A few years ago I was making massive fire sculptures for Burning Man, custom hot rods and competing on "Robot Wars", but then tragedy struck. My brother and best friend Brent was diagnosed with a form of Parkinson's disease and was confined to a wheelchair. I decided to build him a custom tank wheelchair. The chair became the perfect icebreaker when meeting people and felt like something fun as opposed to a burden. I decided to make other people custom chairs (including the flame throwing wheelchair!) and eventually things morphed into Wheelchair Labs, an organization that helps people who don't have resources get a regular wheelchair. It does so free of charge and is funded by donations. Here’s a video that I did recently with the channel “Coolest Thing l’ve Ever Made” that shows some of the chairs I made along with some of my other creations”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR0N4f3D6VM

To find out more about wheelchair labs, visit our website here:

https://wheelchairlabs.org/

Proof: https://i.redd.it/ki7z3anvdbi41.jpg

Comments: 408 • Responses: 89  • Date: 

vikicrays550 karma

aside from a financial donation, how can others help wheelchairlabs who don’t live in arizona (i’m in oregon)?

Adorable-Swim422 karma

People can spread the word like to get sponsorship from a big company to help us help others like a tool company Battery company home Depo ect cheers lance

Adorable-Swim217 karma

we have helped a person in Brookings OR with a fishing chair lance

culturerules70 karma

yet here I am with an rx for a wheelchair but nobody takes medicaid.

Adorable-Swim74 karma

I know. So hard to get insurance company to work with just the major Monopolys.

8Ariadnesthread853 karma

wow what a great opportunity for a business that sells that kind of equipment that could help somebody customize their wheelchair! A home Depot sponsorship would be so totally cool.

Adorable-Swim32 karma

I agree. Cheers Lance

MacNeil73125 karma

I'm curious, under what circumstances does one "need" a flamethrower attachment?

Adorable-Swim97 karma

check out Burningman on the internet people were fighting over who got to use this machine!

BearKing42124 karma

Are you hiring? This seems like a great job, helping people and making awesome stuff. I am 100% serious.

Adorable-Swim187 karma

We all do this in our spare time wheelchair labs has no paied people only vollunteers always welcome to help out here!

Henry-Black112 karma

This is cool. What's your relationship like with Invacare/Sunrise?

Adorable-Swim135 karma

I have knowlage on how to repair there equipment but never had any luck working together no response back from my emails to them l

outofpatience102 karma

Hey, my wife rode an Invacare wheelchair for a while, and I am absolutely not surprised that they want nothing to do with you, or with helping people in general. They charged me full price and full shipping to replace the chair's defective footplate.

Adorable-Swim101 karma

I is a big business period!

some people wait for weeks to get there chair repaired my wife gets on me if my people are down for a couple hours!

outofpatience81 karma

You know, I hesitate to take my car in for repairs because life is difficult without the car, even when it rattles like Godzilla. But asking someone to go without their wheelchair -- for weeks -- that's crazy. You, kind stranger, are my hero.

Adorable-Swim63 karma

Understood a lot of places charge people for a loaner chair while thiers are in the shop go figure! just about money!

LemmySix51 karma

Weeks? Some people go without a chair for years. The whole process to get a chair through Medicare is ridiculous. It took one guy I know over 2 years to get a power wheelchair through Medicare. You’re doing a great thing. Thank you!

Adorable-Swim52 karma

I know some vets wait 2 years to get a chair most prople are shocked when they find out how long the process can take.

BitPoet76 karma

Have you ever looked into the racing chairs that marathoners use?

Adorable-Swim120 karma

i have checked them out, currenty work mostly with electric machines would like to set the world speed record in wheelchair at trhe Bonnieville salt flats looking for sponsor and disabled driver

musclepunched59 karma

Check out the invictus events and groups. A lot of disabled veterans who would probably be up for a stunt like that

Adorable-Swim59 karma

Will reach out when I can get a little extra funding.

musclepunched31 karma

You could check them out for volunteers too. There are a lot of ex engineers part of invictus who might want to help out

Adorable-Swim30 karma

always looks for help here email us [email protected]

wheelchair_mom50 karma

I can drift my new chair. It's awesome! Speed is so often an after thought in chair design, yet I came to hate my old wheelchair as it had a top speed of "little old lady crossing the road".

I'd love to try that chair out.

Adorable-Swim27 karma

Love speed and helping others get mobile

TheBoldManLaughsOnce28 karma

I race handcycles. There's no bigger smile than a first time rider moving quickly under their own power again.

Adorable-Swim21 karma

I agree totally!

Girlfriend_Material25 karma

I’m in an electric wheelchair and I’d totally be down to race through the desert!

Adorable-Swim15 karma

Awesome attitude!

BitPoet12 karma

It would be interesting to see where the dividing line between "wheelchair" and "car" is drawn.

Adorable-Swim16 karma

Same here started a chair lays doun on the road for speed and stops stand up and drive around like chair so little time so many ideas cheers Lance

Tnch12 karma

I'd happily drive it. Incompetent paraphernalia here...that's incomplete paraplegic to the rest of the world.

Adorable-Swim10 karma

Email me when you have the chance Thank you

[email protected]

fluffypinkblonde7 karma

I have a disabled driver for you but she's in UK!

Adorable-Swim23 karma

contact Colin Furze in the UK and tell him I want to build a project for her in the UK googl Colin Furze

-Jean-Luc_Discard-5 karma

Am disabled. Would LOVE to be the driver.

Adorable-Swim5 karma

Where do you live? Phoenix Az

musclepunched33 karma

[removed]

Adorable-Swim26 karma

Thank you a lot wrk but we love what we do here!

wandlust32 karma

Very cool. What was your personal favorite mod so far?

Adorable-Swim69 karma

I enjoy making stuff for children The charriot was built for a little dwarf girl she stood up and drove it have picture on another computer can send later if you want Cheers Lance

Labradoodleollie26 karma

Absolutely love your work, part time user myself and wish there were cooler looking ones on the market. Have you got anything in the pipeline to mass market or make another brand better?

Adorable-Swim54 karma

Went on Shart Tank and they said the maket for such tings was not big enough would love to do full time someday

cmerksmirk51 karma

Shart tank 😂

Adorable-Swim37 karma

I was on the very firs Shark tank with my chairs they said not a big enough market the bald guy said his money had concenious! what a careing man!

guylicious23 karma

Love what you guys are doing? How long does a typical modded chair cost to make?

Adorable-Swim30 karma

I is more time than money tipically between $500 and 3000

-Jean-Luc_Discard-12 karma

Geeze. They billed my insurance tens of thousands for my new chair. And it isn't fast at all!

Adorable-Swim8 karma

I know! Cheers Lance

Tank_Girl_Gritty_23521 karma

Is there a chair you haven't made yet that you're hoping for someone to ask for? Underwater? Attaches to a hang glider?

Adorable-Swim43 karma

chair that goes from land into water like a boat

Tank_Girl_Gritty_23514 karma

Nice. First thing that came to mind was those WWII amphibious Duck Boats that still give tours in various cities. I have MS, so may become a customer some day! Right now I get around with a cane and rollator.

Adorable-Swim14 karma

understood my wife also has the same thing!

ttcacc9 karma

I want that for my kid.

Adorable-Swim12 karma

Hope to make someday for a deserving kid cheers Lance

SkyDrifters19 karma

Hi Lance, I have seen your stuff on YouTube before and nearly contacted you about a potential project. Since you are here, Would you have any interest in building five to ten low profile off road tracked electric recovery carts?

A few of us balloon folks want something that will carry 750lbs-1000lbs though a field and no one makes anything that works for us. Small market with only 200 or so US customers.

Adorable-Swim24 karma

Yes, have you seen the track machine they sell to move toyhaullers around should work great for your application!

SkyDrifters18 karma

Thanks! I just found exactly what I was looking for. Just got off the phone with them and they have a model not yet released that will do exactly what I want.

Thanks again!

Adorable-Swim12 karma

Awesome!

SkyDrifters5 karma

I have not seen those! Something you built?

Adorable-Swim14 karma

no saw on the internet last week search tracked toyhauler mover cheers L

despalicious15 karma

Props to you! My dad also has Parkinson’s and has been chair-bound the last ~3 years after a hard fall. He has minimal use of his hands, so we got him one of those mid-wheel-drive six-wheelers that has a great turning radius but really finicky controls.

What would you recommend as a quality of life improver for someone in that kind of rig?

Adorable-Swim15 karma

Look at the Action track chair very good but not cheep

Scoundrelic13 karma

I'm enjoying your video.

Have you made custom rigs for people wanting to hunt in the back country?

Adorable-Swim20 karma

Yes a couple of 4 wheel drive chairs email and can send pictures cheers [email protected]

woodsbill11 karma

Two q's - Are you aware of or have you worked with the folks at Magic Wheelchair? Seems like there might be some good opportunities for collabs. Second, do you have a list of parts you need/want? I happen to know of several power chairs and such in various states of repair that may have useful bits to ship to you (the joys of a Makerspace, where they often come in as donations..)

Adorable-Swim8 karma

I have not but will check them out thanks Lance

100Dachshunds11 karma

Hey lance! I love what you’re doing! How does one apply to get a chair? My husband is wheelchair bound and has a huge thing for steampunk, he’d shit a brick if he had something this cool!

Adorable-Swim13 karma

Email us at [email protected]

Adorable-Swim9 karma

I wish we had funds to build more of the custom chairs please helpm to find us a sponser so we can help others

Tyetus10 karma

A wheelchair flamethrower you say *eyebrows raise* you have my attention as a wheelchair user my sir, how might I ... attain one?

Edit: I just watched that video... I need to hang out with you... 1) that wheelchair looks BA 2) that doggo is cute :D

Double Edit: So how far have you shipped a chair?

Adorable-Swim7 karma

Email me your thoughts [email protected]

fullyfull79 karma

How can I donate for this? I am from Argentina. My grandmother wasn't able to stand in her feets for so many years, and we weren't able to buy her a wheelchair for her, until the last year of her life. She was on that bed for 3 years before we can get one. It is so nice of you to have this kind of movement, rare to see these days, at least around here.. I can't donate a lot because the economy here really sucks but I hope it will help anyways

Adorable-Swim9 karma

Hanks for thinking of us. Have sent a few chairs down your way it the past. Had a transporter company donate the delivery. Payday link on. www.wheelchairlabs.org

tbarb009 karma

So, what exactly is a 'dental repairman' anyway?

Adorable-Swim15 karma

I repair all the equipment in the dental offices chairs, xray delivery systems , air conpressors ,and vacuum. I pays the bills here and meet a lot of cool people out there

Heyup_8 karma

Did you forget the T in Greathouse and add it later?

Adorable-Swim13 karma

My Friend Doug made the sign for me, he thought he was so funny having me take a picture with it not knowing it was wrong.

What a bunch of jokers here . All my vollunteers have fun and mean well! good people!

Radical58 karma

When you woke up this morning, did you already know that you were going to have one of the most badass ama titles? I mean come on now, not only wholesome but helpful, creative AND A FLAME THROWER? Legendary.

And more seriously, everyone goes through some amount of stress in their day-to-day work life, even if it's someone's passion/dream. What sort of obstacles have caused the most trouble/stress for you & what did you do to overcome them?

Adorable-Swim17 karma

the hardest things is trying to get funds to buy batterys spend more time on this than working on chairs do not like that part of helping people get mobility!

jillybean3107 karma

Is it possible to redesign an existing wheel chair to work on uneven terrain. I have a family member who is severely handicapped and totally confined to a wheelchair. He "graduated " aged out of high school and is limited how much he can go out because we live down a long dirt/gravel road. I would love to take him for walks with me but his chair can't handle the terrain. Do they make special wheels? Can wheelchairs be customized or would it be dangerous to try? I can send pictures if it would help.

Adorable-Swim10 karma

Yes please send pictures. Cheers. Lance

ZO50507 karma

Have any good cringy second hand "you don't look like you need a wheelchair/mobility scooter" stories?

My dad had a guy tell him he "owes everyone an apology" for going to a race on a mobility scooter and parking it and himself in the handicapped section because "you come in here on that scooter but it turns out you can stand!" By a drunk guy who wanted to stand in front of the handicapped section.

Adorable-Swim17 karma

all kinds people a be reallymean to people in wheelchairs

ZO50502 karma

This might be a strange question but whats the biggest tires youve ever put on a wheelchair or scooter? What do you do for the wheel well/fenders on the ones that need them? My dad and I make custom motorcycle fenders from hand laid fiberglass.

Adorable-Swim6 karma

Big Quad tires could not run direct to motor but anysize can be used with a jackshaft setup.

Adorable-Swim7 karma

Have used motorcycle fenders and trailer finders for mod

lillyringlet7 karma

Did a custom rocking horse that has a caps 2 seating system when I worked for a charity. They had requests coming in for some pretty normal things but adapted some way and you really had to change how you managed to do it. Have you found anything similar? A simple sounding idea (like a rocking horse for a wheelchair bound girl) but you had to utterly change your way of doing it to achieve it?

We have a charity here that has people making adaptions for people in their sheds - they had lots of great people volunteering their time but struggling with the fundraising to organise (and safety test etc) all these projects. I really wish you the best of luck and hope we hear more from you in hopes you can help more people!

Adorable-Swim5 karma

Rocking horse chair sounds really cool!

Adorable-Swim5 karma

Thanks so much Means a lot to me! cheers Lance

Adorable-Swim7 karma

Goodwill and Craigslist put in add for wheelchairs wanted for gifting. Cheers. Lance

thuglifestrugglife7 karma

This is awesome, will be donating. My dad is paralyzed from the shoulders down, have you made any wheelchairs for quadriplegics?

Adorable-Swim8 karma

Yes all types of people need help! cheers Lance

Mapper96 karma

Thank you so much for doing what you do. I’m a part time wheelchair user, and bought a rather novel electric chair on Craigslist. It’s a knock off brand and I’m always terrified of something breaking or the batteries dying for good. Do you guys have a hard time sourcing parts? Some brands seem like there are parts everywhere, some have nothing.

Again, I’m so grateful for you, and people like you. Life is so hard when you’re disabled, getting a chair and regaining your freedom is monumental.

Adorable-Swim9 karma

Most of the chairs are gifted to us but are not functional stay with the name brands

singsong1255 karma

What is your favorite wheelchair you have made? And do you it all based on the persons preferences or do you design some one your own and propose it to the individual?

Adorable-Swim10 karma

Everyone is different. My favorite is always the next one. Cheers Lance

U_see_ur_nose5 karma

That’s so cool! How do you I pay you to make one for my mom 😂 we have been talking about making one for her (family of mechanics) but never got time to do it. Was going to put some bigger wheels on hers but no welder for the wheel frame.

Any wheelchair you dream of building?

Adorable-Swim9 karma

contact my wife at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])

I want to set the world land speed record in one of my electric wheelchairs with one of my clients at the helm at Bonnieville salt flats will happen someday!

BassandBows5 karma

Did you study engineering at any point, or are you self taught? What got you interested in sculptures/robots in the first place?

Also I study reliability engineering if you ever have a question on the longevity of one of your projects!

Adorable-Swim7 karma

Thank you for your offer on longevity!

Adorable-Swim5 karma

I am pretty much self taught with the help of my father also on fabricatiom

I did get a BA in electronis

ColdDesert775 karma

How would you sell one of your chairs to someone who doesn't see a typical wheelchair as a "burden"?

Adorable-Swim6 karma

I do not have a proble with that with people who use the chairs I get smack about what we do from no wheelchair users think I am crazy people in the chairs love the work we do!

ColdDesert778 karma

Wheelchair user (and half-marathoner) here. Some of us don't like word burden or to be described as being "confined" to a wheelchair.

Adorable-Swim5 karma

I agree We all should keep moving forward and do the best we can and push the limits!

RamOmri4 karma

Why does someone need a flamethrower???

Adorable-Swim20 karma

Why do some people like football cars hunting all kinds of diffrent people in wheelchairs all walks of life!

Adorable-Swim10 karma

google Burningman

bite_night4 karma

My buddy and I both served in the 101st, he was actually still serving at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. He's since been diagnosed with early stage Parkinson's. Somehow the guy still has run marathons and gotten married.

Lately he's been wanting to go outside after seeing a wheel chair with tank tracks. I was able to find a foam mold for a design, but I've A) Never worked with Metal B) want to make it a green design.

What would you suggest?

Adorable-Swim9 karma

Look at the Action trac chair cheers Lance

toxicwaste3314 karma

Heh, wheelchair flamethrower? Pretty good, pal. But have you ever considered the superior seige engine, the trebuchet?

Adorable-Swim9 karma

sounds good come over and let's build one.

always likes cool machines made a small one a while back for kids science project cheers Lance

Adorable-Swim8 karma

Lets make one that will fling a VW bug?

toxicwaste3316 karma

Now that's some extra-dimensional energy. You guys do great work, if I ever have resources/time to get down to Phoenix I'd love to build one. Cheers!

Adorable-Swim6 karma

welcome anytime over here! cheers Lance

Robdd1233 karma

Flamethrower... Wheelchair... wait a minute...

https://youtu.be/mgDACCzzU8E?t=35

I think somebody played Bloodborne! Cool creation though!

Adorable-Swim4 karma

Thank you

The Lord Humongous wheelchair! I will check out the link

KBD203 karma

What type of drive motors do mostly use (gearless brushless, standard, etc.)? I've used both and found most modern chairs dropped GB motors because of cost.

Also have you built chairs for disabilities with low strength and high fine control? I've found almost all chairs are focused on higher strength and low fine motor control disabilities (e.g. Cerebral Palsy, paraplegia etc vs muscular dystrophies and related).

Adorable-Swim6 karma

Mostly used brush motors as they are easily maintained. Cheers L

9yroldupvotegiver3 karma

Is the flamethrower one in the possession of a person who should be in possession of it?

Adorable-Swim4 karma

In possession I would believe. Cheers Lance

cinemachick3 karma

Hi there! I live near a major university, and we have been inundated with electric scooters (like Bird and Jump). A lot of people are upset when they ride on the sidewalks, but it's easy to get run over if you ride in the road (drivers don't notice you). Have you run into any similar concerns with your electric wheelchairs? What kind of limits do you run into as far as speed/modifications?

Also, you're awesome, keep up the good work! :)

Adorable-Swim7 karma

no to much as the chair are pretty visiable we also put backup cameras on our chairs so people can see behind them Cheers L

Adolf_rockwell5 karma

What about rounding up a bunch of those scooters and using the battery packs for something more productive?

Adorable-Swim7 karma

What is more productive than giving people there life back? Please explain. Cheers Lance

notyourrealdaad5 karma

[deleted]

Adorable-Swim5 karma

Understood. Lance

Adolf_rockwell3 karma

I was talking about pillaging batteries from the bird scooters for your projects! Your video had me in tears man, what you do is awesome.

Adorable-Swim5 karma

Thank you Adolf!

james_downpick_hetfi3 karma

what about doing a wheelchair with car engine and propulsion?

Adorable-Swim4 karma

Sounds like what my dad is working on. Pictures soon cheers lance

MarsNirgal3 karma

Why wouldn't you include the picture with the flamethrower in your proof?

Adorable-Swim7 karma

I do not know how to post it. Goggle Lance Greathouse photos. Cheers L

MarsNirgal3 karma

What is the strangest custom you've ever done?

Adorable-Swim5 karma

Tailgating chair with BBq and sound system. Cheers. L

fruitfiction3 karma

Do you offer make-a-long tutorials?

Im a part-time wc user and have issues getting through sandy soil. It was suggested that I add wider tires on. I have no idea what kind of tires might fit/work. I'm not sure how they would go on. Not many people seem to post how to videos on modifying wheelchairs for actual users. Any advice would be great! Thanks in advance!

Adorable-Swim5 karma

I use Small ATV tires. Send me an email and will try to find the link where I get them Cheers [email protected]

fruitfiction2 karma

Thanks!! I shall later this week:)

Adorable-Swim3 karma

cool!

aboycandream2 karma

Do you think you messed up not getting into building houses?

Adorable-Swim8 karma

I make ramps and stuff for houses for people in wheelchairs!

Adorable-Swim2 karma

No but could!

PB-n-AJ2 karma

Did you work on the movie FDR: American Badass?

Adorable-Swim3 karma

FDR: American Badass

checked out trailer looks like a fun movie! will watch thanks right up my alley

Adorable-Swim3 karma

I never saw the movie FRD on Youtube or netflix?

sorry do not get out of the garage much!

Liamwill-walker2 karma

So you make Bad Ass Hot Wheels? Loving it man! That’s awesome dude!

Adorable-Swim3 karma

Thank you. Lots of work but worth it!

FeminineSalamander2 karma

Have you ever thought about custom prosthesis? My dad has a prosthetic leg, and I'm positive he could do with one that shoots flames out of it somewhere.

Adorable-Swim7 karma

We could do we have fire on just about all projects just because I like it!

swimmingbell72 karma

Have you ever seen the short film Umshini Wam feat. Die Antwoord?

Adorable-Swim2 karma

No but I will check out. Cheers. Lance

imben692 karma

Ever made a chair for the legendary Arron Wheelz?

Adorable-Swim5 karma

I do not know who that is but will google. Cheers Lance

Prince__Robot2 karma

have you considered making the chair from Silver Bullet?

Adorable-Swim4 karma

My Father made one similar email and will send picture cheers

[email protected]

[deleted]0 karma

[deleted]

Adorable-Swim3 karma

like to hear more email me after this [email protected]

WillGetCarpalTunnels-4 karma

Holdup...

Who tf needs a flame thrower on their damn wheel chair !?!?

Adorable-Swim17 karma

I do! it gets people asking questions. Gives me the chance to tell them what we do here and change lives! A lot of my vollunteers me me this way cheers Lance

ZalinskyAuto2 karma

It’s definitely an excellent conversation starter that gets people to ask a lot more questions about your great project. Great work!

Adorable-Swim2 karma

thank you!

Cheers Lance

Jrcrash-6 karma

Why?

Edit: when I said that I just read the title and was wondering why he made a flamethrower wheelchair

Adorable-Swim15 karma

Everyone like a chair that reflects their personality just like a car.