Sunday, August 30, 2009

Treadmill of DOOM

  So, I'm running full bore on my treadmill last Thursday when I notice that my stride is starting to feel a little mushy. This feeling gets worse and worse, and near the end of my run, I decide to stop before an injury occurs. I get off and check the thing out, but I can't discern any problems. I cautiously step back aboard, choose a slower belt speed, and investigate further. Sure enough, the deck is bending slightly with each footfall.
  Upon much deeper investigation, I find out that I have actually cracked the deck. Now, I'm no treadmill expert, so I had no idea these decks were made of wood. Fiberboard, to be exact, laminated on both sides to reduce friction with the tread belt. This particular piece of laminated fiberboard is cracked 2/3 of the way down its length, and about 3/4 of its depth. It's shot.
  Like any other red-blooded american, I seek out Google immediately. I come to discover that my particular brand of treadmill is no longer made, and there are no replacement parts available. Because I am my father's son, I decide, "Screw it, I'll make my own."
  Now, anybody that knows me knows this is not an uncommon occurrance. I tend to just craft things when I can't find what I want. Some might call this stubbornness. I call it... well, I also call it stubbornness. A new treadmill would probably run me about $350 on the low side, and that's unacceptable. I have put many miles on this one since I bought it, after moving to Spokane, but I didn't, in any way, feel like it had reached the end of its sweat-inducing life.
  After completely dissecting the treadmill, I took measurements of the old deck, made a couple of visits to Home Depot and one to Lowe's, and came home with all my materials.
  Over the last two and a half days, I have cut, glued, trimmed, adjusted, measured and cursed my way to a new deck. It was not an easy job, let me tell you. In addition to my Bri-manufactured parts, I had to make some adjustments to the other factory parts to accomodate changes, and getting the belt tension adjusted right on both sides was difficult. I have a perfectly working, fully functional treadmill again, though, so I can't complain. Take THAT, Sportcraft TX400!


  1. God bless Home Depot. I know, I know, we're supposed to go to the little guy first, East Ashville Hardware and all that, but still...BLESS the huge box store that has everything I need. Hey, are you a Facebook Nerd, Sir Brian? Because I'd talk to you and heckle you a lot more if you were......hint, hint.

  2. Yep, I'm unashamedly helping to crush the little guy. The big orange box is only about a seven minute drive from my house. They win. I'll look for you on FB.

  3. There are some other Bri-Parts I'm interested in. It's funny that as soon as I read your, "Fiberboard, to be exact, laminated on both sides to reduce friction with the tread belt" I knew you'd be manufacturing your own part. I am the same way. Well, I can assess the parts needed, I just lack the skill to execute. I took home ec, not shop.

  4. I also took home ec, but learned everything else from my Dad. So, I can cook, sew, work on cars and build and fix stuff. I like to know as much as possible so I'm not reliant on anybody.