Special #1267

Making of a Reformer

9 mins - Special


Pilates Anytime was lucky enough to go up and visit Balanced Body™ HQ in Sacramento, California earlier this year. While we were there we got to see a vintage reformer made by Joseph Pilates, go on a tour of the Balanced Body™ factory, and follow the making of one reformer from production to shipping. Watch as Balanced Body™ CEO Ken Endelman shows us how a reformer is made, finished, shipped, and received.

The type of reformer shipped to Rayann Gordon was a CenterLine™ Reformer with the Tower and Mat Conversion kit. Rayann is based in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada and her studio is Openspace Pilates. Thanks to Balanced Body™ and Rayann Gordon for allowing us to follow the journey of this reformer.
What You'll Need: Reformer

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Nov 06, 2013
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On Pilati is anytime we primarily use reformers by balanced body. In this episode, founder and CEO of balanced body, Ken Endelman will show us how their studio reformers are manufactured at their headquarters in Sacramento, California. And I thought the best way to start this would be is to go over kind of the anatomy of a reformer in as we go down onto the production floor, we can show you the different prices that are being made, but so that you know what we call them, the names that we have for these parts. I thought I'd show you what they are right now. So, um, this part right here is the carriage. The part that these pads stick onto is the carriage base.

These are the shoulders here, headrest, um, foot bar. Here we have, um, the foot bar support here. Um, this is the foot bar adjustment here. This whole part here is, is we're just, it's the frame, ropes, padded loops, and then this one has a tower attached to it. Um, so those are all the main parts. You guys know what springs are and let's go downstairs and show you how these things get put together. So what, what's going on here? It's a, this is the first part of our wood shop here. All the wood comes in through this door over here. They started to go through it.

The stuff is stacked on certain pieces of what needs to be, you know, started in matched. So when we start to build our reformers, the first thing that we're looking for is they're trying to make sure that all the pieces of wood around their apartment look like they came out of the same tree. This is they head end with the notch for the, the cutoff for the, for the, uh, the headrest in the back of the frame. So these are reformer Grames right here that we've glued together. Um, what this is this method of junior with these long pipe hackers. The way that I used to do it over 30 years ago, we're going to show you how we drill the holes in the corners of the reformers. Each corner, the appointment is five out and they're into exactly the right distance apart, the exact diameter, the exact spacing that we need. We've already put together the reformer frames.

Now we're going to put the legs on and the legs are perfectly playing in front of the Fed. When they go on together, you'll notice that it, it's so tight that it looks like it's all one piece without even any glue after we've sanded the top router, the sides, um, and basically given all the shape too, right? Um, and it fits perfectly. They don't move. See that door there and it goes into the sandy area. Well at this point right here, and I wish you guys could feel this on the machine, feels really, really smooth, really contra, no rough edges on it. There's no gaps. This, there's no cracks. It's just clean, smooth and it's ready for paint. The reformer, we typically go through, sorry, where it gets a second coach, at least one more coat and then after it gets down there, it gets quality controlled and then it goes into these piles here based on the kind of reformer it is. And from there it sweeps into the cell that makes the reformers. So color is, is really important to our customers and it really does really make the studio.

So we like to offer our reformers in in lots of different colors and we keep it about 80 different colors in stock and that the customer could choose from. And if they want to we can even actually send them larger swatches of colors that they can actually look and put next to was next to their floor next to their walls to see what works out. But you can kind of see how much fabric we have here in all the different colors or just are you just ready to go? Okay. So we're about ready to walk into the final assembly area for the reformers. Marco Marco Lopez has been with balanced body for 18 years, actually runs this department and probably knows more about how we put together, brought his equipment. And then I think most people I think in the universe.

So I've asked Marco to kind of help us walk us through, explain what's going on. And it will start by walking into the area where we assembled the carriages, plank of plywood or just a carriage that has a been cut to size and a it, it has all the holes already, three freetrial from the CNC, from the wood shop. And from here it goes to a, to a table. And this is where we start adding different parts, the, the rails and the spring brackets, wheels and stuff like that. The first thing that happens is we, uh, we installed a Sierra number and that is to just to keep track of, uh, when the reformers was made, uh, what type of reformer, uh, is going to be. And uh, and, and for any warranties for any issues that you may have later on the future.

This is going to be the, the, the whole pattern for the tower. Well, this is where we saw the food bar rails. We're going to, we're going to make sure that the carriage goes into the frame and a works will work I suppose to, this is Joe boots. What's your, how long you been here for? 17 years. 17 years. Okay. So this is the rebo string bar. He's checking to make sure everything is working here cause he's going to a checklist and then a, just to make sure that we are sending, uh, all those uh, accessories that the client has asked for. So Joe will do, they'll do the final assembly and then he'll do the final packing and then Joe's name and number is going to be on that order. So if Joe messes up, we can come back to Joe and we can say, Joe, you screwed this one up.

But he doesn't, it's extraordinarily rare and it's usually not him. This is how we're, we uh, we packed the reformer. Yeah. This looks like it's a center line frame, right? This is a [inaudible] center line. Yeah. With a tower. Yeah. Towers. This one would have leather straps in it. Um, these are for the gun to all a couple balls. Yeah.

And this would be the tower pole. That's the tower pulse. Got It. Okay. To build the reformer, it takes around about two and a half hours from beginning to end. That's with all the pre-assembly he's already made. Just this is just the gross assembly part is two and a half hours to about two and a half hours. Yeah. Marco, can you tell us where this machine is going to go? Walk it to you right now. This particular reformer is going to Canada to a town name medicine hat.

The name of the studio is open space flight. I think this one with a tower is probably about 260 to 280 pounds or so. She's making sure right now that the uh, paperwork matches the reformer. This here number and the order number. Dairy goes all the way to Canada. Medicine hat.

I'm Ron Gordon with [inaudible] space. Pleiades. I have a small studio in medicine hat Alberta, Canada. That's the only studio within about a three hour radius, so we're very busy. Studio. My dreamer farmer was a center line because I had been on them in boulder at the potty center, so I ordered it by email.

Then I just decided to ship it to Montana instead of to Canada because the shipping is so much less. I think you see me embracing a balanced body box and getting your dream reformer is quite the thing, so I was absolutely thrilled and where you see the truck parked in the middle of the prairie, that's just past the Canadian border. That's why the studio was called the open space [inaudible] because we love the internal space of the body and we loved love the external space in our environment outside the building that says cactus clay comes to me, RNA I'm unpacking number former. We're on the second floor. And I had enlisted my dad and my partner to do the moving and see my dad fighting with a bunch of cardboard and he does pull out either, there's a picture of me reading the instructions and the last few pictures you can see the equipment in studio along with a bounce body allegro and a peak MV working out doing short spine on the center line, which we really love for the advanced student. And because of the shortness of the leg strap and how deep of a band you can get in the spine.

The day after I told the sixth apprentice instructors here at my studio that they all needed to get [inaudible] anytime accounts, um, to study Michelle Larson's work and Kara research and some of the other wonderful teachers that they have on there. I got an email from the director of marketing at balanced body saying that, um, she wanted to show the journey of my reformer and put it on a video for PyLadies anytime because I don't really think of a reformer and tapping a journey, but I guess it did. It's here and we're all very, very happy to have it in the studio.


Very nice to see where it all begins! Thanks for sharing the journey.
Love it! My favorite photo is the one where Rayann is hugging the box. I did the same (with several boxes) and it's such an awesome feeling!

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