We all know that the key to healthy living is doing regular exercise, eating healthy food full of fruit and vegg, and of course trying to reduce our personal carbon footprint and promote renewable energy.
So, can there be something that combines all of this, and more? The answer is: -Yes, there is! The pedal-powered smoothie maker, that promotes renewable energy, biking, healthy eating, all nicely grouped under DIY-pure quality me-time.
Interested? Here is the step-by-step tutorial, with special thanks to the creator chunkyhampton over at the Instructables.
All you need to make your pedal-powered smoothie maker is stuff that you can easily get online quite cheaply (sometimes with a bit of luck and persistence).
So, here is the list:
1. Bike Turbo trainer- you should be able to find a second hand one for about $50-60 on ebay (‘Beto’ was used for this tutorial).
2. Flexible drill drive- you can use a 915mm or a 1300mm one, both available online for about $20-30
3. 40 mm Jubilee clips- make sure you pick good quality ones.
4. 10-12 mm, 1-2mm thick, metal tubing.
5. Heat Shrink tubing- as many as you can get numerous pieces
6. 2 x Angle brackets- these are often referred to as frame tie. You need 50 x 100mm (also available online).
7. Metal mesh
8. Various nuts and bolts- again, as many as you can get. make sure you have 6mm diameter ones.
9. Galvanized wire (2mm thick)
10. An old blender or a smoothie maker- if you find one with a damaged motor, this would be a winning one for you. They are usually considered trash and given away by their owners.
11. An Optics type clamp- you should be able to find these at carboot sales or second hand markets.
12. Approximately 50x50mm, 20cm long, 2 mm thick, angle aluminum
This is what you need to have at hand:
1. Drill and drill attachments of various sizes
2. Screw driver(s)
4. Metal file
5. Hot air gun
7. ‘Dremel’ tape cutting tool
If you get hold of the Turbo Trainer, than you would not need to do to much to it in order to make the stand and attach the bike. Simply place the back wheel (bigger than 26″) of any bike to fit within the large threaded rod. It is very easy to do, just make sure it is tightened well. Then remove the fans (see images), because they are only for training purposes and not necessary here, since we will be making energy.
Next, attach the flexible drive to the roller, using the small tubing and two angle brackets. The brackets will be later attached to the plastic roller, so in order to do this, you should cut them down slightly and make an extra hole.
Make sure that the brackets are slightly bent in order to ensure that they can hold the flexible drive correctly. For this, use the hammer.
Now it is time to attach the flexible drive. To do this, use the two jubilee clips. With a small piece of tubing, connect the roller axle to the flexible drive shaft. Because the sizes of the shafts are not equal, use heat shrinks to add to the diameter. If there is any excess, make sure you cut it off from both the roller assembly and the flexible drive.
Next, attach the coupling tube to both axles, by drilling a 2 mm hole through the tube and the shaft. Then, push through a 2mm galvanized wire (or a split pin or bolt) and bend it on each end. If you wish, you can use a large heat-shrink to hold the wire.
Cut the metal mesh to size with the tin-snips to make a safety protector, so that you do not get injured by the moving parts. The cut mesh wrap around the metal brackets. Drill small holes and tap with a 4mm tap in the angle brackets. You can also use a machine screw to fix the mesh to the angle brackets.
This is a bit more of a reflection step. Sit back and take a second to enjoy your pedal powered flexible drive, which you can use to power the drill from now on. You can also use it to power other generators or tools (as part of your next DIY project).
Step 6. Sort out the blender
First and foremost, if your blender is functioning with its own motor, make sure it is unplugged before you do anything to it.
Unscrew the plastic base to expose the motor, and together with it remove all electric cables and fans as you will not be needing them anymore. You also have to remove the motor brushes.
Because all parts are now gone, you will need something to hold the sections together, so use the metal tubing (you will need 2 identical pieces) and two long bolts to replace the motor windings. When you fit everything together, make sure the spindle turns freely.
Then tighten the flexible drive chunk around the spindle. The drive should open not more than 8mm, which is a little bit larger than the spindle.
The only thing left for you now is to attach it to a table. There are many ways to do it- you can even use a store-bought machine with clamps. You can also use the piece of angle aluminum to hold the smoothie machine. The aluminum should extend outside the housing, so to ensure this, use the ‘Dremel’ type cutting tool. Then, use the 4mm bolts and lock nuts to ensure that it is stable and does not fall apart once it is in operation. Place a clamp on the other side of the bracket, using short bolts and lock nuts.
Then, the whole unit you can clamp to the table using ‘optics’ type drinks clamp. The advantage is that in this way, the unit is portable.
You are done. Now, pick the best fruits and a few greens, a bit of yogurt, change into your gym gear and start pedaling.
Image (c) Instructables/chunkyhampton