Dec 192017
IMG_2684 Padded dish …
IMG_2685 … mounted on client’s stand.
A trombone player requires a support to take the weight of his instrument to allow him to continue playing after a stroke.

A simple padded dish (a repurposed dog feeding bowl) was fitted to the client’s trombone stand with a length of threaded rod (to give height adjustment).

Berkshire Panel Job BK2017/75.

 December 19, 2017  Posted by at 08:27 Leisure Activities Comments Off on BK2017/75 – Trombone playing support
Dec 182017

Squeeze Machine Essex North Job 16/1501
This is the third Squeeze machine Essex North has made. They are all similar being two air mattresses constrained so that a person lying between them will be squeezed once they are inflated.
The pump for this incarnation is a modified Mangar Bath aid pump. The article in the School Newsletter explains the theory better than me.

 December 18, 2017  Posted by at 18:39 Uncategorized Comments Off on Squeeze machine Essex North Job 16/15
Dec 162017

This sip/puff actuator was developed from an original design from the Herefordshire Panel, the electrical circuits  and motor are exactly the same as the Herefordshire Panel Device. I modified the actuator to use a cam and lever after realising almost all of the older sewing machine pedals are identical. More modern machines pedals differ. Motor mount uses a torque reaction switch to stop motor then it reaches a limit stop, a hand button is provided to stop machine and cycle cam back to zero.



 December 16, 2017  Posted by at 19:02 Uncategorized Comments Off on Sip/Puff Sewing Machine Pedal Actuator Essex North Job 17/1553
Dec 132017
WC foot supports raised Wheelchair with foot rests raised …

WC foot supports down
… and foot rests down in normal use.Ladder bar
The client was struggling to carry out standing transfers from wheelchair to toilet, particularly when out and about.

“Ladder bars” handles were bolted onto the underside of the wheelchair’s existing footrests, and a new plate fitted to allow the footrests to be rotated and locked into an upright position, presenting the handles for use.

The handles can be left in place, hidden below the foot rests, when the wheelchair is in normal use, so no extra paraphernalia needs to be carried.

The height of the handles will rise in the future as the foot rests are lowered to accommodate leg growth.

The modifications are easily unbolted when wheelchair is returned.

The client’s mother was chuffed to bits with the way that they can also be used as restraints when the client is sat on a normal toilet, to prevent him falling sideways, and in disabled toilets where the usual fold-down arms are far too wide apart for him.


Berkshire Panel Job BK2017/59.

 December 13, 2017  Posted by at 08:49 Children's Equipment - Mobility and Support Comments Off on BK2017/59 – Wheelchair support handles
Dec 072017

This client has difficulty pressing the small buttons on a recliner chair control box, and too easily knocks it off the chair arm (where it has been placed by a carer) when trying to use it when the carer is not immediately available. The client has sometimes tried to stand up in the chair whilst it is reclined which is dangerous and is damaging the chair.

The idea of somehow attaching the control box to the arm of the chair had already been discounted because the client is not able to accurately press one or other of the buttons. It was proposed that the control box could be fitted into a mechanism where the movement of the two buttons would be exaggerated and isolated by two levers and actuator paddles. This was drawn up in a 3D design tool and a drawing sent to the OT for consideration. The OT thought that it would be worth making this into a real device and trying it out, only doing this would confirm if it would be useful to the client.

The recliner chair has a pocket on the side and an MDF board was fitted into this and held to the chair with a strap. A wooden enclosure holds the control box and two levers are fitted that allow large movements of two paddles to press on the control box’s buttons. The first version was shown to the client’s carer and some small changes were suggested, including painting the paddles red and green. The device was completed and then installed on a third visit, planned so the OT could attend as well.

During this visit the client’s carer and the OT worked with him for a little while to see if he could manage to control the chair, he did manage to make it work although some more practice was going to be necessary. The device was left with the client and a follow-up meeting arranged. Unfortunately, before this could take place, the OT contacted me to explain that the chair had become damaged beyond repair and so the device was redundant. When a new chair has been procured we can revisit and see what might be needed to reinstate it.

An improved design has been considered in the meantime where a single paddle is used to press the buttons. This will require a more complex mechanism that changes the direction of the lever’s movement by 90 degrees but should be simpler for the client to use.


Ian Mercer, REMAP South Herts Panel

 December 7, 2017  Posted by at 10:35 Chairs and Chair Accessories Comments Off on Recliner / Riser chair controls
Dec 062017
Feet fixed to underside of sofa
Detail of clamps used to fix feet to frame

sofa raised
Completed raised sofa with valance

The client required his reclining sofa raising by 3” without interfering with the mechanism. Some loose wooden blocks had been provided, but they were unstable.

Four wooden feet were made which clamped to the base frame of the sofa. A valance was included to prevent the client’s feet from getting trapped underneath.

Berkshire Panel Job BK2017/68.

 December 6, 2017  Posted by at 14:56 Chairs and Chair Accessories Comments Off on BK2017/68 – Raise sofa
Nov 302017
Head rest fitted to dining chair, wheelchair behind
Brackets with paper template
pic4 Brackets fitted to chair back
The client uses a wheelchair with a headrest to support her head, but wishes to use a standard dining chair while eating. A headrest is required to prevent potential choking.

The solution agreed was to add a bracket to the dining chair to allow the wheelchair headrest to be easily fitted when required.

Berkshire Panel Job BK2017/66.

 November 30, 2017  Posted by at 14:58 Eating and Drinking Comments Off on BK2017/66 – Headrest for dining chair
Nov 172017

BS 15/16-39 Holder for Electronic Magnifier

The client has very poor sight and uses an electronic magnifier to aid her reading. The unit is similar to a digital camera and has buttons to control on/off, magnification, colour etc. As she also has a problem with pain in her fingers she found that holding and operating the device for any length of time gave her pain. The requirement was therefore for a holder with a handle to enable the magnifier to be held without discomfort to her fingers.

A holder as shown was formed by heat-moulding UPVC plastic (taken from 100mm soil piping) around a wooden former. The magnifier slips into the carrier-slide element and by cutting a window in the front face and boring access holes into the casing the push buttons on the unit can still be operated whilst in the holder.


A single central pop rivet acts as a stop to prevent the Magnifier from sliding beyond the correct position whilst an elastic band attached to the hand strap holds the unit firmly against the stop; this is looped around the handle and fixes onto a stub. It can therefore be easily unhooked to facilitate removal of the Magnifier from the carrier for it to be recharged via the USB connection. The plastic element of the handle is an extension of the main plastic moulding with a piece of 25mm wood dowel used to complete the grip.

The client can now read her papers and books without pain to her hands.


Nov 152017
Clipboard in position

The client needs easy access to a call button to call for assistance at night when in bed. The client’s wireless button had been mounted on a bed clip board (as used in hospitals to identify the client and assigned hospital staff) and a firmer method of mounting on the bed side rails was required.

A pair of tool spring clips was bolted to the board to clip it firmly onto the tubular bed side rails.


Berkshire Panel Job BK2017/69.

 November 15, 2017  Posted by at 15:45 Beds and Bed Accessories Comments Off on BK2017/69 – Mount for night call button
Nov 132017
The problem 
The ramps in position

The ramps

Commercial ramps are not adjustable to suit the front door threshold. They cannot deal with the height difference inside (100mm) and out (175mm) and allow the door to be closed with the ramps in position.

Two new wooden ramps, one for outside and one for inside, made from 12mm ply and coated with non-slip paint. Each ramp is supported on two legs at the high end with wood reinforcing stiffeners in line with the wheelchair wheel track.


Berkshire Panel Job BK2017/63.

 November 13, 2017  Posted by at 17:14 Manual Wheelchairs Comments Off on BK2017/63 – Threshold ramp