Cover Image
close this book Appropriate community technology - A training manual
close this folder Phase III: Pedal/treadle power
View the document Phase III Calendar
View the document Session 1. Maternal and child health: part 1
View the document Session 2. The path of the sun
View the document Session 3. Introduction to pedal/treadle power
View the document Session 4. Design considerations for pedal/treadle power
View the document Session 5. Classical mechanics: principles of pedal/treadle power
View the document Session 6. Use of appropriate aids to communication
View the document Session 7. Maternal and child health: part 2
View the document Session 8. Part one: familiarization with materials and tools
View the document Session 8. Part two: familiarization with the bicycle
View the document Session 9. Introduction to design considerations
View the document Session 10. Presentation of designs
View the document Session 11. Construction of pedal/treadle-powered devices
View the document Session 12. Blacksmithing and metalwork
View the document Session 13. Appropriate technologies for health
View the document Session 14. Case studies in community health
View the document Session 15. Preparation for pedal/treadle presentations* *
View the document Session 16. Heat transfer
View the document Session 17. The role of the volunteer in development: international development part 1: the green revolution: successes and failures
View the document Session 18. Presentation of pedal/treadle-power devices
View the document Session 19. Volunteers in development part one. women in development
View the document Session 20. Mid-program evaluation part one : program evaluation

Session 11. Construction of pedal/treadle-powered devices

Total time:

22 hours


* To use various tools in the construction of pedal/treadle-powered devices

* To build and test a pedal/treadle-powered device

* To recognize and solve problems, both with the construction of the pedal/treadle device and within the group


* Darrow and Pam, Appropriate Technology Source Book, Volumes I and II

* McCullough, Pedal Power


An assorted quantity, quality and variety of: wood, wire, pipe, sheetmetal, bamboo, string, rope, old fanbelts and belt material, gears, bicycle chains, sprockets, bicycles and bicycle parts, nails, screws, nuts, bolts, bearings, leather, PVC pipe, grease, oil, wood and metal working tools. Newsprint and felt-tip pens.

Trainer Notes

This session requires substantial preparation time for gathering the materials listed.

This 22-hour session allows much latitude for individual trainer styles.

It is not intended that this session should occur over 22 continuous hours. It should be complemented with other sessions such as Health & Nutrition, The Role of the Volunteer in Development and Core Technology sessions (see the Phase III calendar at the beginning of this phase). It is helpful, in fact, to spread the construction time over as many days as possible. This will allow the participants more spare time to discuss the projects outside of session time. However, a four-hour work period should be considered minimum, since tools and materials have to be set up and cleaned later. Six-or eight-hour construction periods are ideal.

Construction naturally follows design. Those groups with complete plans for their device should proceed with construction without waiting for the other groups to finish.

Step 1. (22 hours)

Have the participants form their construction groups and build their pedal/treadle powered devices.

Trainer Notes

At the beginning of each day of construction, have the participants discuss the events of the preceding day. Focus the discussion on the group dynamics and problem solving methods being used in each group. Allow between 15 and 25 minutes for this activity, depending on the group needs.

It is also helpful to use this time to review the time remaining in the construction session and remind the participants that one hour near the end of the phase will be spent on the development of a presentation for their device (See Phase III: Session 15).

When time begins to get short, encourage the participants to focus on essential tasks only and to divide them among the group members to help speed up the process.

Be certain to keep in touch with how the groups are proceeding during the construction period, taking time when necessary to show people how to properly use and care for toots. Don't intervene every time a group or an individual makes a mistake since mistakes are an important part of the learning process.

Explain that any group finishing one project can (time permitting) go on with another small project or begin preparations for the presentation of their device.

Set aside 10 to 20 minutes at the end of each day's construction period for cleaning the work site and shop area.

At the end of the final construction session, set aside about half an hour for a thorough cleaning of the work site and the shop area.