2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
“Made It Myself” Wheelchair Lift
“When my wife became handicapped, I thought I had no choice but to build an unsightly 46-ft. long wheelchair ramp leading up to the porch on our house. It would have cost more than $1,000, plus it would have required a lot of wheelchair pushing and time spent clearing snow off the ramp,” says the 90-year-old Goertzen.
After considering several options he decided to build the wheelchair lift instead, using 4 by 4 cedar posts to build the frame. A 12-volt ATV winch with steel cable does the lifting. The frame is held together by gussets made from 3 1/2-in. wide, 1/8-in. thick steel plate.
The lift frame is about 10 ft. high and 4 ft. wide with a 3/4-in. thick plywood floor supported by 2 by 4’s, which are tapered toward the front to keep the floor flush with the ground. Plywood sides are nailed to cross members on both sides of the frame. A short enter and exit ramp is attached to the front of the lift platform with 3 hinges. “The ramp is controlled by an over-center lever that locks the ramp in an upright position and keeps the wheelchair from rolling off the lift,” says Goertzen.
Once the wheelchair is rolled onto the floor, the operator pulls on an overcentered lever to lock the ramp in an upright position that holds the wheelchair in place. He then uses a switch to raise the lift 42 in. up to porch level. A limit switch keeps the lift from going too high.
“The porch is surrounded by a wooden railing on all sides except for an opening where the wheelchair enters it. I installed a gate in front of the opening on the porch railing to prevent children from falling off when the lift is in the down position.
“My total cost was about $350 which included the winch, lumber, steel gussets, 12-volt battery, and a solar charger for it.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Henry Goertzen, 767 Gov. Rd., Echo Bay, Ontario, Canada (ph 705 248-2317; email@example.com).
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