Built an erg

1 week 15 hours ago - 4 days 4 hours ago #35486 by SpaceSputnik
Built an erg was created by SpaceSputnik
So after putting this on for a few months I finally went ahead and built an erg from an old Nordic Track ski machine I picked up a few months ago. "From" here means reusing the flywheel, rollers, bearings and a few wooden pieces. 
The plans were provided by a fellow Ontario paddler. Initially I wanted to go with Dave the Kayaker's design, but liked the other design a bit better and I think it may be a tad easier to put together too, however "easy" is a relative term in these sort of projects. Took me a weekend to put it together, not including rounding up parts. I estimate the total cost to be somewhere at 150$ canadian mark.
It's working with some tweaks outstanding. I plan on covering the seat with UHMW tape to reduce friction. A bug or two here and there will come up as well.

EDIT: YouTube video: 

EDIT 2, With a longer paddle, higher hands: 


 

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Crab Stick

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6 days 21 hours ago #35498 by manta
Replied by manta on topic Built an erg
I think a vid of it in action with a bit of a walkthrough on how you built it would be awesome.

I am not very skilled in the DIY department so well done!
The following user(s) said Thank You: SpaceSputnik

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6 days 20 hours ago #35499 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Built an erg
Thank you manta.
I will try to put something together in a few days when all kinks are worked out.

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7
The following user(s) said Thank You: Crab Stick

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6 days 11 hours ago #35510 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Built an erg
Meanwhile, here's video of the original erg:

I purchased the plan and followed it with some small deviations here and there. His build is a bit cleaner, but functionally the same and the dimensions differ only in where the plate is positioned. I moved mine further back because I am shorter and there's no point having all the extra length behind me.
In theory you could build it to any length. Mine is at 8 feet as per the plans, but you are only really limited by the size of the 2x6. Keeping it at 10ft as it came from the store would yield a 10ft erg.

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7

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5 days 17 hours ago #35520 by Wingnut
Replied by Wingnut on topic Built an erg
I've been thinking of building one myself and this might just be the inspiration I needed.  Could you tell me where you got your plans and what you especially liked about them?  I'm also curious to know how you adjust resistance and if you feel having the rounded supports are beneficial over fixed legs.

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5 days 16 hours ago #35526 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Built an erg

Wingnut wrote: I've been thinking of building one myself and this might just be the inspiration I needed.  Could you tell me where you got your plans and what you especially liked about them?  I'm also curious to know how you adjust resistance and if you feel having the rounded supports are beneficial over fixed legs.


This is the site for plans. They can be had at a nominal cost (I am not affiliated, just a happy customer). 
http://www.diypaddleergometers.wisite.com/instructions

The reason I went with this particular design is that the form factor is similar to machines I have seen in training videos. There are other plans out there for a shorter version, but to me it felt that the distance between the foot plate and the rollers is a bit too short. I may be wrong but I had to start somewhere.
I tried sourcing all the parts for that other design and couldn't quite find everything. These plans are made by is a fellow Ontarian and the parts he uses are readily available in a hardware store nearby.

In regards to the rockers. The idea is to simulate a boat on water, so that seems logical. It turns out that these rockers do provide a similar stability profile to a real ski. It's not too hard to adjust it too, just set it on some foam pieces. Bare on a hard floor is quite tippy and with various foam pieces I seem to be able to go all the way to stability of a beginner's ski. The way I have now is somewhere in-between SES and Evo. If I feel like working on a completely stable platform I just need to choke it with wood blocks of something similar.

Resistance is adjusted by friction. If you look closely, there's a strap going over the flywheel and coming out it to just ahead of the foot plate. This strap comes from the donor Nordic Track ski machine. You add a turnbuckle to adjust the tension. It goes from fairly light to pretty heavy.

I have made some changes to the original design. Added some reinforcements and made a different seat just this morning. Feels good so far, but I haven't worked out on the new seat yet. 
Generally the original design is very sound and if you feel like playing with it, it's a fun thing to do. 
I'd say if you have an old Nordic Track machine, have access to basic power tools and enjoy building things then it's a no brainer. I had a ton of fun building the thing and will probably continue tinkering with it just for the heck of it.


Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7
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5 days 13 hours ago #35531 by Wingnut
Replied by Wingnut on topic Built an erg
Impressive!  I've ordered my plans and found the website has changed to:

diypaddleergometers.wixsite.com/instructions

Either that, or I bought the wrong plans.  I dont have the Nordic Track parts but there lots of them around for mot much money.  I won't be starting this soon but will maybe over Christmas break.  Thanks again for sharing this Spacesputnik.

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5 days 13 hours ago #35532 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Built an erg

Wingnut wrote: Impressive!  I've ordered my plans and found the website has changed to:

diypaddleergometers.wixsite.com/instructions

Either that, or I bought the wrong plans.  I dont have the Nordic Track parts but there lots of them around for mot much money.  I won't be starting this soon but will maybe over Christmas break.  Thanks again for sharing this Spacesputnik.


Clearly the same plans :D
You are welcome. Enjoy the build and pm me if anything.

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7

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5 days 9 hours ago #35534 by Wingnut
Replied by Wingnut on topic Built an erg
Right! I did the plan purchase and reply quickly and on my phone so didn't even realize the original link was missing a letter.  

One other thing I'm curious about with the DIY ergs is if people stick with using them during the off season or if they tend to build and then after some initial interest stop using them.  I'm wondering  I suppose if the quality of the workout is close enough to the expensive commercial machines.

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5 days 7 hours ago #35535 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Built an erg
Well, I can't speak for expensive commercial machines but I just completed my first real workout. Couldn't pull myself off the thing, worked up a ton of sweat. In terms of cardio it feels better than bikes and treadmills to me. I was able to vary the load well enough and spool the thing up quite nicely. 
My HR monitor is on the fritz so can't tell you in which zone I was but it was sustainable.
Having a laptop with a paddling video playing added enjoyment.

My friend owns a Paddle One. I haven't tried it bit it looks like it uses the same resistance principle, a flywheel with a strap. I am sure it's smoother and quieter but it's not that the home made one is jerky or uneven to any serious degree.

Anyhow, in the absence of a high end commercial machine this should do just fine.

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7

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4 days 13 hours ago - 4 days 13 hours ago #35547 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Built an erg
Made a sufficiently crappy video. At the end there's footage of it in action.

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Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7

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4 days 11 hours ago #35549 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Built an erg
Hmmmm, I only looked at the end sequence where you're using the erg and it seems to me that it favors pushing the top hand forward instead of keeping it at a more or less constant distance from the shoulder and rotating the upper body for the stroke...

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4 days 10 hours ago - 4 days 10 hours ago #35550 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Built an erg

tve wrote: Hmmmm, I only looked at the end sequence where you're using the erg and it seems to me that it favors pushing the top hand forward instead of keeping it at a more or less constant distance from the shoulder and rotating the upper body for the stroke...


I do that based on what I was told by Kenny Rice, the erg does not encourage that.
It's not a forceful push, just positioning after rotation. Either way, the erg has nothing to do with that.

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7

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4 days 4 hours ago #35554 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Built an erg
Made a longer paddle: 

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7
The following user(s) said Thank You: manta

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2 days 12 hours ago #35581 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Built an erg
Wingnut, I just replied to your pm from a few days ago.

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7

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