This Instructable is more of a presentation, or an example, of a device to solve a problem.
There was a real need for such a support device to assist my wife in helping her with the task of sitting on the toilet. For many this is not a concern, but for her and many others, it is.
For starters, I purchased a stand for the toilet that raised it 3 1/2 inches. This made life a lot easier for both my wife and her mother. I must say that I even got to like it too. But this was not quite enough for them. There was a need for some way of using their arms for lowering themselves.
I did a fairly good search for such an aid. Many I found were not, in my opinion, sane, safe and responsible. Several were to be secured to the toilet, transferring the users weight to the toilet in a manner that the toilet was not designed for, a very poor design. I did find one that did transfer the users weight to the floor, straddling the toilet. It even folded up. I still felt I could design one using PVC that would suffice. I must admit that I did not perform a stress analysis for the one I found or for the one I designed with PVC. I did, however, test the stand with my own weight, bouncing a little, to create a greater loading, and saw very little deflection.
It made life much better for my wife. My mother-in-law really liked it too.
Step 1: Design for Us
These drawings are of the one for our older, more rounded, toilet.
I've shown the points that are to be adhered to.
The design uses 1 inch PVC, except for one critical area. When the toilet lid is up there is limited space behind and just above it. Here, I used a piece of 3/4 PVC here with reducers.
Step 2: Elongated Toilet Bowl
This design is for an elongated toilet bowl.
It's depth is a little greater, and so the arms are a little longer. Since this will have higher stresses than the one I designed I cannot be responsible for possible failure.
I leave this up to those that may build this one.
A way to reduce the stress would be to use, say 1-1/2 PVC, for the arms, both upper and lower. This would require the need of reducers at the front and rear. The larger arms would also feel better to the users. I had considered that even with mine.
Yes, using reducers at the front and back, will be be structurally sound. The stress is a maximum at the point where the hand will be. Bending stresses will be a minimum here. At the front and back, the major concern is shear stresses and they should be adequately handled. Arm deflection ( a result of bending stresses), although small, would be transferred to the legs. The legs should be able to handle this.
Step 3: Final Remarks
I, or another engineer, should do a stress analysis on both designs.
I, therefore, cannot condone the structural integrity. I cannot be held responsible for any injury incurred from a structural failure.
As such, builder, beware.