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Gymnastics Pommel Horse "Mushroom"

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Picture of Gymnastics Pommel Horse "Mushroom"
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I'm getting back into more gymnastics-styled fitness and decided to fabricate some training equipment. Practicing circles on a pommel horse is a great way to workout groups of muscles dynamically. Since I cannot afford an actual pommel, or even the practice "mushrooms" I figured I'd try and make one on my own. I scoured the internet for tutorials and wasn't able to find any so I just winged it. Feel free to loosely follow my instructions and add, subtract or modify as you see fit. I'm sure there's an easier, more effective and probably cheaper way to make these and I'd like to know how to improve upon it, so feel free to share your input.

Tools:
An adequately sharpened pencil
Ruler
Piece of string at least 16" long
Thumb tack
Staple Gun and staples
Gaffer's/Duct Tape
A drill
Box of 3" and 1 5/8" screws
Circular saw or Chop saw
Jigsaw
Sawsall
Sanding device (I used a Metabo Compact sander with a rough sanding stone and 220 grit sandpaper)

Supplies:
Two sheets of 3/4" plywood 24" x 24" (~$6 from Home Depot)
4' of 4" x 4" (7' piece ~$7 from Home Depot)
12' of 2" x 4" (7' pieces ~$6 from Home Depot)
24' of 2" x 6" (8' pieces ~$6 from Home Depot)
12' x 1' of outdoor carpet (~$19 from Lowe's)
36" x 9' of rubber carpet padding (would've been $38 from Lowe's, but it had a couple holes and I was given a half-off discount, schyeah!)
4' x 4' of vinyl fabric (faux leather, you can get it cheap by the yard from a fabric distributor)

Cost:
Since I already had all the tools I needed except for some screws, this instructable cost me approximately $90, which is by no means cheap, but if you search for them online they sell for anywhere from $250-$400.

Note: When completely finished this sucker weighs....a lot. I would assemble it where you plan to use it, and if you absolutely need to move it, turn it on its side and roll it. I am not responsible for any bodily harm including hernia, constipation, rug burns, or shattered expectations resulting from performing the outlined steps or while using the mushroom. Play safe.
 
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I was wondering if an old cable spool would work as a base/frame. Seems it would save a lot of construction, and they are sometimes available for the asking.
.....no. just no.
I was just wondering, how does this compare to real leather in how it feels/commercial mushrooms
dwaku (author)  snowluck23454 years ago
i don't recall a difference in feeling, but then again i haven't touched a commercial pommel horse in about 10 years and it's possible that the fabric used for the one my school had wasn't real leather.

what's nice about the faux-leather vinyl is that it's not slippery, unless wet (something to consider if your hands sweat a lot), it's cheap so it's trial-and-error friendly, and it holds up to harsh weather. i've had mine outside all winter and the snow and rain aren't a bother.

take a trip to a fabric store and feel it out, maybe you'll find something you like better.
I thought of making a pommel horse, sort of like this design, i'll upload a few pictures. I thought of doing the design in the pictures by using a tablesaw and cutting out each layer from a 1" peice of plywood and drilling out the spots for the pommel horse handles, and gluing it together however the glue wood make it slip alot and be hard to align so i am thinking of gluing it up and then using a bandsaw and angling the table and cutting it out to make the side bevels.

I'm not sure how to make the adjusting base so you can change the hight.  I'm thinking maybe welding a frame out of steel tubing and then having a outer and an inner peice with a a hole drilled in the outer peice and a nut welded over the hole. Then a few holes drilled in the inside peice and a nut welded over each hole.  Then you can lift and lower the pommel horse and then screw a bolt through the two nuts to determine the height.  The pommel horse design is a rough design, I didn't hollow it out at all because i can't remember how wide the handles are and things and i haven't fully desided how it is all going to go together.
pommelhorse1.bmppommelhorse 3.bmppommelhorsetoppart.jpgpommelhorsetoppart2.jpgpommelhorsetoppart3.jpg
dwaku (author)  snowluck23454 years ago
 this sounds like such a great idea! i really like how you thought out the mechanics of the design. as far as the adjusting height design, that's the same way most pommel horses (that i know of) work, so having two steel tubes with holes at various heights to adjust using a nut and bolt would be sturdy and easy to change.

my only criticism would be to use thicker planks of wood than 1". only cause it would probably be quicker to fabricate, probably would be sturdier with thicker pieces and less chance of warping. all speculation though.

how did you mock up that design graphically?

when you finish it, please post a link in your comment to the instructable. looking forward to seeing how it materializes.

good luck!
Its called solidworks, its cad and rendering software. Also i don't think the thickness would matter because it is plywood so the wood patern would be the same, each layer is at 90 degrees to the other layer.
oh, the bolt idea is't alot like the real one, the real pommel horses are made of bars that are turned on a metal lathe and has a small block that a peg goes under to stop it and then a screw is forced into it to stop it from moving, the screw doesn't screw into the main bar, just the outisde "case" bar
dwaku (author)  snowluck23454 years ago
 duly noted. thanks for the feedback and good luck on your project.
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