I started by trawling on Craigslist for used treadmills. I looked. I looked and I looked and I looked. There were lots of big machines with big decks, but nothing that seemed just right. Then I did a search for what other people used, and found models I could not get up here in the Great White North, or that cost a bundle AND had huge shipping costs.
Finally I figured I would just go for a new, cheap and cheerful model. I ended up with an Exerpeutic Walking treadmill, which only goes up to 4.0 (fine by me, I get pain at 2.8 or above!) with a really small deck, perfect for my small desk area.
It was also a bonus, as they only delivered to my front door and I had to drag it up the stairs and to my bedroom by myself. Thank spaghettimonster for the nifty white packing straps that I was able to use to do this.
Unpacking was fairly easy to do. Those little short arms are for the bottom of the stand to help stabilize it. Since that's not the game I was playing, I just chucked these out of the way.
One of the reasons that I chose this treadmill is because the connector from the arms and the deck looked fairly simple. I was not completely wrong about this, but it took more than a wrench to undo the side bolts.
Next I took off the bar that raises and lowers the platform, as I had no further need for this.
Some of the wiring needed to be disconnected and reconnected later. There are only 3 connections, all which appear different, so my super-anal "label them with masking tape" was a little overkill.
There was a small screw on the underside of both arms that I had to undo to be able to thread the additional controls out of the stand arms. One side is the speed control, the other is "On/Off" and "Mode".
Finally I had to add a few blocks of wood to the bottom to accommodate a small metal tab left of the underside of the deck, from the arm that allowed you to store it standing. I guess I could have sourced a metal grinder and taken it off, but well, gluing wood to the bottom and getting a bit of an incline was just as easy.
I haven't yet made a new housing for the controls, so they are floating around my desk, but I am a busy girl and won't do that for the next while. So there you have it, phase 1 of my tread desk.