"If your life's work can be accomplished in your lifetime you're not thinking big enough." - Wes Jackson
I suppose I have found my life's work in deciding to build my own apparatus, because it is definitely starting to feel like it will take more than a lifetime to complete. Yes, I have 'finished' the Folding Mat, but there still a few details/finishing touches.
After a few snafus, step 1 of making the Ladder Barrel is complete. The frame stands in the corner waiting to be made whole by the barrel. Isn't this just a sweet little love story?
Once again, I had pre-cut the wood to the necessary dimensions for the barrel and you better believe I made sure to take the proper pieces. Although, in this part of the game, if I couldn't tell the difference between a semi-circle and what essentially looked like a popsicle stick, I had no business doing it.
The interior frame of the barrel is made up of 3 pieces of wood that are cut in a semi-circle, and then smaller pieces of lumber are attached to the three pieces of interior wood to make what looks like a barrel that has been cut in half.
Initially as I was attempting to put the barrel together I was cursing myself;I didn't have nearly enough limbs to hold the three pieces of 'interior Frame' in an upright and level position while also holding a 2inx20in piece of wood securely against the frame while operating a nail gun. Not only are you trying to keep all of the pieces magically suspended in air, but you have to try and get a flat surface flush with THREE separate curved surfaces. And of course I have never used a nail gun before, so all I kept seeing was the nail gun taking on a life of it's own and turning into Rambo shooting up the garage.
After I got the nail gun operation figured out and the first few pieces attached, it was smooth sailing. The nail gun was probably the most fun power tool I used, so it was kind of sad when I realized I only needed it for that one small part. But we keep on trucking because it's time to whip out the staple gun and get some upholstery on this barrel!
Of course I follow the directions to know what type of materials and how much to use for the padding, so I gather that all up.
At this point they offered a handy suggestion of weighing down the padding so that you could get the material as taught as possible when stapling to the barrel itself. So I plop some weights in and proceed.
I secure the last staple into the frame and I flip it over for the reveal...it is GINORMOUS!
You may or may not know about the exercise that is called Horseback and part of what it entails is sitting atop the barrel as if you were on a horse. Well, by the looks of it I've got myself a pregnant hippo. How did this happen?!
I read through the directions again, checking to make sure that all of the measurements were correct and I used the proper materials, and I had. I end up removing a layer of the padding, which I thought was excessive to being with, and it looks to be much closer to the proportion I had anticipated. The only things left to do are attach the barrel to its frame, then attach the barrel frame to the ladder frame. Am I this close to being done?! It's all happening!
While these last steps were not super complex, they did need to be executed in a precise manner. It is pretty tricky to attach panels to either side of the barrel when the barrel is maybe 1/3 of the length of the panel and have it be completely symmetrical.
Could this really be happening? Am I about to put the final bolts in and in effect have a Ladder Barrel? In the words of Dale Doback, "Yep!" And just like that, it is all over, for the most part. I have built, from scratch, replicas of the apparatus that Joseph Pilates invented. Here they are in their natural habitat, waiting for you to experience their glory: