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Discussion Starter #1
Seeking Assitance: I need a Custom Steering Spinner, Ball & Socket Cup, Wrist Brace

I'm not sure where to begin. I have a left hand disability, and can't really "grab" a steering/spinner/suicide/brodie knob without also using my forearm to hold the steering wheel of my tractor. It's frustrating not being able to operate the steering smoothly. I've looked into steering aid devices for handicapped, and there's nothing suitable to fit my situation. I'm sure something could be made up if I went into a place where my hand/wrist could be measured, but I'm also sure the cost of it all would be very expensive.

Here's the idea in my head.
The steering knob I'm wanting would have a (lets say) large single ball bearing (stainless?) as the post. My hand (with a wrist brace?) would have either a metal (something like UHMW would be better) socket, or "cup" that sits over the "ball" on the post. Just loose enough in tolerance that the ball and socket are not sloppy. In many ways similar, like the way a replacement hip joint is designed to function.

I'm wondering if there are members here that have design experience in creating something like what I need. CAD perhaps, is a thought. Just flowing thoughts off my tongue, if the right person hones in on my idea, they too will pick up on the concept I'm wanting have as a steering device. Maybe that someone could make something for me. I would gladly pay for a solid design that would help me operate my tractor controls efficiently.

Thanks for your time.
 

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My wife is an Occupational Therapist, and used to work with braces like this, well, not for anything other than support. My point of that was, assuming a well made brace, one could attach the required parts to that.
The steering wheel ball is a piece of cake.

I would say though that for comfort, you would probably want to be fitted for something like this. It shouldnt be too expensive, depending on the material used. There is a very lightweight plastic they use for quite a few braces thats cheap and softens with hot water.

I wonder too if you could use one of the elastic type braces that slips over your hand. I believe its more of a wrist brace, but it has a metal support running its length that would be easy to attach something to.

You might be able to use the ball from Ram Mounts (just thinking off the top of my head), as its fairly large, and has several mounting options already. They are used to mount items to motorcycles and other things, but I dont know how well it would hold up to what you are doing.

Id think to that you wouldnt want a fit that required any effort to remove, as that wouldnt be too safe if you ever had to make a quick exit.
Maybe a stainless steel ball with either a stainless sleeve that would slip over it, or like you said, a UHMW sleeve. I dont think a minor amount of play would be bad, but Im thinking clearances in the 100ths of an inch, nothing youd notice much in actual use.

I know a couple guys on here (or at least I thought) use CAD. Im one. I can try to draw up whatever you might want. If I cant manage it, Im sure we can get it figured out if you need it. I also do a bit of fabrication work too, so if I can help there, Id be happy to. I do not have machining capabilities, but with these items, there wouldnt be much of that anyway. My guess is that you could, once you know the exact sizes of the parts, order everything mostly finished. Lots of places do custom UHMW parts, so that should be fairly easy. Heck, motorcycle sliders are pretty close to what you want already, but probably a bit on the large size.
 

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Have you tried it without the spinner thing?

I find those things ridiculous - these tractors have power steering. You don’t even have to grasp the wheel - just palm it.

I don’t know the extent of the disability in your hand. I have a nasty case of RA and can’t hold onto anything for any period of time. Using a screw driver causes me a lot of pain and can’t use one for more than 30 seconds without losing all my grip.

I can spend only 1 hour at most in my tractor at one time. I steer with just the palm of my hand on the wheel and alternate hands as much as possible if I am not using the loader control.
 

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Have you tried it without the spinner thing?

I find those things ridiculous - these tractors have power steering. You don’t even have to grasp the wheel - just palm it.

I don’t know the extent of the disability in your hand. I have a nasty case of RA and can’t hold onto anything for any period of time. Using a screw driver causes me a lot of pain and can’t use one for more than 30 seconds without losing all my grip.

I can spend only 1 hour at most in my tractor at one time. I steer with just the palm of my hand on the wheel and alternate hands as much as possible if I am not using the loader control.
Ha. I think I remember you was the sole hater of those spinners in a thread a while back. Maybe a “what’s your favorite add on or most used item for your tractor” lol.
I love my spinner! I think I bought that hour 1 of owning the 1025 and not sure I’ve ever touched the wheel since then. I’m sure it’s super simple with no spinner. Just that much more simpler :).


Now to the topic on hand. Can you possible say, attach like a small cup on a band/strap that slips on your hand/arm where you can just cup a steering wheel spinner? Pictures are to just give a visual
After re reading your post. I think that’s exactly what you had in mind.
Maybe you can make something out of wood to get a concept idea
 

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Ha. I think I remember you was the sole hater of those spinners in a thread a while back. Maybe a “what’s your favorite add on or most used item for your tractor” lol.
I love my spinner! I think I bought that hour 1 of owning the 1025 and not sure I’ve ever touched the wheel since then. I’m sure it’s super simple with no spinner. Just that much more simpler :).


Now to the topic on hand. Can you possible say, attach like a small cup on a band/strap that slips on your hand where you can just cup a steering wheel spinner? Pictures are to just give a visual
Thats a good idea.
The spinner already has the mount and bearing and all. Something could be made to simply slip over the spinner.


By the way, I found this too, not sure if it would allow you to do that, or maybe youve already seen it.
https://www.sportaid.com/sure-grip-tri-pin-spinner-knobs.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-J_Lvfjn3AIV0LXACh01ywWmEAQYAyABEgL2rPD_BwE
 

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Thats a good idea.
The spinner already has the mount and bearing and all. Something could be made to simply slip over the spinner.


By the way, I found this too, not sure if it would allow you to do that, or maybe youve already seen it.
https://www.sportaid.com/sure-grip-tri-pin-spinner-knobs.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-J_Lvfjn3AIV0LXACh01ywWmEAQYAyABEgL2rPD_BwE
Yep. Wish he was close. I could make something like that in probably 10 minutes out of wood just to get an idea. 12” or so long wood, a strong plastic cup screwed to the wood and some duck tape(or maybe straps lol)
If it works then build off of that

I like what you linked there also. If only you could extend it to be longer
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
WOW, I did not expect the amount of response. The many return replies will take some effort to reply. Bare with me. I'm a bit overwhelmed:thumbup1gif:

Three plus years ago my entire left hand (between the 2nd & 3rd knuckles) was closed in a semi-truck ( Brand New to drive 2015 Freightliner) when I stopped at the scales. I stopped to get the drop axle (pressure) dialed in. The gauge being in the dash, the valve near the drop-axle on the frame. I was hanging onto the non-hinged side (back) of the door opening and leaning back to adjust air pressure. Each time I adjusted the valve, I pulled myself back upright and looked in at the dash gauge. I had to do this several times. The door hinge detents (spring) that hold the door open (or should have) were weak. A breeze come up and slammed the door closed. Too the 2nd click on the lock mechanism, but it did not "lock" the door. Long story short, a lump, half the long width of a chicken egg developed in my palm behind the 3rd knuckle, under #2, #3, #4 fingers. Five months later I was unable to drive because of it. It takes two hands to drive a Semi-Truck. And Trailer.
I had surgery to remove the mass, which over time my hand developed RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Disorder). Also referred to as - CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) Please don't ask me to explain what it is. I am Stage 2.5+. Since surgery, the symptoms have traveled to my right hand and both legs (calves & feet) legs. The condition went mis- (un) diagnosed for near two years before any preventative treatment began. IF you really want to know, best I can tell you is read. http://rsds.org/
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My wife is an Occupational Therapist, and used to work with braces like this, well, not for anything other than support. My point of that was, assuming a well made brace, one could attach the required parts to that.
The steering wheel ball is a piece of cake.

I would say though that for comfort, you would probably want to be fitted for something like this. It shouldnt be too expensive, depending on the material used. There is a very lightweight plastic they use for quite a few braces thats cheap and softens with hot water.

I wonder too if you could use one of the elastic type braces that slips over your hand. I believe its more of a wrist brace, but it has a metal support running its length that would be easy to attach something to.

You might be able to use the ball from Ram Mounts (just thinking off the top of my head), as its fairly large, and has several mounting options already. They are used to mount items to motorcycles and other things, but I dont know how well it would hold up to what you are doing.

Id think to that you wouldnt want a fit that required any effort to remove, as that wouldnt be too safe if you ever had to make a quick exit.
Maybe a stainless steel ball with either a stainless sleeve that would slip over it, or like you said, a UHMW sleeve. I dont think a minor amount of play would be bad, but Im thinking clearances in the 100ths of an inch, nothing youd notice much in actual use.

I know a couple guys on here (or at least I thought) use CAD. Im one. I can try to draw up whatever you might want. If I cant manage it, Im sure we can get it figured out if you need it. I also do a bit of fabrication work too, so if I can help there, Id be happy to. I do not have machining capabilities, but with these items, there wouldnt be much of that anyway. My guess is that you could, once you know the exact sizes of the parts, order everything mostly finished. Lots of places do custom UHMW parts, so that should be fairly easy. Heck, motorcycle sliders are pretty close to what you want already, but probably a bit on the large size.
If I had the use of both hands, My need would be a piece of cake to design. Here's a drawing of a "palm-down rest" I was running through my head. Since you and others have replied, my idea is far too complex for the need/use. Bare with me on responding further. We have company coming today. I will return!!
 

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The actual tractor that you are trying to steer has a LOT to do with it,,, also,,

My SIL is used to the power steering on the 855 JD, which is pretty typical force required.
He came over, jumped on my 4105 JD, which is at least 3X larger than the 855,,

The 4105 literally requires almost zero effort to move the steering wheel.
My SIL was shocked how little force is needed to move the wheel.

Also, the front air pressure in the tires can change the steering force required,, by a LOT!!

If you are just mowing, simply changing to a smooth tire like on a golf cart might be the answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My wife is an Occupational Therapist, and used to work with braces like this, well, not for anything other than support. My point of that was, assuming a well made brace, one could attach the required parts to that. Actually, a glove type connection method was the last I'd considered. Mainly due to to it becoming soiled and having to fuss with it. The glove would get a lot of abuse in that aspect and would be a headache over long term.

The steering wheel ball is a piece of cake. This is where I was looking to use the old style "vintage" tractor knobs. Back when the things were built to last. An existing knob could be removed, then a good sized ball bearing, drilled/tapped/threaded on, or drilled/slid on, then the shaft peened. Problem is the older good tractor knobs will not clamp to the new style steering wheels

I would say though that for comfort, you would probably want to be fitted for something like this. It shouldnt be too expensive, depending on the material used. There is a very lightweight plastic they use for quite a few braces thats cheap and softens with hot water. This idea I don't think would have much of a service life

I wonder too if you could use one of the elastic type braces that slips over your hand. I believe its more of a wrist brace, but it has a metal support running its length that would be easy to attach something to. This idea I don't think would have much of a service life

You might be able to use the ball from Ram Mounts (just thinking off the top of my head), as its fairly large, and has several mounting options already. They are used to mount items to motorcycles and other things, but I dont know how well it would hold up to what you are doing. They're pre-made so that's somewhat of a plus. In-line in concept, but as you note, longevity would be short term.

Id think to that you wouldnt want a fit that required any effort to remove, as that wouldnt be too safe if you ever had to make a quick exit. Exactly. I don't want anything "tight", snap-on, push in, etc.

Maybe a stainless steel ball with either a stainless sleeve that would slip over it, or like you said, a UHMW sleeve. I dont think a minor amount of play would be bad, but Im thinking clearances in the 100ths of an inch, nothing youd notice much in actual use. This idea is better suitable, as I mentioned above. Adapt a (prefer stainless if available. I've not research this yet.) ball to the spinner shaft post. Then a few thousandths (10-15) over size "cupped" socket over the ball. Just loose enough to have the ability to break the link and disconnect. This idea I like the best. But now comes how to apply it. A hand/wrist brace is again is my first thought as well as yours. Then again, I would be attached to a degree, and thinking negatively on the thought.

I know a couple guys on here (or at least I thought) use CAD. Im one. I can try to draw up whatever you might want. If I cant manage it, Im sure we can get it figured out if you need it. I also do a bit of fabrication work too, so if I can help there, Id be happy to. I do not have machining capabilities, but with these items, there wouldnt be much of that anyway. My guess is that you could, once you know the exact sizes of the parts, order everything mostly finished. Lots of places do custom UHMW parts, so that should be fairly easy. Heck, motorcycle sliders are pretty close to what you want already, but probably a bit on the large size. We had a plastic substrate place in our area that could do most anything necessary regarding UHMW and the like. They moved from the area years ago
See response internally.
Thanks for your time, IndianaJim
One down, several more to come:thumbup1gif:
Have you tried it without the spinner thing? I did for a short time. For just mowing using my right hand, the power steering is fine. It's GREAT actually!

I find those things ridiculous - these tractors have power steering. You don’t even have to grasp the wheel - just palm it. The problem for me is I can't palm with my left hand. My hand cramps in the palm something fierce. Add to that the feeling of 3rd degree burning sensations.

I don’t know the extent of the disability in your hand. I have a nasty case of RA and can’t hold onto anything for any period of time. Using a screw driver causes me a lot of pain and can’t use one for more than 30 seconds without losing all my grip. What you experience is a portion I experience as well. My fine motor skills are plagued by intense cramping.

I can spend only 1 hour at most in my tractor at one time. I steer with just the palm of my hand on the wheel and alternate hands as much as possible if I am not using the loader control.
I've dealt with Scoliosis since birth. It got worse with age. Back in 1990, nine days after my wife and I were married, I managed to split disc L5 in my back. I was told I needed vertebrae fused and would be disabled. I decided against getting the links of the chain fused, and continued on after three years recovery. It's been near 30 years now. Now I'm feeling the pain ten fold. At times my lower back feels like it's going to shear off the upper half. So I try to use as much common sense and ease-of-doing ways in everything I do.

Thanks for your time in response.
Can you possible say, attach like a small cup on a band/strap that slips on your hand/arm where you can just cup a steering wheel spinner? Pictures are to just give a visual
After re reading your post. I think that’s exactly what you had in mind.
Maybe you can make something out of wood to get a concept idea
You're on the right track in my thoughts. I'm just wanting something more refined and much less clumsy looking, more serviceable over long term. Think buy-once-cry-once. :thumbup1gif:
Thanks for your reply.
I found this too, not sure if it would allow you to do that, or maybe youve already seen it.
https://www.sportaid.com/sure-grip-tri-pin-spinner-knobs.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-J_Lvfjn3AIV0LXACh01ywWmEAQYAyABEgL2rPD_BwE
That was one of the first places I found when I started researching. Good direction, but not entirely headed for my particular need/use/application. Something like what that company design, on my tractor steering wheel, would remind of playing ring toss. Nope, I can't envision their products.
Yep. Wish he was close. I could make something like that in probably 10 minutes out of wood just to get an idea. 12” or so long wood, a strong plastic cup screwed to the wood and some duck tape(or maybe straps lol)
If it works then build off of that

I like what you linked there also. If only you could extend it to be longer
No response left here. Just letting you know I did read it. :good2:
 

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I've dealt with Scoliosis since birth. It got worse with age. Back in 1990, nine days after my wife and I were married, I managed to split disc L5 in my back. I was told I needed vertebrae fused and would be disabled. I decided against getting the links of the chain fused, and continued on after three years recovery. It's been near 30 years now. Now I'm feeling the pain ten fold. At times my lower back feels like it's going to shear off the upper half. So I try to use as much common sense and ease-of-doing ways in everything I do.

Thanks for your time in response.
I hope you can come up with a viable solution. I’ve made a few modifications to my tractor so I can be as close to comfortable running it as I can. If it weren’t for my tractor and implements I wouldn’t be able to continue living here where we love. I refuse to even think of the alternative like living in an apartment or such.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I hope you can come up with a viable solution. I’ve made a few modifications to my tractor so I can be as close to comfortable running it as I can. If it weren’t for my tractor and implements I wouldn’t be able to continue living here where we love. I refuse to even think of the alternative like living in an apartment or such.
Solutions for us in need, come from many others throughout our journey. Comforts and ease are my solutions, as yours and many others among us with like desires. I'm still able to do a lot of things, like you, it takes a better thought out plan of attack. I'm in the "Rode Hard-Put Away Wet" Club. I'm trying to make things as easy as possible for the years to come when it involves maintaining things around the homestead. Buying our new x739 was the first tool to help me with those chores. Sometime in the next few years, the plans are to remodel one of our bathrooms, handicap style. Because those times will eventually be my reality. Hate to admit that. I just turned 57!! We got half the battle licked when we bought our place. Our home is all on one floor. :good2:
 

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Solutions for us in need, come from many others throughout our journey. Comforts and ease are my solutions, as yours and many others among us with like desires. I'm still able to do a lot of things, like you, it takes a better thought out plan of attack. I'm in the "Rode Hard-Put Away Wet" Club. I'm trying to make things as easy as possible for the years to come when it involves maintaining things around the homestead. Buying our new x739 was the first tool to help me with those chores. Sometime in the next few years, the plans are to remodel one of our bathrooms, handicap style. Because those times will eventually be my reality. Hate to admit that. I just turned 57!! We got half the battle licked when we bought our place. Our home is all on one floor. :good2:
I only have a couple years on you...

Fortunately we are in our “forever” place here in the boonies. But keeping up with a 100 year old house is tough. On the very top of our list right now is also to remodel our bathroom to be handicap friendly. Should have been done years ago. And never thought twice about stairs 21 years ago when we bought the place. We still are getting up and down but I limit it to one trip down in the morning and 1 trip up in the evening. When the time comes we can easily convert to a downstairs bedroom.

I only have 6 acres to take care of but the past 2 years have had some violent spring thunderstorms. My tractor with forks and my cordless electric pole saw have gotten a workout and still not caught up with the downed trees. I can only attack things like that for one hour a day - but ever so slowly I get it done along with other chores around the place.
 

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I feel for you guys. Fortunately, I am very much able to get around and do pretty much anything I want to do and I am a LOT older than you guys. I am frequently guessed to be 10-20 years younger than I am. This time of year, I go out in the mornings and work until it gets too hot before shutting down and going back in the house, although there were a few days of working much later with temps around 90 before quitting. Were I your neighbor I would come over and help out.

Dave
 

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Check out this link on Instructables. With a regular spinner knob installed, you could modify a wrist band/brace with a half sphere attached to just lay over the spinner.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You could use something like a "Goalpost Joystick" for a power wheelchair.

I'll politely say that I don't want something that obvious on muh wheel :kidw_truck_smiley:

Check out this link on Instructables. With a regular spinner knob installed, you could modify a wrist band/brace with a half sphere attached to just lay over the spinner.
3D printing has it's place. Given the intended use, that way isn't of my direction.

Thank you both for responding.
 

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I am sorry to hear that your disability is detracting from your tractor experience.
I would suggest that you will have to better define what you are envisioning by producing some better drawings.
Even if you take a drawing of the top view and make three copies and spread the dimensions around on them to avoid the clutter of fifty coordinates on the same page. And use a common point of origin.
Then draw the side views etc.

It may be just me but I am having a hard time visualizing your exact needs. I understand the part about attaching a bearing to the wheel but after that I am lost.
 

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You could use something like a "Goalpost Joystick" for a power wheelchair.

View attachment 643092

Take this a step further. With something like this it would not have to be on the wheel because you could have a forward and reverse lever \ switch that could mechanically or control valves for the steering. I am not sure this could be done keeping the wheel functional though but someone better than me with hydraulics might know. At the Kentucky show there was a company, Kenny D or Diesel Shadow knows who it is because they are more responsible than me. They modified tractors for people who are disabled including putting them from a wheelchair into the seat or better said putting the person and the seat on the tractor. There might already be something out there.

I am sorry to hear that your disability is detracting from your tractor experience.
I would suggest that you will have to better define what you are envisioning by producing some better drawings.
Even if you take a drawing of the top view and make three copies and spread the dimensions around on them to avoid the clutter of fifty coordinates on the same page. And use a common point of origin.
Then draw the side views etc.

It may be just me but I am having a hard time visualizing your exact needs. I understand the part about attaching a bearing to the wheel but after that I am lost.
I am glad Jeff posted that because I was having a hard time visualizing it as well. I am not putting you down and understand you probably do not draw blueprints every day. Jeff and I read them everyday though and need more detail. I guess the main question I have is it looks like you’re looking for a hand brace as much as a wrist brace to keep your fingers locked around the cup or ball. Almost like somethings that your fingers go around the cup (which is a good idea) that would go over the ball.
 
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