My father as long as I can remember was a builder in his work and his off time, always with a carpentry shop. I learned the art of building things. Wanting a change in life from working in a cubicle in the city, I moved back to the country and began working outdoors in the construction industry. I started framing homes with a crew and eventually did just about everything from pouring foundations to putting on shingles, from installing bathtubs and pulling wire to helping install kitchen counter tops and cabinets.
I eventually turned my attention from building homes to building Pilates equipment. Well, if Joe could do it why not me!
So I ordered up plans for a Universal Reformer. The plans for the reformer came from Anthony Lett of Australia. I built my reformer when I was living in Woodland Beach, ON. It was a simple model, for my own personal use. Here is an old photo of it before I was completely stained and finished.
I moved out west to Revelstoke, B.C., where I had access to a professional millwright shop with all the equipment – saws, drill press, sanders, planers, a computerized laser cutting machine and more.
I ordered plans for a stability chair, ladder barrel and arc barrel. The photos below show the designs I chose. Solid wood frames with modern, light-weight, portable designs. I no longer make Pilates equipment, I leave it up to the established companies. It was, however, I great learning experience and I now understand and appreciate well built Pilates equipment.
I believe Pilates equipment should become more light weight and portable, enabling instructors to provide home visits, by bringing the equipment to the clients home or yard. Merrithew provides premium aluminum-framed reformers, as well as, wood and high density foam equipment that will last a lifetime. The home models are light weight and easily moved. Lift one end and wheel it aside or stack 5 on top of each other. Versatile, high performance, high precision, easy to clean, durable exercise machines. Some instructors refer to the Merrithew equipment the “Rolls Royce” of reformers.
I am now an authorized re-seller of Merrithew Pilates and Fitness equipment. Visit the PilatesEquipmentShop.com to order your custom Pilates equipment. Choose from 10 standard upholstery colors or from 75 designer colors for an additional charge. Reformer frames and carriages can be extended for those over 6’3″. Reformer carriages come in 22″ and 24″ widths and in home, studio and rehab heights.
Universal Reformer: This wood reformer follow closely to the original universal design and many instructors or Pilates enthusiast have built their own reformer in a professional work shop. They can be built with various heights off the floor, including adjustable foot and spring bar, built in standing platform, cotton foot/hand loops, adjustable ropes and risers and 5 springs with tensions of your choice. Merrithew reformers are built with aluminum frames and legs, making them lighter and durable.
Joseph Pilates built the original Pilates equipment out of wood. Here are some new designs for the other Pilates equipment (other than reformers) that are used today to help make the equipment lighter and more portable.
Stability Chair: solid wood ‘exo’ frame cut out side panels make this piece lighter and easier to move, two heavy springs in a single or split pedal design, custom heights. Handles extra.
Ladder Barrel: Classic design following original format, sliding base to accommodate different heights or leg lengths, standard black upholstery with double padding for extra comfort. Vertical and horizontal padded foot plates extra.
Spine Corrector: Following classical design format but with an elongated arch to fit more body sizes, standard black upholstery with double padding for extra comfort. Addition of sockets and spring arms for resistance based repertoire additional charge.
Arc Barrel: Classic design, light weight, with standard black upholstery.
Samantha Reed-Omick B.P.H.E. Comprehensive Pilates Instructor
Therapeutic Pilates & Recreation LLC, Honolulu, HI 96822. Aug 2014.
www.PilatesEquipmentShop.com Re-Seller for Pilates Equipment and Fitness Accessories