canopies) allow the guard to be removed without tools when needed.

Berks Panel Job BK2015/29. These bull bars were subsequently modified to fit the client’s new wheelchair, ref. BK2017/78.

Aug 182015

image image The  client has an office type chair with 5 feet which needed to be raised 4 inches. A platform was made from hardwood ply supported on 5 timber bearers. The top of the platform was recessed so that the chair legs fitted in for security.

Bristol panel case ref. 8\15-04

 August 18, 2015  Posted by at 17:43 Chairs and Chair Accessories Comments Off on Chair raiser for office chair with 5 feet
Aug 182015

clip_image002 clip_image002[4]Finished solution

The Threshold step on the client’s front door causes him problems with him getting out of the house in his wheelchair. The ‘ramp’ that the client had improvised was a sort of landing stage to provide a level transfer station on a steeply sloping drive. The left hand picture shows the current improvisation.

The new step is the full width of the door and small window to allow for the door to be widened, 1180mm. Materials were exterior grade Baltic Birch finished with Rustin’s Plastic finish and three strips of Screwfix 50mm anti-slip tape.

The completed ‘step’ weighs some 5.4kg and has been fitted with a nylon rope handle to aid the client storing it in the garage with the wheel chair.

Bristol panel case ref 7\15-07

 August 18, 2015  Posted by at 17:35 Household Equipment Comments Off on Front door access step
Aug 172015

Identified need
The client has no fine motor control of his hands but can use arms and/or head.  He is confined to bed and feels insecure at night as he is not able to alert a carer in another room or part of the house.

This unit is based on the Wilko Standard Portable Door Chime which comprises a bell-push and chime unit which connect wirelessly.  The finger push button is replaced by a wobble switch (Fig 1) to enable easy activation.  A simple adjustable clamp holds the wobble switch at a convenient location, eg on the bed headboard.  The chime unit (Fig 2) can be in any other room in the house, or garden depending on the number and density of walls and other obstructions.

wobble switch actuator

Fig 1: wobble switch actuator

chime unit

Fig 2: chime unit










Hereford panel 15/37/C

 August 17, 2015  Posted by at 17:36 Telephones, Alarms, Intercomms No Responses »
Aug 172015

Identified need:
Client suffered a stroke and has lost most use of right arm.  He is a professional photographer and has tried various methods to operate the camera and shutter release simultaneously but none are satisfactory; feels he needs a bespoke solution.  Camera is a Canon EOS 6D DSLR .  The viewfinder rather than screen is used for composition.

focus button

Fig 1: focus button

The original shutter button has a two-stage action: pressing half-way engages the focus mechanism, pressing further releases the shutter. This two-stage action was retained by using separate switches: the focus switch being finger operated (Fig 1) with the shutter release achieved with a ‘puff’ switch (Fig 2). As in the existing arrangement, the shutter could not be released without first activating the focus.

shutter release puff switch

Fig 2: shutter release puff switch

hand grip

Fig 3: hand grip










An old Vivitar grip proved ideal as a base for producing a device.  The lead from a remote switch was utilised to provide the plug for the camera and a miniature switch positioned in the cable release slot on the grip.  A ‘puff’ switch was attached to the base of the grip with the tube secured with a twist-tie.

To enable the grip to be mounted to either camera or lens, the existing cold shoe on the top of the grip was adapted to a ¼” UNC thread (Fig 3) enabling fitment to camera base or directly onto longer lenses for better balance.

After using the device the client felt the puff switch was vulnerable to impact as he lacked control when putting down the camera.  A guard was fabricated using two small chair caster cups back-to-back with suitably positioned slots and hole for the cabling.  This ensured the puff tube exited at right angles and formed a stable base to stand the unit upright.


Fig 4: switch guard

Hereford panel 15/40/B


 August 17, 2015  Posted by at 17:22 Leisure Activities No Responses »
Aug 172015

imageimage The client needed a ramp so that he could be wheeled in his wheelchair out of the French doors in the lounge into the garden. The drop from the house to the path is 60mm and the ramp needed to bridge a drainage channel.

The ramp was made from 1200x 450 x9mm exterior grade plywood protected with exterior varnish. The ramp was screwed to a 150mm wide by 1150 long support beam profiled to the slope. To stop the ramp slipping, two metal pins were screwed into the underside of the beam which would engage with the slots in the drainage channel. The pins were made from two Ikea parallel sided screwed bolts with the heads cut off and slots sawn into the top for a screwdriver.

Bristol Panel case ref. 7\15-03

 August 17, 2015  Posted by at 09:19 Household Equipment Comments Off on Ramp for french doors
Aug 172015

image image

The client’s elderly carer was having difficulty in pushing a shower wheelchair over the tray threshold. A ramp was constructed using a skirting wood profile and a piece of aluminium carpet edging strip.

Bristol Panel case ref. 6\15-05

 August 17, 2015  Posted by at 09:13 Household Equipment Comments Off on Shower threshold ramp
Aug 142015

The client is 4 years old, with mild hemiplegic cerebral palsy. He has been using a standard balance bike, and is not yet ready for pedals, but as he is quite tall for his age has nearly outgrown his current bike. The parents cannot find a larger balance bike for him.

There is a range of larger balance bikes, made by Strider, but the child comes in a gap in the Strider size range.

The client’s height was considered and inside leg length measured to ensure that the provided cycle could be made suitable for him.

The cycle was fully stripped and inspected:

  • all areas of rust were cleaned and treated with a ‘Ku-rust’ converting solution which was then top coated with Hammerite paint;
  • pedals, crank shaft and bearings, chain, chain guard and rear sprocket were removed;
  • bottom bracket bearing cavity blocked flush using 2 opposing oak plugs painted black and held in place with 2 mush head screws and a threaded spacer;
  • brake callipers were stripped, rust wire brushed, treated, painted with hammerite and reassembled;
  • broken brake levers were replaced;
  • saddle and stem removed, and rear tube reduced by 25mm (max possible), stem reduced by 50mm and both to reduce minimum saddle height to suit client’s leg length;
  • wheels, rims and spokes inspected for concentricity and run-out, axles and bearings checked for play, free running and lubricated;
  • tyres inspected, inflated to test pressure and checked for cuts, age cracks and tread, no leaks or adverse characteristics.

The bike was adjusted and tested for brake effectiveness and considered satisfactory, tyre pressures were reduced to ‘soft’ to further reduce saddle height in use.


Bristol Panel case ref. 4\15-04

 August 14, 2015  Posted by at 17:41 Children's Equipment - Development and Play Comments Off on Modify standard bike to balance bike
Aug 132015

The client is a wheelchair user who wants to play tennis in his special wheelchair. His current wheelchair is not adjustable and he requires the vack to be modified so that he can adjust the seat position. A custom bracket was made from 1/4 inch thick aluminium with several sets of holes for adjustment.

Bristol Panel case ref. 01\15-07

image image

 August 13, 2015  Posted by at 20:11 Leisure Activities Comments Off on Special wheelchair mods for tennis
Aug 022015

The client needed an aid to assist with holding clothes on his ironing board. A standard spring clamp was modified by fitting a weaker spring so that it could easily be operated with one hand.


Bristol Panel case reference number 7\15-06

 August 2, 2015  Posted by at 11:16 Household Equipment Comments Off on Ironing aid for arm amputee