Transform an electric blender into a mechanically pedal powered bike blender.
Step 1: Obtain an Electric Blender Working or Not
You can use any electric blender really. I will describe the process I used which can be applied to any blender. Preferably not working since if it is not working you are about to give it a second life.
One blender I tried didn't work though because I couldn't remove the top wheel from the shaft. This is the only thing that will prohibit the blender from being used- is if the components won't disassemble after trying EVERYTHING!!
I used a blender that was relatively old. I don't have a picture of it in its original state but the idea is you want a blender who's bottom can be removed and mechanical insides exposed to be modified.
Step 2: Gain Access to the Mechanical Insides
I did this using a hand drill and unscrewing the bottom. At times I had to find a hand drill with a longer neck to be able to reach the screws which were sometimes several centimeters within the plastic casing.
Sometimes the screws are concealed behind the rubber feet of the blender. Pry them out if you can't see any other access points and just to be sure there are not any extra screws behind them holding the casing in place.
Once the cover was removed, I was met with a second thick black plastic casing around the mechanical parts surrounding the blender shaft. This was also secured on by screws. I unscrewed it working odd and extreme angles due to the outer plastic case. Just bare with it and remove the wires from all the orifices : the buttons should come right out and once out you can work your drill through one of the buttons to be able to unscrew the black casing around the mechanical parts. Basically get creative and do whatever it takes to get the black casing off. Push, pull, twist - these things are pretty rugged and the plastic will take quite a bit.
Step 3: Get the Shaft Out of the Plastic Casing!
By this point your blender should look something like a plastic case with a shaft and wheel surrounded by a maze of copper wiring.
Now to get the copper wiring and all off of the shaft I had to unscrew the mechanical wheel on top of the plastic casing from the shaft so I could take the shaft with all the mechanics attached out of the plastic casing.
This really just required brute force. Using a pair of pliers that could grab the top and bottom of the wheel on a flat edge and several other pairs of hands to hold everything else steady- a vice on the shaft or any thing you can think of will facilitate unscrewing the top wheel. And right tighty is not always the case. So give a shot in either direction first and see if you can glimpse the threading on the shaft.
The goal is to unscrew the top wheel and keep it in relatively working condition. On one blender I tried- this was not possible so I didn't go further with that one.
Step 4: Remove Mechanics From Shaft
Set the blender wheel and plastic casing aside- these are the only parts you will need later to complete the pedal blender.
Next, secure the shaft and all its mechanical wiring in a vice clamp by closing the clamp around the metal wiring so that the metal shaft in the center is not secured by the vice clamp.
Now, using a piece of metal about the diameter of the metal shaft hammer it onto the shaft to push the shaft down and out of the center of all the mechanical wiring.
Step 5: Create Platform for the Blender
By now you should have three components that you have extracted from the original blender and will serve you in the pedal blender:
1. Plastic shell
2. Mechanical wheel
3. Metal shaft
NOW CREATING THE PLATFORM:
Get a piece of 1 inch thick wood and cut it to be about 17 inches by 7 inches wide. This should be big enough to fit the blender plus some space for cups and to secure the wooden platform onto your rack.
But feel free to experiment with other sizes or shapes.
Step 6: Buy or Weld a New Shaft
Buy a steel shaft of the same diameter as the shaft from the blender.
I tried using a piece of all thread and that fit the mechanical wheel from the blender. This worked for the initial prototype but in the end it ended up breaking after about 10 smoothies.
So I recommend getting a steel rod and having a metal worker cut it and thread it for you to fit the wheel.
Step 7: Create the Friction Wheel
The friction wheel I first created was inspired by the bike powered blender instructables from the following link: https://www.instructables.com/id/STTOO5AFGWRG4LN/ or search "How to create a smoothie making human powered bike blender for less than $25"
1. I got two wooden 1.5 inch wheels from Michael's
2. I drilled a hole throught each of them
3. Pound two tee nuts into the wheels
4. I threaded them onto the all thread shaft I had made. and glued them together with wood glue
5. With some rubber from a broken bike inner tube I pulled a piece over each wheel and overlapped them coming from each side. If you can get the tube over both it is ideal.
This is the friction wheel I used. It worked ok, but because the wheels were not perfectly aligned since I drilled the holes through them myself, they didn't put even pressure onto the bike wheel and therefore caused uneven pressure on the shaft and a net loss of energy so this an area where improvement can definitely be made. Ideally the friction wheel woule be flat all around and strong enough to stay even along the bike wheel throughout pedalling.
So like a metal cylinder with like grittiness to it like a file that would be the friction against your bike wheel.
Step 8: Setting Up the Platform
Place the wooden platform on your bike rack where it will comfortably sit while pedaling.
Place the plastic shell down where it can sit with the blender pitcher in it and still accomodate a rider.
Draw lines where large screws will pass through the platform to the blender and secure it.
Draw any lines where you will have to notch out the wood so that the blender sits flat and secure on the platform.
Mark holes where a metal brace will hold the platform to the rack with nuts and bolts.
For easy removal you may be required to saw a portion of your rack so that once the blender is built you can remove it without taking it apart.
Step 9: Attaching the Shaft to the Blender
Mark your holes for where the blender will be secured with bolts and mark the center hole where the shaft will pass through.
Make sure to make the center hole large enough to line it with a metal ring and for the shaft to pass through and rotate comfortably and smoothly.
Drill the holes in the platform for the blender attachment and shaft.
Pass the shaft through and screw a nut on and place a washer down that will keep the shaft from moving up and down.
Then attach the blender shell to the platform using a wrench and several long bolts.
Screw the mechanical wheel on top and a small nut on top to keep it from flying off.
Attach the platform to the rack using 2 metal braces and 4 nuts and bolts.
Step 10: Make a Smoothie
Place the pitcher in the blender and use a bungy cord to secure in in the blender holster by threading the bungy through its handle and the bike rack over the platform or however feels most secure.
Use partially frozen fruit.
Nectarines, bananas and strawberries make an awesome combo!!
Enjoy ! !
Expect some adjustments and maybe repairs.
Improve upon the design and publish your findings to instructables.
Step 11: Evaluate, Repair and Improve Design
Try it out and TAKE PICTURES.
Use it at parties and fundraisers a few times using a trainer or riding the bike around in a circle.
BUT be forewarned this model works for about 10 times and then usually something breaks. Therefore it needs your improvement and ideas to make it more durable.
I have spent some time with some skilled inventors going over the model and together we came up with the following IMPROVED version- it has yet to be prototyped. I am pretty satisfied with my whirl so I leave it up to you to try this next one. Here it is:
The shaft is composed of a piece of all thread at least 1/2 inch thick or thicker.
Weld a bolt to the top that will fit on the blender's original mechanical wheel.
Glue three circular pieces of 1/2 inch thick wood with wood glue (*see instructables: ) or just use a thick piece of wood depending on what size ball bearing you use. Drill a hole and pound the ball bearing into the middle with glue. Drill the wood with the ball bearing to the plastic blender at the top where the shaft screws into the mechanical wheel.
Make a hole in the platform big enough for another ball bearing to be pounded in with glue.
Screw nuts onto the all thread and grind em down to a texture that will grab the bike wheel efficiently or just stagger the nuts so they create a uniform surface that will grab the wheel!!
Try it out and post your findings on instructables.
****ANNOUNCEMENT**** I am giving my prototype away to someone that is interested. So if you live in the bay send me a message on instructables and it is yours for the tinkering!!