Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cavaletti In Progress! (Pictures)

So in my last post I said that I decided to build my own cavaletti. I didn't want to make the X kind because:
  • They seem a bit involved to make properly.
  • I didn't want to buy rails (my trainer has like 40 PVC rails from an old dressage arena)
  • I didn't want 2' or 18" heights since Mikey isn't allowed to jump anymore.
  • I wanted to be able to raise one side of a pole.
  • I wanted it to be light and easy to move around (and travel with if need be).
Husband and I traded ideas, comments, and spreadsheets complete with CAD drawings (we're a little nerdy), and settled on the following (all modeled by me using Excel... I don't have CAD on my computer like he does!):

The winning design. Stable and stackable!

They are a bit smaller than the 'inspiration' cavaletti blocks from yesterday's post. Those are about 14.5" square (according to Husband's calculations), and can do the following heights: 6-8-10-12".

Husband estimated it would cost me $110 to make 3 pairs of those red blocks out of wood.
The cost to buy those red blocks is $69/pair. To make them, we would need to cut individual squares out of a sheet of plywood because lumber isn't cut in 15inch widths, then glue them back together because the plywood would be in 3/4" widths, but then it would still be floppy. I didn't really want to use plywood, and there just seemed like a lot more work to make them exactly like the red ones, and they wouldn't be very stable (or pretty).

The ones we're making instead use 2 - 2"x12"x12" squares and 2 - 2"x4"x12" boards. The wood comes from boards, so the actual dimensions are a half inch less than my desired dimensions, so my foot squares become 11.5" squares, which messed up my desired 6-8-10 dimensions. Anyway, as you can see from the above drawing, the block ends up being 6.5" wide. The inside square has cutouts for poles, the outside square is solid for stability and attractiveness for when we can finally paint them (more on that later).

The cut outs for the poles are 1/2" bigger than a regular pole because I want to be able to lay one end of the pole down on the ground, so the hole needed some wiggle room.

The final heights using a 4" diameter pole end up being the following (and pretty close to the red blocks):

Low heights, 5.5" and 7.5".

High heights, 9.5" and 13.25".
They came in at a final cost of around $110 for 8 blocks (4 pairs). This included a 4.5" hole saw, glue, white paint, box of screws, 1-2x12x16' board and 1-2x4x16' board. We had wood glue leftover from a past project, so no need to to buy more. Off we went to Lowes!

We ended up getting 8' boards instead of 16' (they didn't have 16' even though the website said they did). We also ended up putting the paint back because the wood was so damp that it needs to dry out for like a year before we can paint it, so no reason to buy the paint now and store it for a year.

We did build last night, but the hole saw we bought ($37) will be going back to the store. It cuts, but the force you need to hold it almost broke Husband's wrist as it jerked around.

The final cost of the 8 blocks is going to be somewhere around $50, but I'm not sure as we've changed what we bought and we're returning items, etc.

Now for Project Pictures!

Piles 'O Wood. 16 squares and 16 2x4s!

The demon 4.5" hole saw.

Nom nom! Not really. The wood was too hard for it.

Measuring for where the centers of the holes go. Husband ended up using a jigsaw to cut the circles out.

After cutting out the holes for the poles, we ran each edge through a router to create smoothed, rolled over edges. We cleaned up a couple edges with sand paper by hand, and then I had to "assemble" the blocks on the floor to see how it looked!

Since we don't stock 3-4" poles in our house, I used a 2x4 as my pole.

Low Height, pre-assembly.
Mid Height, pre-assembly.
High Height, pre-assembly.
Ultra Height, pre-assembly.
Partially together!

The back is glued and screwed.

Stackable for a neat jump. Looks like a traffic light.
It's a good thing I don't teach anymore, these blocks give me some wicked looking jump ideas!

2 Fully assembled blocks.

Mid height, fully assembled!
We'll continue building tonight, so now that we know what needs to be done and how to go about doing it, it should go faster!

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