A group of us volunteered to build some Personal Energy Transports at a workshop here in Austin. Personal Energy Transports, or PETs, are devices that enable people with mobility limitations to move around as quickly or more quickly than anyone in their village. You can read more about the project at the PET Texas website.
Their design is quite economical and does not waste raw materials. Our guide, Jim Scott, showed us that there are only four small pieces of wood left over after all cuts are made. The wood workshop is located in the back of a church here in Austin. They have bandsaws, routers, a paint shop, and storage for the pre-assembled parts and the fully assembled vehicles.
We assembled the wooden seats, tailgates, the storage area, and attached the metal structural support. Their workshop has excellent jigs already made, and an inventory of stored pre-cut pieces in labeled areas. So we set the parts into the various jigs, pre-drilled holes, tightened screws, and toe-nailed in boards according to their assembly instructions. By far the most difficult assembly step is attaching the welded metal structural support. By the end of a three-hour shift, we had assembled three of the wooden assemblies so they were ready for paint!
We're definitely planning for a return visit and another three-hour shift in July. Courtney and Estelle each got to try out one of the fully-assembled vehicles.