I was making something out of PVC the other day and it occurred to me that it would not be real hard to make an exam table with stirrups out of PVC.
I got to thinking along two lines here.
One would be a fully portable table. The top surface would be a sling that snaps over the PVC frame, kind of akin to a stretcher.
The other would be a plywood top, with padding and some kind of material covering it. More like a traditional table.
To keep the construction simple, I was not planning on making the top articulate. From one of the posts on the medfet forum it seems that most people like them to lie flat anyway.
I was thinking of making the construction modular, so the biggest pieces are not any larger than the hard top, or the frame for the sling top. Some of the joints would be glued, and some of them would have holes drilled through them and be secured with machine bolts and wingnuts for tool free assembly and disassembly.
I would like this to be buildable with a minimum of tools. I am thinking as a minimum tool kit, a hand saw suitable for cutting the PVC and an electric drill suitable for drilling 1/4" holes through the PVC. Most of the build materials would also be common, regular PVC that you can pick up at home stores, mostly regular fittings you can pick up at home stores, and regular 1/4" x 20 hardware you can pick up at home stores. There would be a few items you would need to buy off the internet, some telescoping PVC and perhaps a few funny fittings, but I would try and minimise that stuff.
And last, for the sling top, a piece of suitable material to make the sling out of, and a sewing machine to hem it, and a means to fasten it around the PVC. This could be snaps (are they strong enough?), lashing, or even holes that nuts and washers can hang onto.
And for the hard top, either then metal strapping they use to hold pipes in place with, or the clamps they use to hold pipes in place with. The top would also require tools to fasten the material to the top with. I would use air staples, but tacks would also work.
The big question for now is if people are at all interested in this project. I have two real tables now, so I really don't need another one, but I do enjoy building things, and I thought this might be of some use to the community. I can see the sling based one being portable enough to take into hotel rooms for example, and the hard topped one breaking down small enough to hide behind the clothing in the back of your closet.
So, what do yall think? Any comments or ideas?