Category: Balance Disabilities

Parallel Bars

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"DO IT YOURSELF" ENTRY --- PURPOSE: To provide a low-cost alternative for commercially-available parallel bars. In preparation for constructing these parallel bars, have a hardware store cut lengths of galvanized water pipe and have them threaded for a T and floor flange: four 12-inch sections; two 54-inch sections; and four 36-inch sections. To connect the pieces, start at the top and work down to avoid trouble with connecting all the pieces. Attach a T section to each end of the 54-inch pipe. Attach the 36-inch pipe piece to the bottom opening of each T. Thread and tighten the flanges onto the bottom of the vertical pipe. Have someone hold one railing stable and mark the bolt locations on the door. Pre-drill holes for bolts. Turn the door over and drill a half-inch wide, half-inch deep section in each hole to recess the bolt. Fasten the flanges to the door using the bugle head bolts. Tightly screw the 12-inch pipe sections into the outside ends of the T. Cap each end. Duplicate these directions for the other side of door. OPTIONS: Cover the door with a vinyl runner or indoor/outdoor carpeting before attaching the pipes to it. Use PVC pipe instead of the galvanized pipe; larger diameter pipe can also be used. Use thick plywood or particle board instead of a door. Double the length by putting two doors or boards end to end and attaching securely. (A center vertical support may be required depending on the strength of materials). Pad and wrap pipes with foam and vinyl or another combination of materials. MATERIALS: Standard materials are one seven foot solid core wood door, three 10- foot lengths of one-inch galvanized water pipe, four one-inch galvanized T's, four one-inch galvanized floor flanges, four one-inch galvanized caps, 16 3/8-inch bugle head bolts, and 16 nuts to fit bolts. TOOLS: Power drill, ratchet set, and wrench. SKILLS REQUIRED: Basic shop and assembly skills. TITLE: Low Cost Parallel Bars. WEB SITE: TechConnect, Illinois Assistive Technology Project at . REF: Ten Dollar Tech Ideas. TechConnect, Illinois Assistive Technology Project, can also be contacted at 1 West Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 100, Springfield, Illinois 62701; 800-852-5110 voice/TTY, IL only; 217-522-7985 voice; 217-522-9966 TTY; 217-522-8067 Fax.


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