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      Well, last night was a tough one. We worked on the wheelchair all evening and we finally--with blood sweat and tears--got to a point where were are proud to show off our work. We are still having a few issues with the wheels not spinning quite strait. This can be fixed with some hardware modifications. And yes, we do know it needs a cushion. But aside from that, we think that we have nailed down the general design for a wheelchair that we hope will someday change many lives. This entire project can be completed for virtually nothing. The hand truck and bike can be found in scrapyards. Electrical conduit and gas pipe can be found in old houses and abandoned buildings. Only a few pieces (if any) of simple hardware are needed for purchase for this design. We estimate the average cost of production if this were made in a slum or other impoverished neighborhood to be around 10-20 USD.
      We are also proud to say that although we used power tools on occasion to speed up work, no power tools are necessary to construct this wheelchair. The tools needed are common and require little to no skill to use. The builder would need access to a hacksaw, hammer, wrench set, screwdriver, and a hand drill. 

      With a little more work and a little more time, we are sure that we will hone our design and complete the final product of this endeavor that we can test.

 
 
Vanessa and I got together and decided it was high time to try out our wheelchair. We used a box-lash to tie on the support for the back caster wheel. then we cut it to size and anchored it with a screw. A bit of duct tape finished it off and we added the back wheel by inserting the rod into the pipe. Bravely deciding that Vanessa's safety was more important than my own, I took the first test.
The chair worked fairly well till we noticed a bit of a problem with weight distribution. The chair is front heavy. We're planning on solving this by moving the back wheel farther back and possibly adding another. We can also move the front wheels forward a bit too. Another issue is that the axle we used on the front is too weak. Bike wheels are designed to be held on both sides by a short bolt and a fork-shaped piece of metal, but ours are anchored only on one side each causing a bend in the axle. I will be stopping by Cycle-Re-Cycle in Benton Harbor to try and obtain these parts and hopefully use them in our design. On the plus side, our home made caster worked well and the frame is very sturdy. When it is finished, we believe it will be very functional and we're optimistic about the final pr