You might want your wheelchair-bound loved one to enjoy a swim or some sunshine on the beach, but you don’t know how to get them there. While there are many available beach wheelchairs on the market today, they can be quite expensive, and you could be on a low budget. However, this is not the end of the line for you and your loved one; they can still enjoy the beach!
This article is your ideal guide on how you can make a homemade beach wheelchair right from the start to the end. It will not only offer you detailed steps but will also recommend some online plans and helpful YouTube videos to guide you accordingly.
DIY Beach Wheelchair: Tools and Materials You’ll Need
Before you start making a homemade beach wheelchair, it is imperative to have the right materials and tools with you. This comes in handy to ensure the process is flawless, right from the start to the end. Moreover, you do not want to waste time looking for materials or tools required at a particular step in the middle of the process. For this recommended plan, you will need the following materials and tools:
- Furniture grade PVC connectors
- A pipe (preferably without markings)
- Glue (one that does not stain clothes)
- Aluminum axle
- Beach wheels
- Cotter pins and washers
- Vinyl mesh for the seat and seat back (you can choose any other that is quick-drying)
- Screw or bolts (for attaching the positioning belt and the footplate
- Miter Saw, power or hand
- Drill bits
- Drill press (not mandatory but important)
- Old rags
- Tape measure
- Gloves (recommended when working with the glue)
- Dust mask and eye protection (strongly recommended)
- Square (not mandatory but important)
How to Build a Beach Wheelchair: Step-By-Step Instructions
With all the materials and tools on-site, you can begin your operation ‘homemade beach wheelchair’. Follow the following steps:
Step 1: Cut the PVC Pipe
Cut the pipe as shown in the diagram below. This step can be pretty messy and create a lot of dust, but your dust mask and eye protection will come in handy.
You can cut the pipe according to the size of your loved one and ensure the measurements suit their size accordingly.
Step 2: Dry Fit and Cut Axle
With the right measurements, you can proceed to dry-fit different parts. Be keen not to use glue so you can make adjustments later when need be. With the completed dry fit, you can then cut the axle. This way, you can get the right measurement and placement position so you can drill holes.
Step 3: Assemble the Frame
Dry fit different parts of your beach wheelchair as you mark different pieces with a painter’s tape and a sharpie. You can then disassemble and proceed to drill the necessary holes at different positions.
Assemble the chair with the glue and follow the instructions on the glue. Work efficiently since most glues dry pretty fast. You can use a mallet to ensure the parts fit securely in place.
Step 4: Seating
With the frame fully assembled, you can then create your seat. You use a sewing machine, vinyl mesh material (or any other quick-drying material), and Velcro to firmly secure it but allow for some removable. Use your preferred cushioning, pool noodles can serve just fine.
Step 5: Finishing
Proceed to put your chair’s wheel on and a footplate if you need one. When choosing material for your footplate, ensure you choose a waterproof or quick-drying option. Ideally, a vinyl board that is often used as a trim on the exterior of most garages is recommended.
Add some seat belts or harness on to secure your loved one. You can buy new ones or get used ones from old car seats, old bath chairs, or any other machine that has some and is no longer used.
Step 6: Hit the Beach!
Your loved one is all set; take them to the beach and let them enjoy themselves to the max!
Plans to Build a Beach Wheelchair
There are multiple ways to successfully make a beach wheelchair depending on the materials you have, your wheelchair-bound loved one’s needs, and, of course, your budget. Ideally, there is no right or wrong way to do it yourself as long as you finally create a chair that will conveniently allow your loved one to have a great time at the beach.
However, it is always advisable to follow the beaten path and use the recommended steps of individuals who have successfully built such chairs. In this regard, the following plans are proven and recommended by different individuals. They will definitely ensure you create an ideal chair so your loved one can happily and flawlessly enjoy the beach:
- Beach Wheelchair
- Uncommon Needs: DIY Beach Wheelchair:
- Instructables.com – Beach Wheelchair
- Cheap And Effective Dune Buggy Wheel Chair | Hackaday
While you can create a beach wheelchair from scratch using different materials and tools, you can also upgrade your manual chair to serve a similar purpose.
Links to Online Plans & Tutorial Videos
As you build your beach wheelchair, referring to different plans could come in handy to ensure you land the easiest or even the most convenient plan for you. Moreover, you can supplement your plan with the appropriate YouTube videos to ensure you do not miss a step. Here are some links to the best online tutorial videos:
Wheeleez™ Beach Wheelchair Conversion Kit installation: Part 1 Rear Kit mounting.
How to install Wheeleez™ Beach Wheelchair Conversion Kit
DIY BEACH WEELCHAIR
If you are on a tight budget, it does not mean your wheelchair-bound loved one cannot enjoy the splendor of the beach; you can take matters into your own hands! With the above steps and the recommended plans and video tutorials, you can cheaply, efficiently, and conveniently make a beach wheelchair for your loved one. You do not have to spend beyond your limits for a new beach wheelchair; you can create one. Do not let your loved one miss out on the magic of the beach!