Category: Lower Extremity Disabilities

DIY Bath Transfer System

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This project is a simple and inexpensive transfer system that allows a wheelchair user  (or any individual with mobility issues) to easily be transferred from their wheelchair to a bath for bathing purposes with the assistance from another individual (or by themselves, depending on the situation).

Technical Specifications: 

Overall Idea. The system is made of 3 separate pieces:

  1. Base
  2. Chair
  3. Rolling Platform for the chair 

Parts List

  • Plywood 1/2" thickness
  • 2 to 3 hinges
  • Aluminum beach chair
  • Swivel for a boat seat (can be found at a marine store)
  • 4 Caster Wheels (1/2")
  • 3 Gate latch
  • Stainless Steel U-Bolt, 1/4"-20 X 1" Thread Length, for 1" OD
  • C-bar (enough length to run the full length of the platform on both sides)
  • Bolts, washers, and nuts  

Step 1: Cutting the Base to Size.

The first step in this project is to get the measurements of the bath's width and height (measure the width of both the inside/outside walls, the width of the overall tub, and also the height of the tub from outside of the tub). The first base that we used was made of 3/4" plywood that we later would coat with an epoxy resin. The second version we used a Corian material that was donated to us by American Marble 1280 N. Melrose Dr. Vista, CA 92083. The overall length of the base is equal to the overall width of the tub plus the height of the tub. The width of the base we used 15". For the hanging aspect of the base, measure from one end of the base (the height of the tub) then make a cut across. Use either 2 or 3 hinges to attach the two pieces of the base.  

Step 2: Drilling the Holes for attachment of C-bar.

In this step, drill the holes according to the drawing provides, there are 9X .25dia. through holes on each side of the platform. Then, cut out the center hole in the platform for both drainage and weight reduction.   

Step 3: Cutting the Folding Legs.

We used 2 table leg hinges to allow the legs to fold up and down. We used simple square legs. Since the legs were the same length as the flooding extension, we crossed the legs to allow it to fit. 

Step 4: Modify a Pre-existing Folding Chair.

An old or new aluminum folding beach chair. We used a chair that had a 3 position back for the comfort of our client, but you can use one that fits your needs best. The only thing that needs to be done to the chair is for the legs to be cut as short as possible so that it will easily fit onto the platform. (We used a simple hacksaw to make the cuts).  

Step 5: Making Brackets for Latch.

The attachment for the chair to the rolling platform will be made by 3 gate latches, these latches can be bought at any local hardware store. The latches themselves will be attached to the chair, this attachment will be made by bolting the latches to a metal bracket and then U-bolts will mount the brackets to the chair. The rods will be attached to the rolling platform, 1 and then 2 on the opposing side.  

Step 6: Cutting the Bottom Base of Rolling Platform.

The bottom base can either be made out of plywood, Corian, aluminum.  However, if it is made out of plywood, then the piece needs to be coated the same as the base piece. The bottom base is used to attach the 4 caster wheels and the swivel. The overall dimension is 14-1/4"W and 16-5/8"H   

Step 7: The Top Base of the Rolling Platform. 

The top base can either be made out of plywood, Corian, aluminum. However, if it is made out of plywood, then the piece needs to be coated the same as the base piece. The Overall dimension of the top base is 16.25 inch X 15.00 inch

Step 8: Coating anything that is not water-proof.

At this point depending on the types of material that have been used, you may need to coat your material with an epoxy coating (especially if you have used any plywood).  

Step 9: The C-bar safety system.


Price Check
as of: 
Additional Pricing Notes: 
Cost of mateirals and supplies.
DIY Bath Transfer System