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Build a Rowing Machine which Generates Electricity
by Chris Wasshuber

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Build a Rowing Machine which Generates Electricity by Chris Wasshuber

Instructions of how to build a rowing machine which generates electricity. An average healthy but non-athlete adult can generate about 100W for extended periods. I row most days for about 20 minutes.

This ebook describes my build, some of the dead ends I ran into, lessons learned, and some additional suggestions and alternatives. I do provide all the details that will allow anybody reasonably handy to build the same or a similar machine. You will find photos, sketches, schematics, links to all components I had to purchase and approximate measurements. However, I will not provide instructions for every minute detail. For example, these are not instructions of the type: “Take screw #14 and insert it into hole #27.” The design is very flexible. I will point out alternative components and ways to make it. The reader can easily modify and personalize many parts.

A lot of the experimenting, developing, finding and testing of proper components, etc., is eliminated by this ebook. You will save a lot of money and time following my instructions. Expect to pay about $800 - $900 for this build. However, I will explain where you can save from the lessons I have learned. One can lower the cost to below $400 by leaving out some non-essential components or replacing them with cheaper alternatives.

The tools I used were a miter saw, drill press, jigsaw, 3D printer, and hand tools. The 3D printer is not absolutely necessary. I will describe alternative ways to make the 3D printed parts, most of which are non-essential. There is really only one important 3D printed component, which can be made in other ways, too. All the STL files are included for 3D printing. A drill press is good to have but not essential. One can replace it with careful hand drilling and the occasional drill guide.

Anybody who purchases this ebook will have email access to me and is welcome to ask questions if anything is unclear.

Rowing is a wonderful low impact exercise, which trains more muscles (about 85% of the bodies muscles) than running or cycling. Running and cycling leaves out the upper body. Rowing does not. If you add push-ups or bench-presses to rowing you train pretty much all the muscles in your body - a full body workout. This means you can achieve more in less time. No need to run for hours on a treadmill or sit on a stationary bike until your butt hurts.


  • Introduction
  • How Much Energy Can One Generate?
  • How Much Will the Machine Cost to Build?
  • Terminology
  • The Components
    • Overview
    • A seat that rolls back and forth in a straight line
    • Support for the feet to push off from
    • Axle with one-way bearing
    • Handle and chain plus retraction mechanism
    • Generator as Resistance
    • Flywheel
    • Electric System
    • Feet, Etc.
  • Some Rowing Tips
  • List of Components
  • Final Comments
1st edition 2020, PDF 28 pages.

This product is listed under the following topics:

Nonfiction / Crafts & Hobbies

Nonfiction / Sports & Recreation

Nonfiction / Health & Fitness