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Baby Changing Unit

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Red

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Hi all,

I thought I'd share with you my project to build a baby changer. I've asked a few questions on here to help me with it, and while this isn't exactly "giving back" to the forum, it's at least a thank you for those that helped my in my choice of suppliers, tools and finish.

The idea started because my sister had a difficult first pregnancy. She had Soft Pelvis Disorder (SPD) which is where the body releases too much, too early of the hormone that softens the pelvis bones for birth. This meant that from 6-7 months pregnant she was on crutches. Being the supportive brother I took every chance to compare her to a fat pirate, call her a hybrid android, and give other brotherly love. This continued after the baby was born for another 6 months too. - The crutches, not the names. The most ridiculous part being that every time she needed to change the baby during the day she had to shuffle up the stairs on her bum with the baby on her lap, change it, and do the same coming back down.

They say that SPD is worse the second time around. so I decided that whenever they decided they were having another baby I would make her a changer that would fit in with the downstairs decor so they had one upstairs and one downstairs. In October last year they told us they were expecting again, so the rush was on. I didn't tell her, it was a surprise. I hoped to get it done by Christmas, but all I could do by then was reveal what I had.

When I set about designing it my first thought was to make it an enclosed unit so that it looked more like permanent furniture, and to hide all the junk you can fit in it, rather than being another bit of clutter in the room. I made it much higher than most store bought units so that she would not have to bend. The 1ft 2in difference in height between my sister and brother-in-law meant it would never work perfectly for both of them, so the sick, pregnant, fat pirate android won that one. I thought it would be a good idea to have a working surface on the top to lap nappies, talc, and all that other stuff. I then added a hole in the design of the top to allow bottles of milk or talk, or a bowl for cotton balls to be placed more securely. Then I added my signature element, the overly-complicated, that'll-never-work, never-seen-that-before, headache-to-make bit. I sacrificed a portion of the cupboard to house a tray hung from wires with a counterweight on the other end so that nappies can be stored and always pushed to the top, much like a napkin dispenser.
 

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Red

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Here's a few pictures of the building process.

Some people might think that they can't attempt a project like this because they imagine everyone who does has a professional workshop next to the shed, so I've included a few pictures to demonstrate the type of temporary rigs I used to get by. This doesn't include the router-table of death! That definitely needs replacing before the next big project.
 

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ftacarpentry

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Nice one- too easy to be surrounded by machines in a workshop and forget what is possible without them, and with a little motivation! Good on ya!

Pete
 

woodbloke

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Good looking job, I particularly like the nappy dispenser...I wondered if you put the dirty ones down the 'ole? :lol: :lol: - Rob
 

Tierney

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very nice - what you've made and the story behind it. Well done for the nappy dispenser idea and more importantly that it worked!

DT
 

Red

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Thanks everyone. I have to be honest and let you all know that the dispenser it still being fettled. The weight was not enough to always overcome the friction of the cables, so the brother-in-law and I are on the look-out for small pulleys. I think a tape player might hold the size we'd need.
 
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