Letter: Human Powered Tools and Appliances

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Hi,

I have been thinking about trying to start a business of making treadle or pedal power appliances and tools, but I was wondering what your view point is on what would be most wanted, and if you think that someone could make a living that way. I would like to make kitchen appliances that use one power unit, and I think that the food processor, blender, and mixer would be the most wanted kitchen appliances. House tools would be a washing machine, vacuum, and generator. For the shop, I think a grinder, saw, and drill are the most useful and would therefore be the most wanted. If you would please offer your thoughts I would be very thankful. – D.H.

JWR Replies: To minimize shipping costs, your best bet would be to adapt an existing (current production, with longevity) brand of bicycle or a stationary exercise bicycle. That way you could just supply the adapter parts, as a bolt-together kit. For the greatest versatility, it should have a rear shaft with BOTH a cogged sprocket and a V-belt (fan belt) plate.

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