03/20/2013 01:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Colin Macduff, Former Bike Shop Welder, Makes Prosthetic Finger Out Of Bicycle Parts

A bike enthusiast in Washington state who blew off his finger with a shotgun in 2010 decided to fix the problem himself -- by making a prosthetic finger out of bicycle parts.

Colin Macduff, a Navy veteran who did two tours in Operation Desert Shield, made his new finger out of bicycle handlebars, and even got a U.S. patent for his invention, according to KOMO in Seattle, Wash.

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colin macduff

His story is a lesson in ingenuity and making the most of a bad situation. Reports ABC News, Macduff was unemployed at the time of the accident but was able to use his experience as a welder at a bike shop to make his own mechanical finger after a doctor told him he couldn't get a prosthetic.

"It was very therapeutic for me," he told ABC.

Now, Macduff has his own business, RCM Enterprise, based in his home of Olympia, Wash., through which he sells his product to other amputees.

“Each finger is customized to each amputation,” Macduff told ABC. “Even if they don’t have insurance, we’ll work with them and set up a payment plan.”

The art of making homemade prosthetics from scrap materials has been in the news before. Last year Sun Jifa, a Chinese man, made himself a pair of bionic hands from scrap metal after he lost his real hands in a fishing accident. Jifa also planned to market his device, saying it was much cheaper than going to a hospital.



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