Introduction: PVC Wheelchair,(1 Inch Pipe)

This Instructable is instructions for a fully functional PVC wheelchair. This wheelchair isn't meant to support weight that exceeds 200 pounds due to the structural integrity of the PVC, and bending of the axle. But as always one can modify the axle to be larger,(which i due recommend) for my axle experienced slight bending when persons of around 200 pounds sat in it.

All the PVC used to make this chair is 1". as well as the connectors.

The PVC was fortified using regular PVC cement that can be found at your local, Home depot, Lowe's, or Hardware store.

Make sure to wear gloves when handling the PVC cement, have a well ventilated area when completing this project, and if your using a surface that you are unwilling to muck up with dripping PVC cement i suggest you cover it with some sort of disposable material.(as seen in my pictures i covered my workbench with paper)

Step 1: Tools Needed, Misc. Materials Needed, and All PVC Needed


- Clamps(of your choosing)

- (optional) Hot glue gun,(if you wish to perform the extra step in the axle portion)

- Mask (if you are indoors, and have a poorly ventilated area)

- Hammer

- Gloves,(rubber or latex will do)

- Paper towels or Rags,(to wipe away dripping PVC Cement)

- Measuring tape

Misc. Materials:

- Bike wheels, i suggest mountain bike, but if you have regular wheelchair wheels those might even be better, the only problem would be your method of attaching them my be different

- Axle (to attach wheels to, mine happened to be a 3/8" diameter metal rod, so throughout the Instructable i will refer to it as 3/8 of an inch, but yours may be any size desired.

- PVC cement

- Casters, The casters i used were Everbilt 2in/50,8mm, with an 80lb capacity.(i added a photo of the label, if you with to purchase the same casters. they cost about $5 each).

All PVC Needed:

18 - 2inch Pieces of PVC

2 - 3 1/2inch Pieces of PVC

6 - 4inch Pieces of PVC

2 - 23inch Pieces of PVC

9 - 18inch Pieces of PVC

2 - 19inch Pieces of PVC

2 -5inch Pieces of PVC

4 - 4 1/2inch Pieces of PVC

2 - 6inch Pieces of PVC

2 - 16inch Pieces of PVC

2 - 8inch Pieces of PVC

8 - 2 5/8inch Pieces of PVC

2 - 9inch Pieces of PVC

Step 2: Materials Needed for the Back of the Wheelchair

6 - 2inch pieces of PVC

2 - 3 1/2inch pieces of PVC

6 - 4inch pieces of PVC

2 - 23inch pieces of PVC

3 - 18inch Pieces of PVC

2 - 19inch pieces of PVC, these will be bent with a PVC bender in order to achieve a slight angle to accommodate the back and provide a slight degree of comfort.


8 - Tee connecters

2 - 90° connecters

4 - Tee w/side outlet connecters

2 - 3 way connecters

Step 3: Assembling the Back of the Wheelchair

(complete all these steps for both sides)

First take the two 3 way connecters and connect them using a 18" piece of PVC(as seen in the picture). make sure to have the connecter facing the right way or else you may need to repeat this process. after those are connected from the top of those add the 23" pieces and leave them the way they are for now. then from the end that has nothing attached slip in a 2' piece of PVC and then slide a tee connecter facing upwards to the exposed side of the pipe. squeeze this together so that no pipe is visible anymore. once this is done you will need to add another 2" piece to the top of the tee connecter. after that put a 18" piece of pipe in between two Tee w/side outlet connecters and then slide this onto the exposed end of the pipe.(make sure once again that the connecters are facing the right way. make sure they look exactly as they do in the picture). once this is done add a 4" piece onto the top of the Tee w/side outlet connecters, then put regular tee connecters on top of that at a slight outward angle(the bent PVC will be placed there later). Then add the next tier using a 3 1/2" piece and putting regular Tee connecters facing outwards as seen in the picture. next step is to add the last 4" piece of pipe and then two more Tee connecters to the top, at the same angle as the ones below it so that they achieve the same angle.

Now for the cap, or top portion of the back. add the last 4" piece to the top Tee connecters and cap those of with 90° connectors facing backwards. using the last Tee connecters w/side outlets attach them together with a 18" piece of PVC, and then slide them onto the top portion of the back of the chair. lastly stick the last 2" pipe in between Tee connecter w/side outlet and the 90° connecter to finish the back of the chair. The exposed portion of the back of the chair is where the handles will be placed later.

Step 4: Materials Needed for Axle Portion

Quite simple

1 -18inch Piece of PVC

2 - Tee connecters

1 - Axle, (Threaded or partially threaded Metal rod) mine happened to be 3/8 in diameter to allow for the bike wheels to attach.

Step 5: Assembling Axel Portion of the Wheelchair

Assembling the axle portion of the Wheelchair is quite easy.

First step is to drill a 3/8(or whatever the size of your axle is) of an inch hole into the middle of each of the two Tee connecters(as seen in the pictures). once this is complete you can move onto the next step.

Second step (optional): what i did was i slipped a wooden dowel into the pipe and drilled a hole all the way through,(slightly bigger than 3/8). securing it with hot glue all in the inside. i did this in hopes to reduce the bending, and increase the structural integrity of the axle compartment. although i may recommend this step it is entirely optional and unneeded.

Third Step: is to put the two Tee connectors onto the end of the 18" pipe,(BUT REMEMBER TO NOT PVC CEMENT THIS PORTION OR ANY PORTION OF THE AXLE COMPARTMENT TO ANY PART OF THE CHAIR. IF YOU DO YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GET IT OFF AGAIN, AND IF ANY MAINTENANCE IS NEEDED YOU WILL NEED TO DESTROY THE CHAIR IN ORDER TO GET TO THE AXLE!!!!!). unless you plan on not needing to do any modifications to the chair, i recommend not PVC cementing it or its self as a whole to any part of the chair.

Step 6: Materials Needed for the Base (The Rest of the Chair)

5 - 18inch pieces of PVC (6 are pictured here but one is utilized in the axle portion)

2 - 5inch Pieces of PVC

4 - 4 1/2inch Pieces of PVC

2 -6inch Pieces of PVC

2 - 16inch Pieces of PVC

2 - 8inch Pieces of PVC

8 - 2 5/8inch pieces of PVC

12 - 2inch Pieces of PVC

8 - Tee Connecters,(10 are pictured here, but two are used for the axle portion)

4 - Tee w/side outlet connecters

4 - 45° connecters

4 - 90° connecters

2 - 4 way connecters

2 - Caps

Step 7: Assebling the Base of the Chair

Assembling the base of the chair is probably the most difficult and annoying part of the chair. always make sure to recheck your chair with the images i have provided. first on the bottom layer your going to need to insert a 4 1/2" piece on the bottom, and a 2 5/8" piece on the top layer as shown.(make sure that the only connective pipe pieces utilized on the top layer are the 2 5/8 pieces, the reason for the measurement being so specific is if you use any other length the actual seat portion will not fit). next only on the bottom slide the axle portion that you have already built onto the exposed end of the 4 1/2" pipe. on the open end of the axle portion add a 5" piece (BUT REMEMBER TO NOT CEMENT THESE TOGETHER). next on the exposed end of the 6" piece slide a 45° connector on at the angle depicted. the next step is to join another 45° connector facing the opposite way. connect these to 45° using a 2 inch piece of PVC, so that no PVC is visible once they have been connected. Then on the exposed end of the 45° of the connector add a 2' piece of PVC and slide a Tee connecter facing upwards onto the end. The last step for the bottom layer of the chair add another 2" piece onto the end of the Tee connecter and slide a four way connector onto the end. the downward opening of the 4 way will be where the pipe that holds the supporting caster wheels will be. now for the top layer, i suggest you build this separately as shown in the pictures provided, utilize the 2 5/8" pieces of PVC and alternate them sliding regular Tee connecters between them. Then once both sides have been completed cement 18" pieces between them at the same time, because once you have cemented one you wont be able to cement another in. there should be one side that has a connecting piece of PVC exposed. this side should be facing forward, and you should slide a Tee connecter w/side outlet onto the end.(make sure it is facing the correct way). This Tee connecter w/side outlet piece should connect the bottom and top layer, using a 4 1/2inch piece. now for the top of Tee connecter w/side outlet connect a regular Tee connecter to the top using a 2" piece and then on top of that connect a 90° piece facing backwards with a 5 1/2 piece. this will constitute the arm rest. finish the arm rest off with the 16inch piece, which should line up with one of the Tee connectors in the back of the chair. now for the last piece of the base, add a 90° connecter to the Tee connecter on the front, and connect it to the 4 way piece on the bottom using the last of the PVC, the 8" pieces. The 90° should be connected to the Tee connecter using a 2" piece.

Step 8: Last Step: Casters.

This part is easy. first drill a hole in the cap for however big the bold sticking out of your caster is. then slide the bolt into the cap, and secure it using a bolt on the other side. mine happened to be a 3/8inch diameter so it was quite convenient.

last step is to slide the cap onto the end of a 9" piece of PVC and slide that onto the bottom of the 4 way connecter.

The front holes on the chair in the 4 way connector can be utilized to make footrests if you so please as well.


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