Intro: Recycled Portable Wooden Shower Mat
As part of our 1967 13' Aljo Sportsman camper upgrade, I installed an on-demand water heater, 12v water pump, and an outdoor shower (see Easy Hanging Outdoor Shower Stall instructable!). To have a clean place to stand during showers, I settled in a roll-up wood mat, but rather than spend the $35-200 these kinds of mats go for on Amazon, I thought that a DIY MakerSpace version out of what I had around the house would be more fun!
Note: Proper safety practices such as safety glasses, and knowledge of proper operation of power tools is required, the Basic Safety Class is required prior to using these tools at SLO MakerSpace.
Wood for slats - wood flooring or used 2x4s or 2x6s work well.
Used bicycle inner tubes
Table saw with fence
Step 1: Find and Cut Your Wood Strips
I had both old redwood and extra bamboo flooring laying around, either one of would have worked. I ended up using the redwood to repair some of the camper frame, so I used the flooring.
If you have a tablesaw with a fence (preferably the super-safe SawStop that we have at SLO MakerSpace), choose the width of your slats and rip the boards - I settled at 1.5 inches and needed 3 x 6' flooring boards.
After ripping, cut the length to the width of your shower - 34" worked for us.
Note - ripping the finished flooring planks can dull your table saw blade, and the sawdust from the bamboo flooring was very fine and messy, so take proper precautions!
Step 2: Sand and Finish Strips
The bamboo flooring splinters a bit, particularly on the end, so a little elbow grease and sandpaper will save your feet from splinters.
Once sanded, I used 2 coats of non-toxic polyurethane (more coats will make it last longer, but I was in a hurry!)
Step 3: Align and Staple Your Tubing
Use another straight edge to align your slats, faced down and spaced evenly, approximately 3/4" apart. I used the vertical edge of a floorboard slat as a spacer.
Temporarily tape the boards to keep them in alignment.
Cut a bicycle inner tube to match the size of your mat. 3 strips, 2 utilizing the curve in the tube and the center aligned straight with the curve up.
Staple the tubes in place and hammer flat any staples that don't go in all the way.
Step 4: Roll It Out and Take a Shower!
The combination of slat size, spacing, and the inner tubes all affect how the mat rolls up, and this combination worked pretty well.
We had comfortable and clean feet while spraying off in our outdoor shower!
P.S. - always use biodegradable soap and be aware of local regulations when showering outside.