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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Make an Over-Stretcher for Your Dancer, Gymnast, or Cheerleader


My daughter needed something to help her with her over splits. Against my better judgement, I looked at some online pictures of similar items and came up with the following. Now I just have to
avoid watching her uses it, as least as she moves up the rungs.

I used poplar because I still had a lot of it, and I was planning on painting it. When painting you can be less worried of small gaps because you can just fill them with wood filler or Spackle.  

I attached the two boards for the sides with double sided carpet tape and cut them as one at 31 1/4 inches.


I marked the center line of the board and marked the center of the first hole at 3 1/4 inches and the other three at 8 1/2 inch intervals.


I made small holes with a hand drill to help align the bit on the drill press, and I used 1 inch forstner bit to make the holes for the crossbars.


I drilled the holes closest to each end and moved on towards the center. As I did this something seemed off. I discovered that I made the gap for the interior hole I was about to drill 7 1/2 inches instead of 8 1/2 inches. I marked another 8 1/2 inches for the hole on the top end so I drilled that hole in the wrong place.


I re-drilled in the correct location. After separating the sides easily (or maybe not so easily), I took the a couple of slices from the dowel and plugged the bad holes.


I marked off the angles for the top and cut them on the band-saw...poorly. I was going to use the miter saw, but the angles I needed where greater than 45 degrees.



I re-clamped them and filed and sanded until they were flush. It probably wouldn't have mattered because they were so far apart, but I liked it better. I always know where my mistakes are.


I cut the 1 inch dowels into 4 slightly over-sized for the 22 inch lengths.

I made a 20 1/2 inch space to assist in assembly. I glued them, sanded the the dowels where they were proud of surface, and filled the small gaps with Spackle.


I cut the feet to 23 inches and marked the center lines in each direction. I did the same on the sides. This helped me line them up properly.


I sketched the location of the side in the feet and drilled holes and connected the feet and the sides with 2 inch screws through bottom of the feet.


I ripped the angle supports to 1 5/8 inches and cut a 45 degree miter on one end.

I held it against the side and the foot and marked the actual angle


and tried to match it with the miter saw.


I drilled holed into the flat side and clamped and screwed each of the 4 supports to the sides and the feet.


I once again filled the gaps with Spackle and sanded the excess away.

Then a few coats of paint and some felt feet.


Add a little pipe insulation for padding.



Free plans are available in Sketch Up and PDF formats.



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