Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Salad spinner?

I keep going back to work on a project I've been tinkering with in the garage. I don't know how we got on the subject but a couple of us at coffee one morning were talking about garage space, driveway angles and the ability or lack there of to negotiate our bikes in and out of the garage, past vehicles in the driveway and out to the street. The conversation went way too far into having an electric, motorized, switchable turntable in our garages to spin our bikes around so we could ride in, spin and ride out. Like this:

But at $1200 there had to be a way, an much less expensive way...
a Red Green type of way.

So I had a sheet of 3/4" plywood in the garage left over from the kitchen remodel, all I needed was a Lazy Susan and some casters. I searched the interweb and found that Lowe's has a 1000 lb. capacity Lazy Susan bearing.

I had originally mounted it directly to the plywood in hopes to keep the spinner as low profile as possible. Unfortunately, plywood flexes and I once I had the bike up on top of it I couldn't get it to turn at all. I'm not an engineer by any means so all of my work is by trial and error.

I did have a length of pine shelving kicking around left over from a closet renovation. I rarely throw anything away, maybe that's why my garage is so crowded. I don't need to sell bikes to make room, I just to throw a bunch of this crap away and stop doing renovations.

I screwed the pine plank to the underside of the plywood taking note of the warp in the plywood and remounted the Lazy Susan to the plank.

This of course raised the plywood up off the floor and now the bike on the platform resembled a drunk coed dancing on a roadhouse bar pedestal table.

Honestly, the reason I wanted a table platform is that I'm too lazy to put the bike up on the center stand to spin the bike. The Tiger is a tall bike for a guy like me with such short legs, so to slip even a 1/4" under the center stand and try to get it up is nearly impossible.

This was discussed in the original coffee conversation.

I needed casters to take up some of the wobble along the outside edge. There wasn't a lot of room and I played around with a couple of ideas before I wandered into Harbor Freight and found these little gems.

I mounted eight of them around the outside of the plywood and with the pine shelf being 5/8" this raised the outside just enough to make giant skateboard.

I couldn't get the bike onto the table without it skating away (more trial and error), so I had to find something to place under the Lazy Susan bearing. I found a piece of rubber mat at the hardware store but discovered it wasn't quite thick enough to meet the bearing so I scrounged around the garage and found an old rubber welcome mat kicking around. I said I never throw anything away. It was just tall enough along with the rubber mat I bought at the store to work and hold the table still.

Using a ramp, I was able to, heft the bike up onto the table and give her a spin.

The garage is just wide enough.

And around she went.

I've used it the past couple of evenings and it works great. When Trobairitz and I both ride, she can pull in first, spin her bike around then back it off into the garage and then I pull in spin it round and leave it parked until my next ride.

Now all it needs is a coat of paint and a more permanent ramp built. I know there's some old paint around here somewhere from some sort of renovation.

Let's see yellow and green make....



  1. That is a pretty cool project. I'd consider adding some outdoor carpeting for traction in case it is really wet outside. The water may make the wood pretty slippery.

    Next, hydraulics and remote control...

  2. Nice job on the spinner. Good idea for those of us who don't have a garage the size of the one in your first photo. Not really sure why they needed one in that garage - lol.

    Yellow and green? You could make a big green "O" :)

  3. That is a great idea :-)
    Now get some aluminum sheet like on the expensive one and glue it to the top to make it look cool ;-)

  4. 1000 lb capacity, eh? I could almost sit on the bike and spin it around. Does anyone know where I can get a good buy on a set of oars?

    I have to give you credit for your engineering, etc. Be interesting to see how it all holds up over time.

  5. That's a marvellous piece of engineering and I could do with one of these in my cramped backyard that has to accommodate 2 cars, 2 motorcycles and 3 "push" bikes!



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