A 'stick' in time, saves chairs sliding

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For a living, Paul van Lieshout sells office chairs and other furniture. As a woodworker however, he came up with a low-cost and low-tech device to help older, frail or physically disabled people. He calls it a 'stick' and says it's designed to secure a chair in situ so people can get in and out and move back and forth safely. It's ideal for sliding into a dinner table or desk.

'The way it works is simple', says Paul. 'It's a long piece of wood with a stopper in the middle. It needs to be screwed to a sub-structure and lined up with two chair castors. The width and height (thickness) of the stick has to suit the castor.'

The photo above shows the stick screwed (from beneath) to a floor mat.  If used on plush carpet or carpet with underlay the stick will need to be screwed to 18mm thick MDF or chipboard.

'The closest thing that does the same job is up to $1,400 – that would be a special chair with a complicated swivel lock mechanism. I hope you can pass this on to fellow woodworkers who would love the opportunity to use up their scrap timber,' said Paul.

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