Intro: Adult Geriatric PVC Walker
This is my first post. I did my best. I found it important to share, because I needed this for my elderly father who cannot walk well due to spinal issues and knee problems. I needed to get him to take the weight off of his knees to reduce his pain. Regular walkers would not work, and I found this walker on line for sale for about $300. I spent under $200 on PVC pipe, glue and connectors. I used schedule 40 1 1/4" pipe, but I went with furniture grade connectors from Flex PVC .
I had to improvise with measurements because of the narrow hallway in my parent's home. My walker was 26" wide by 24" deep and 39" high to accommodate my short father. If you need to change the measurements, you will have to change all the cuts. Remember that the base should be wider than the top to prevent tipping over.
I suggest that you cut as you go. Don't cut all the sections at the same time. This will save you a lot of aggravation if your measurements come out different, especially when you add on the 45 elbows and you add on the top section to the base.
In the photo from the distributor, it looks like the person has to sit, and I needed him to stand, but yet be supported by the harness, which,by the way, I bought on E-bay for about $70. You may be able to make your own.
Step 1: Materials
30 feet of 1 1/4" schedule 40 pvc pipe
2 - 3-way 90's
8 - 45 elbows
4 - 4 way
2 - internal dome caps
2 - loose fit tees
4 - 3" wheel casters
4 - caster inserts
Step 2: Cut Your Pipes
For my measurements I cut 14 pieces 3 1/2 "long.
You can cut these regardless of your measurements. These are used to connect the connectors to eachother.
These will go at the bottom of the walker and will connect the feet to the bottom tees, 3-ways, 45 elbows and two will go at the top where the loose fit tees will go on..
Step 3: Cut the Bottom Base
2 pieces at 21" and one 22 1/2".
If you are using the same measurements that I have, you will get 26". wide and 24" deep, after you connect them to the tees and 3-ways. Consider that each end of your pipe will go in 1 1/4" into each connector, and that each connector is 3". So don't take my word on the measurements. Do your math. For example; To get a 26" wide section, I cut a pipe to 21". That is 26" less 6" for two end connectors. Then add 2 1/2" for the insertion = 22 1/2".Hope this makes sense. Use the same formula for whatever measurements you will be using. Or maybe someone else has a better way to explain this.
Step 4: Middle, Top Rails and Cross Rail Entrance
Cut 7 pieces at 19 1/2 ".
I went with a 23" width and depth. If you have a bigger person you will have to change this, as well as the base.
Step 5: Vertical Rails
6 pieces at 10" each.
Again , adjust your measurements for a shorter or taller person. After you add in the wheels and the bottom connectors, you should get a height of around 39".
Step 6: Dry Build Your Walker
Start at the bottom and build up. Starting with your wheels. DO NOT GLUE!! If everything is to your liking, you will reverse the steps. Mark off your elbows so you can line them back up. If not, your base will not go back the same way you had it.
Remover the top rails and start to glue back together, one section at a time and place your walker upside down as you rebuild and glue.
I used a clear cleaner to prime the PVC, not the purple one, and regular PVC glue. Available at any hardware store.
The Loose fit tees is where you enter the walker. This is the front. Do NOT glue the loose fit tees to the walker. Only glue them to the cross section The section should slide up off the walker. Mine was too tight for my parents to pull off, so I cut the cross section in half and put on an exterior coupling. It is easier for them to just pull it apart. However, I will be testing it's strength and may have to change the position of the sling. Improvise, if you have to.