How to Build a Beach Wheelchair

how to build a beach wheelchair

Wouldn’t it be great if you could join in the beach fun?

Think about the sand games and treasure hunts. You probably don’t want to miss out.

But then, you start to worry about your disability. How do you move around on the beach without any inconveniences?

That is where a beach wheelchair fits in. It is slightly different from the regular wheelchair you are familiar with. The beach wheelchair is designed to navigate loose terrains like beach sands or shells.

They are God-sent for disabled persons looking to enjoy a beach holiday, party, or outing. And yes, they are easy to push. The cool thing is that you can build them yourself or buy one already made.

But in this article, I will show you how to build beach wheelchairs on a low budget.

Keep reading.

Table of Contents

Tools Required

Mallet

This looks like a hammer but slightly differs by its blockhead. It’s lightweight and best used for nudging objects. You will need a mallet to drive bolts and secure fittings when building a beach wheelchair.

Drill bits

These cutting tools help create holes in the PVC pipes to join and assemble the materials. They come in different sizes and shapes, so ensure that you check the sizes to avoid drilling excessive holes.

Hand drill

Hand drills serve various purposes- from drilling holes to joining or fastening objects, etc. For beach wheelchairs, you’ll need hand drills to drill holes. You can also use it to replace drill bits.

Drill press

Similar to the drill bits, the drill press is for drilling holes but set on a fixed point.

Tape measure

The tape measure comes in handy when building a beach wheelchair for accurate measurements. You can use a long tape measure or a spring return pocket tape.

Protective gears (hand gloves and dust masks)

Building a wheelchair can be messy from the cutting and drilling activities. Use protective gears to protect yourself when building a beach wheelchair.

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How to Build a PVC Beach Wheelchair

The high cost of an already-made beach wheelchair makes it looks impossible to build a beach wheelchair without breaking the bank. But I will show you how to build a beach wheelchair in 5 simple steps. So, stick with me here.

Image credit: rehabmart.com

1. Get your materials

Start by procuring the materials for building a traditional beach wheelchair. These include the PVC connectors, pipe, axle, glue, beach wheels, cotton pins, washers, screws, and seat materials. I’ve mentioned the tools needed for building a beach wheelchair in the previous section.

The PVC connectors have varying sizes, but I recommend using PVC connectors with 2 inches because their holding capacity is higher than PVC connectors with 1 or 1.5 inches. You can buy the PVC connectors and pipes online and in local stores.

There are varieties of beach wheels on eBay, so choose the most suitable one. Note that the beach wheels are large enough and wide to roll on the sands. Most companies producing beach wheels attach the necessary hardware to the product. For example, an axle and a bracket.

Consider materials that are quick-drying for your seat and seatback. The cotton pins, screws, and axles (aluminum) are available at your local stores.

2. Cut the PVC pipe

Image credit: thriftyfun.com

PVC pipes for beach wheelchairs have no standard measurement. It all depends on the size of the disabled person. But, make sure to use your protective equipment while cutting, because there will be lots of dust and mess.

Cut out the back, side, and front of the beach wheelchair from the PVC pipes. Use your measuring tape and hand drills to get a good result.

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3. Cut the Axle

Next is to cut the axle after dry-fitting it. Avoid using glue at this stage so you can make necessary adjustments when needed.

Proceed to make out the areas to drill the holes. Confirm the measurements and placement before assembling the frame. And you are good to go.

4. Assemble the frame and the seat

Image credit: appliedmedical.net

This stage is where you can use the glue for your beach wheelchair. Most glues dry up fast, so be time conscious when assembling and joining the materials. If there’s a need to drill more holes, don’t hesitate to use the drill bits.

Use vinyl materials and a sewing machine to create your seat and back seats. Depending on your preference, it could be a removable or permanent seat. The good news is that you can create and assemble the seating.

Use the mallet for secure fitting when assembling the frame. Gently use it to secure the joinings, so it lasts longer.

5. Put finishing touch

You can decide your beach chair final look from seat belts to footplates. But you don’t have to break the bank to get these items. An old car seat is a perfect place to source these items.

You only need to ensure the materials are quick-drying and eco-friendly. Now you’re ready to fix the beach wheels and head up to the beach. It sounds simple, and it is.

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FAQs

How big is a beach wheelchair?

There’s no fixed measurement for a beach wheelchair. It buzzes down to the disabled individual special needs and size. Like everything else, beach wheelchairs are flexible. The general rule of thumb is to design the wheelchair around 24 inches in external width, 20 inches in internal width, 38 inches, height push bar level, and 31.5 inches outside wheels external width. In all, a beach wheelchair frame and setting should provide comfort to the disabled person.

How does a beach wheelchair work?

From its name, a beach wheelchair is used by disabled persons for beach activities. They can be self-propelled motorized wheelchairs or require someone to push them. Because the wheelchair is easy to push on loose terrain, moving it comes with no pressure. The big wheels allow it to roll across the beach shells and sands without sinking. The materials used are also quick-drying to avoid breeding microorganisms and causing foul smells.

What are the characteristics of a good beach wheelchair?

If you want to buy an already-made beach wheelchair, you should check for safety features like a seat belt and footrest. Also, check for comfort and durability. If you are building a beach wheelchair yourself, pay attention to the materials’ quality. The PVC connectors and pipe should have high-grade UV protection, with no rust, peeling, discoloring, or chipping. And most importantly, the beach wheels should be high-quality and come with a warranty.

How to Build a Beach Wheelchair

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