Considering I’m a bicycle mechanic I thought its about time I put my skills towards some alternative machinery. Inspired by several pedal powered machines I’ve viewed online and the fact that I like to have a purpose when I use my bike, I decided to build a pedal powered washing machine.
The whole project cost roughly $60.00 in parts and around 6 hours of labour. I recycled a length of galvanized 30mm pipe I had in my yard, the bicycle and indoor training stand I already owned. The timber is from a recycled wood yard and the barrel was pre-used to transport gherkins.
I am yet to refurbish an old clothes ‘ringer’ gifted to me by a very lovely friend – this will make squeezing the water out of the clothes a lot easier on the hands.
The sprocket on the barrel has 38 teeth and I was running the bike in a gear combination of 26T front to 28T rear, which gave me a nice cadence and spun the barrel evenly at a moderate pace.
The trickiest part was getting a good seal on the door. The door leaks a little so all washing will be an outdoor activity with this model – emptying straight onto the grass is easy.
To make fitting and removing chain easy I used a KMC removable link. To maintain tension between the machine and my bike I needed to retro fit a piece of timber (light blue piece meeting carry rack). I’ll replace this with aluminium as the timber will eventually wear or split.