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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Default Transfer board for wheelchair

I am planning on making a transfer board to be used by my wife who is a paraplegic and uses a transfer board to get from the wheelchair to the bed or to transfer from her wheelchair to the car.
Plan on using "PVC" board the widest I can find is 9 1/2 inches wide and the board needs to be at least 12 inches wide and 30 inches long. Would like the thickness to be 3/8ths but can only get 1/2 inch thickness.....don't have access to a planer.
Want to use a pocket hole jig to join the 2 board together but was wondering what kind of joint should I use for the strongest strength?
If it works out I'll make a few for the local rehab hospital to donate.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 01:25 PM
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Gary
If it was me I get some 1/2" baltic Birch plywood about $35 a sheet for a 60"x60" sheet you can cut any shape or design you want would be definitely strong enough over 30 inches

Last edited by Semipro; 01-21-2014 at 02:29 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 05:59 AM
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I agree with John as my neighbor is a quadriplegic and the family and ambulance crew use a plywood board (birch or oak) for this purpose. Locally, Charlotte NC area, the cost of 1/2" x 48" x 96" is running 40 to 45 dollars. If there is concern about the strength, just remember (or look up if you are not old enough) the Mosquito of WWII fame; It was glued up plywood and one of the best to come out of that conflagration.

I hope this helps as the role of a care giver is very demanding

with best wishes for your wife and yourself - Baker
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 06:00 AM
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Hi Gary

Another alternative would be perspex.

I work at Paraquad down here and we have sliders which are simply a rectangular piece of perspex, some versions have a clearance notch.

Easy to cut, radius the corners, roundover the edges and give the edges a bit of a polish, done deal.

Mark
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 07:46 AM
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Gary,

The girl two doors down from me is also parapeligic. She is overweight and uses transfer boards as you described above. Hers are 3/4" plywood with Formica or some other high-pressure laminate. Any cabinet shop should be glad to make you something at no charge. I make things like this for persons in need all of the time. Serving boards that span across the arms of upholstered chairs are also something frequently requested. These can also have partitions for silverware and cupholders to offer independence to those slightly disabled. Me and my guys often have occasions to help the handicapped and we always do what we can - at no charge.

This is what church groups and communities should be all about - helping others!

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancman View Post
I am planning on making a transfer board to be used by my wife who is a paraplegic and uses a transfer board to get from the wheelchair to the bed or to transfer from her wheelchair to the car.
Plan on using "PVC" board the widest I can find is 9 1/2 inches wide and the board needs to be at least 12 inches wide and 30 inches long. Would like the thickness to be 3/8ths but can only get 1/2 inch thickness.....don't have access to a planer.
Want to use a pocket hole jig to join the 2 board together but was wondering what kind of joint should I use for the strongest strength?
If it works out I'll make a few for the local rehab hospital to donate.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Interesting. I had never heard of a transfer board before, not been around anyone in a wheelchair, so looked it up. I rather like this one, makes more sense than having to scoot along. Wheelchair Transfer Board - Beasy Board

Never heard of PVC board either, so had to look that up too. Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable with 3/8" or 1/2" thickness, not at 30" in length. Were I making one, I'd use some nice plywood, and glue two thicknesses together. I like 1/2" plywood for my projects, so that would give a final thickness of 1". Or, two thicknesses of 3/8" would give 3/4". I don't feel that either thickness would be too thick, and you'd have the added reassurance of not flexing; but I'd go for 1" rather than 3/4", a bit of overkill is usually always good.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 03:27 PM
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Theo
1/2" good Enough remember that only maybe 20" is unsupported part is on the wheel chair other part on car seat, need to keep light a easy to store, you would have to take in consideration for the Weight of the person that your building and for. 1/2" by 30" would hold over 200lbs

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 10:18 AM
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Gary, I am a paraplegic and use a transfer board in almost exactly the same way you describe the way your wife needs to use one. Mine is 3/8 in thick baltic birch plywood, 7 layer with two hand holds, nearly semicircular about 3 in wide, 2 1/2 in radius centered about 6 in from the ends. The edges are somewhat rounded (bullnose?). The board itself is 29 x 9 in, and it cost a pretty penny. You can get baltic birch from Rockler, 3/8 in thick, 24 x 48 in, #47646 for $16.99 + shipping, handling, tax, etc, much less than I paid for my pre made transfer board, and you can cut it as you need, and get several from one sheet.
I find it very convenient to have one for the house and one for the car.

later add-on: it does need to be made very smooth; mine has a very thin melamine coating.
Best of luck with everything, and best wishes for your wife.

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Last edited by TWheels; 01-23-2014 at 09:17 PM.
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