DIY Beach Wheelchair – a rugged, snap-together chair for all-terrain adventures!
Need a sturdy, durable wheelchair for the beach or rough terrain? Want to build your own? This design is simple to build, affordable, and designed for the great outdoors.
For the chair itself, we chose a synthetic mesh fabric that secures onto the seat and the back of the chair. The dual steel axles are very strong, and it’s even possible to take them apart and modify them yourself. The frame is made out sturdy 11/4” PVC pipe.
This design also has a footrest and an area behind the seat to attach essential stuff. And of course, all our designs are infinitely modifiable. Need to upgrade it later? No problem. And remember, you can always customize and order your parts right here on our site.
Coming soon: a DIY video on how to make the seats and the bottom wheels and axles.
Ready to build your own? Great! Just check out the DIY build guide and diagrams below to get started.
First up: the wheel-base.
First, you’ll want to gather all the materials in the diagram above. Then, install two ¾” Black Steel Nipples on top of your axle, in the appropriate mounts.
Slide two ¾ x 11/4” bushings over the top of these, followed by two 11/4” couplers. Your two 11/4” 4” tubes should slide into these couplings from the top.
There are two side arms; so you’ll have to repeat this process twice.
First, gather all the materials in the above diagram – times two.
Then, slide each piece into each other as pictured. A 3” tube into a 11/4” elbow, then another 3” tube into yet another 11/4” elbow, then a 15” 11/4” tube, then a 11/4” tee, then a 5” 11/4” tube.
Flex the finished assembly into the shape of a linear wheelchair sidearm by placing it on a flat surface and twisting/pressing where necessary.
Then, repeat this procedure for your other sidearm.
Your second wheel: start by inserting two ¾” nipples into the top of the axle. Place two ¾”x1” bushings on top of these, followed by one 20.38” piece tubing with two 1” elbows attached to it on either end.
Up next: the back of your wheelchair.
Gather the mesh backrest of your wheelchair, along with two 19.78” 11/4 tubes.
Place both ends of both of these tubes into 90⁰ 11/4” elbows.
Then, gather four 5” 11/4 tubes. Place two of these into the top of your wheelchair seat (as oriented in the diagram). Place the other two into the back top of your seat.
Then, attach the 19.78” tubes (w/elbows) to these 5” tubes. You should now have a wheelchair back with a top bar and a rear accessory bar on it.
The bottom frame.
First, locate two 11/4” “5-ways.” Place these over both ends of a 19.58” tube, as seen in the diagram.
Then, place two 11/4” “4-ways” over both ends of another 19.58” tube. Then connect two assemblies by attaching them to opposite ends of two 19.48” tubes, in a rectangular shape. Take care to ensure that your 5-ways and 4-ways are facing in the same direction as seen in the diagram.
Finally, install two ¾” x 11/4” bushings on the underside of your 4-way connectors. Then attach two ¾” nipples onto the bottoms of these bushings.
At this point, you should have a completed rectangular frame for the bottom of your wheelchair.
No wheelchair is complete without a footrest.
To complete the footrest, you’ll need:
The flow pattern for completing one side of the footrest is as follows: connect a 3” tube to an elbow; connect that elbow to an 8” tube, connect the 8” tube to the top of a “3-way” (as shown); connect that 3-way to a 5” tube; connect that 5” tube to an elbow.
Then, repeat the above procedure to assemble the opposite side of the footrest. Take care to mirror the structure of the first.
Once the two sides of your footrest are assembled, connect them both using the 19.58” tubes at the bottom elbows and at the “3-ways.”
Once this is done, you should have a complete footrest for your chair.
Almost done! Just need to add some connectors to the seat.
Orienting the seat upright, connect two 7.98” (11/4) tubes to one side of your seat. In the rest of the seat holes, attach six 3” (11/4) tubes.
The Final Assembly
Not to sound dramatic, but: you can now assemble all these pieces into a finished wheelchair! Just use the completed chair design as a visual reference.
And that’s it. Congratulations! You just earned an expert DIY badge, and we hope you enjoyed the build.