Making a cylinder back roller - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-21-2015, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Making a cylinder back roller

Hi,

I would like to make a roller similar to the ones you see in the image below. I have some back issues and will use it to roll my back open in the morning. The idea is that you drape yourself on your back over the roller and roll your body over it.

I came across one at a friends that I would like to make, it differs from the pics below in that it is stiffer and is meant to support a person when rolling over it and it is also bigger so I was planning to make it out of wood. It is then covered with carpet. I need to take some measurements next time I am at my friends, but figure about 18"-20" high (when lying the long way on the ground) and about 36" wide.

My question is re: the best material to use and the best way to make it.

First, material: I was thinking I could use 3/4" ply and double it up and cut 2 circles for the cylinder ends and then cut strips of doubled up ply to connect between the two circles. I was thinking I could pocket hole the strips to the cylinders--will that method be strong enough if a person is draped over the thing?

I was at home depot today and saw they have pine stair treads that are an inch thick and look pretty sturdy, is that a better way? Or buy pine boards and glue two together for thickness? Still use pocket holes?

In terms of actual construction,the thing has be a round cylinder so I was thinking I would cut a 45 degree bevel into both sides lengthwise of the wood strips to they will mate with the strip next to it on each side and therefore maintain a round shape that will roll.

I think the circle that is formed when the strips connect to the circle ends has to be the same on each side in order for it to be symmetrical and roll and maintain a cylinder shape so I thought I would cut a smaller circle to attach to the two ends and build the circle from the strips around that smaller circle to ensure the two ends are the same? Hopefully that makes sense.

Appreciate any input on the best materials and way to do this to ensure it comes out symmetrical and strong.

Thanks!!

Nathan
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-21-2015, 02:30 PM
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If that "cylinder" is not perfectly round it will "kill" your back.

A 45 degree miter will not be correct for the size that you want to build. I have no idea of the correct angle. However, I am confident that 2" wide strips will not give you a product that is sufficiently round to use as you want. You may be able to use narrower strips and then do a final sanding to get sufficiently close.

George

I believe that your best bet would be to find something to purchase commercially.
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-21-2015, 02:31 PM
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Rolling is part of my daily routine. There are all different rollers, and different levels of firmness. I use an extremely firm roller to hit sore muscles, and a softer foam roller for stretching.

Many folks use PVC pipe as the starting point.

I just bought my rollers as I wasn't interested in making them.

http://www.amazon.com/Roller-LuxFit-...ds=foam+roller

http://www.amazon.com/Trigger-Point-...ds=foam+roller

http://www.amazon.com/BLACK-ROLLER-D...ds=foam+roller
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-21-2015, 05:13 PM
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Dead
For $24.95 you can order one from Amazon. I know this because my wife has one for her back.
If you choose to go forward with making your own, this would be my suggestion:
I like your idea to use plywood, but I would cut 4 disk instead of 2 and I would cut the strips to go on the edges of the disk instead of attaching the disk to the edges of the strips. No need for biscuits.
If you saw your strips as thin as 1" wide, you can attach with glue and
1 1/4" finish nails. The roller will be slightly lumpy rather than perfectly smooth, but so is the one my wife purchased. Upholstery is optional. If you used padding under the upholstery, I think you would have a fairly smooth roller.
Good luck.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-21-2015, 06:32 PM
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PVC pipe.
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-22-2015, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. The PVC solution would be ideal, except isn't that only available in up to 6" diameters?

What I'm looking for is about 18" in diameter--the reason is because the exersize I'm looking to do is roll open my back and pelvis and that requires that I sort of drape myself backwards over the roller and roll back and forth. A smaller PVC such as 6" won't allow me to do that, I think what I need is closer to 18" in diameter.

The same is true for the ones that folks linked to on Amazon.

LEt me know if I am missing something, or if you know of PVC pipe I can get that is bigger than 6".

Nathan
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-22-2015, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadherring View Post
Thanks for all the replies. The PVC solution would be ideal, except isn't that only available in up to 6" diameters?

What I'm looking for is about 18" in diameter--the reason is because the exersize I'm looking to do is roll open my back and pelvis and that requires that I sort of drape myself backwards over the roller and roll back and forth. A smaller PVC such as 6" won't allow me to do that, I think what I need is closer to 18" in diameter.

The same is true for the ones that folks linked to on Amazon.

LEt me know if I am missing something, or if you know of PVC pipe I can get that is bigger than 6".

Nathan
True, for that stretch you need a fitness ball.

http://www.amazon.com/BalanceFrom-An...s=fitness+ball

Otherwise I've never seen a roller like you describe.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-22-2015, 06:32 PM
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I have seen green pvc drain pipe up to about 10". Any bigger than that you will have to get a piece of culvert. You might get lucky and find a short piece, but it is expensive if you have to buy it. A plastic barrel would work.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-23-2015, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
True, for that stretch you need a fitness ball.

http://www.amazon.com/BalanceFrom-An...s=fitness+ball

Otherwise I've never seen a roller like you describe.
Agree. That will do what you want.

If the exercise you want to accomplish is a standard fitness exercise then someone must make the proper equipment.

George
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-23-2015, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Agree. That will do what you want.

If the exercise you want to accomplish is a standard fitness exercise then someone must make the proper equipment.

George
Some of the PT folks will have custom made pain devices, which may be what he used. For me, with regards to that stretch, the fitness ball is right because of the give. You can adjust the give(or firmness) by the amount of air in the ball. A solid cylinder with minimal padding, in a backwards stretch seems like it will put undue stress right on the spine. I don't even roll on the smaller rollers like that.

Last edited by shoot summ; 07-23-2015 at 12:40 PM.
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-23-2015, 02:25 PM
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I know nothing about this...

I do know that you may hyper-extend your back by using too small of a roller, drum or whatever. What I would do is make a gentle curve like a rocking chair leg, kinda sorta, maybe a little tighter, but not much. It could have plywood sides with arm grabbers extended up and rounded, so you can pull yourself back up. The sides also act as legs to get it up off the floor if you prefer. An overhead rope from the ceiling would help also, it depends on your core strength.

I first thought of a fiber drum, but they would collapse with a human weight on the sides. You could make the curve above by having several rounded form and stapling 1/4" or 5mm plywood to them.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-23-2015, 05:04 PM
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As a physical therapist, I would advise against the activity you're describing on the type of device you're describing. The fitness ball is a much better option and it can be used for other exercises too.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-23-2015, 10:59 PM
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You can get PVC in sizes larger than 6". You'll have to buy a 10ft length and it'll be expensive.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-24-2015, 07:28 PM
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If you want PVC in larger sizes, you need to go to a sewer pipe supplier, or find a sewer project and get a cut-off.

Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-25-2015, 09:49 AM
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Get some wiggle board. Also known as "bend birch". It is an engineered bendable plywood, 3/8" thick. In a single layer it is not very structurally sound, but if you laminate multiple layers together with wood glue it becomes very solid.

Cut the circles for the ends of the cylinder to be 2 1/4" LESS than the desired finished diameter. Cut 3 circles so you have one in the center for support and consistency. Cut your wiggle board and attach the first layer to the circle forms using glue and screws or a 1/4" narrow crown pneumatic stapler.
Use the formula (circumference = pi x diameter) to determine the size of your wiggle board pieces. Each layer will need to be a bit longer as the diameter increases.
Be sure to glue each layer of wiggle board together with wood glue as you go. Apply 3 layers to make it rock solid and to make up the 2 1/4" of diameter that you too off of the cylinder ends to begin with.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-25-2015, 09:53 AM
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You can also get wiggle board in 5/8" thickness.
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