Animal immobiliser for reindeer.
Hm …. where do I start with this? That is a kind of thought that was running through my mind when a customer asked to make a crush for his reindeer’s. It was very unusual so it attracted me a lot, as it is MUCH MORE FUN project rather than producing 500 identical metal brackets. It is not the same thing where you just roll one thing after the other, not a repetitive boring process.
Quite unusual to this sort of projects, the customer already had a set of drawings and some ideas of how everything supposed to work. After inspecting design I made a couple of little modifications that would improve the functionality of this machine and give it little more strength.
Those changes mostly affected compression and locking system. Originally you needed two people to operate crush, one person would control the animal and lead it into the machine and the other person would compress and immobilise the animal. All the time when the animal was immobilised someone had to push on, in order to keep tension and keep deer crushed while someone else was working on it. It looked little unpractical to me, so once i fitted some limiters, friction lock and made adjustable fixing points it becomes possible for one person to do all 3 jobs as you were able to bring deer into the machine, compress it and lock the machine in that position. Best of all you are able to lock the machine in any stage of compression depending on the size of the animal that you are working on.
The way that immobiliser works is similar to clamshell, you bring reindeer into the machine and then two sides of it closing together compressing animal in between of them like in between two walls. Those sides are made from special density foam similar to what you find inside of your car seat and covered with special high strength canvas. The canvas is so strong and tightly knighted that it is water repellent, it is brilliant for this job as it can be operated in the rain and be cleaned up with water or soapy solution while allowing the foam to breathe. This aids compression process and also prevents liquids from penetration into the foam and any bacteria to grow in it. At the same time, this canvas is a nightmare to stitch together, i had to resort to visiting one of the companies that makes fishing nets and they give me one of the needles that they use in their line of work. This was 200mm monster needle, biggest needle i ever have seen or used, one that you will never consider sewing your shirt with. Armed with the needle, small rope as a thread, pliers and lots of determination i managed to sew everything together to the sizes i needed.
All machine was made from modular components so it can be build up or taken down for transportation or storage. All components are marked for ease of installation and can be assembled or disassembled under 10 minutes that allow for a great degree of flexibility. All wood including backing inside of compression cushions is painted several times with hard wearing rubberised floor paint to preserve it. Bolts that fixing cushions are fitted through the wood and joint with a steel bar on the back and fixed to the wood, so when you lock the nuts to fix cushion on the frame bolts will not turn.
Just several little improvements that make life easy for those who will be operating this machine. It was a cool and interesting project, due to its uniqueness I was taking plenty of the photographs, but the best ones came from the customer when they started to use immobiliser.