Introduction: Pommel/Mushroom Gymnastics Trainer
These are a must for any young gymnast. Our Son's Birthday was coming up , he's a gymnast and wanted one. However at around £400 ($525) new this was a little steep. Time to have some more fun and roll up our sleeves
Old cable reel - £15 ($20)
Foam Block (4 inch depth) - £15 ($20)
Leatherette (1m sq) - £10 ($13)
Wooden Flooring Adhesive - Had already (although normal PVA should work)
Furniture Paint - Had already
Gaffer Tape - Had already
White Thread - Had already
Screws - Had Already
Palm Detail Sander
Pencils, Tac,String, Glass Pot (to cut the circular top)
Step 1: Initial Cutting and Sanding
I'm no gymnastics expert, so size wise I went off roughly the apparatus my son currently uses at his local club going for a diameter of 18 inches - bearing in mind this was for his 7th birthday so you may need to go bigger.
Decide which end is going to be the base, this will only need the edge sanding for any rough bits as you will need to keep it as wide as you can for stability.
With the top, in an attempt to save on buying more tools that I didn't have (I'm sure there is a more accurate way to do this), I found a small jar that fitted perfectly into the hole in the center of the reel, secured a pencil vertically inside with tac and tied each end to a pencil with a 9 inch length of string to draw the circle. I then cut the top circle with the jigsaw, using only one cut and keeping the offcut for later to attach to the bottom of the base.
Step 2: Cutting and Shaping the Foam
Next for the foam, first use the top of the reel to mark out a template and cut into the circle with a stanley knife.
It turns out foam is a pain to cut into this dome shape accurately, My wife started with a hacksaw to give it a rough angular shape, followed by scissors/more use of the stanley knife until we ended up with the final decent shape, not perfect but will be, when covered which compresses it slightly.
Step 3: Finish the Base
The bottom of the reel was a little rough and splintered, so cut out a thin piece of plywood to shape followed by the offcut from the base and secured with wooden floor adhesive (PVA) and finally with screws around the lip made by the offcut.
Step 4: Painting
Step 5: Attatching the Top
This was provisionally attached with loops of gaffer tape and wooden floor adhesive (I could have used more but was the last of the bottle). Once the foam top was secured and left for an hour with a weight on top, this was further secured with a band of gaffer tape around the circumference joining to the underside of the reel top and then a further cross across the top, this was also to help with placement of the leather cover so important to identify the center of the foam.
Step 6: Covering the Top
My Wife sewed a cross into the leatherette material, did toy with just using gaffer tape but thought this would likely come off over time.
Finally she shaped and fastened securing to the underside of the top using a staplegun
Step 7: Finished
Time to test it out
Seems to work