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Thread: Custom titanium toilet seat frame opinions

  1. #1

    Custom titanium toilet seat frame opinions

    I've got a crazy idea for a custom toilet seat frame that has been bugging me recently. I use one like this at home:

    I've had it for almost eight years now, and I've gone through three of the padded toilet seat tops, with the same frame, which I'm pretty sure is steel, as it is now rusting pretty good.

    I absolutely hate lugging it around on trips, just because it takes up so much room in a suitcase. It's hard to see in the pictures, but even with the legs popped off, the top of the frame is a rectangle about 22" x 22" x 9", which is a healthy chunk of my very large suitcase.

    So I'm thinking about having a frame custom made, so that the rectangle with the tops of the legs is shorter by a few inches, and the seat top is narrower. I'm thinking I can pare it down to about 18" x 18" x 6" and have it shaped so that the cushion (which I just rest on top now for ease of disassembly) and legs will sit inside this smaller box. I figure that would make the whole package less than half the volume of what it is now, plus if I was having it custom made I could have it set at a fixed height with legs that just slide in (the highest setting on my current chair has worked in all of the several dozen different toilets I have used it in various homes, hotels and campground privy's.

    The titanium idea is just me being a fanboy. I recognize that aluminium could probably be had easier for a lower price, but I don't like aluminum... I just don't like the look or feel or the way it oxidizes so weirdly.

    I found a guy who makes custom bicycles close to where I live, so i was gonna give him a call or maybe drop by his shop and see what he would charge for something like that. His bicycle frames start at $3,000, but I figure this frame would be much simpler to construct. I count four bends of a nice long titanium tube plus two short straight pieces for legs opposite the cutout, and four straight legs, which is only two welded connections. The only extra machining might be some flaring of the downtubes to accept the legs (so they slide in and out).

    Surely this has to be much less labor intensive than a finely tuned bicycle frame, right? I've seen people bend titanium, and if you've got the tools for it, it doesn't seem like such a big deal. Welding it probably sucks, but there are at least five times more welds on his frames, not to mention all the other complexities of a bicycle frame. The titanium tubing itself isn't all that expensive (from looking online) something like $20 a foot or so? I figure there's at most 12 feet of tubing required, accounting for some excess that's cut off.

    I'm hoping he could make the frame for me for around $500 or $600, but I'm no machinist or welder, so I'm probably being overly optimistic. If this poor quality steel one has lasted nearly a decade, surely a titanium one would last the rest of my life so in the end it would probably be worth it... assuming I can find someone to do a decent job building one for a half-reasonable price.

    Anybody have an opinion on whether or not this is a good idea (or know of someone who works with titanium that might be up to take on a project like this?

  2. #2
    What about a stainless steel frame? You can get railing tubes and fittings in stainless, then fabricate your own frame. Here's one source I found with a quick internet search.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    There are also plenty of options that sit securely on top of the toilet, with no need of a frame to carry around.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  4. #4
    I don't really want steel because it's going to end up rusting again. Even stainless steel isn't immune to the humid conditions of living on top of a toilet 365 days a year. According to the specs on this thing I'm currently sitting on (tmi I know, but I got a lot of time) it's stainless steel that has been powder coated, and it's rusting away nonetheless.


    And as far as the one's that go on top of the toilet, they're good 90% of the time in hotels and houses, but once you get off the beaten track all toilets are not made equal. I still travel out west whenever I get a chance (in a car sadly), but national park campgrounds (we get a 50% discount in case anyone doesn't know) have some pretty sketchy seating options that I'm sure won't work with those on top toilet seats. At least with a freestanding frame I can shit in a bag if I have to (and I have... it wasn't pleasant).

  5. #5
    Put the bag in a 3 or 5 gal bucket before you use it.

    Not all stainless steel alloys are the same. Some can rust a bit; others won't. Marine grade stainless steel won't rust. To test: marine stainless steel is not magnetic; poor stainless is slightly magnetic.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  6. #6
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    I don't really want steel because it's going to end up rusting again. Even stainless steel isn't immune to the humid conditions of living on top of a toilet 365 days a year. According to the specs on this thing I'm currently sitting on (tmi I know, but I got a lot of time) it's stainless steel that has been powder coated, and it's rusting away nonetheless.


    And as far as the one's that go on top of the toilet, they're good 90% of the time in hotels and houses, but once you get off the beaten track all toilets are not made equal. I still travel out west whenever I get a chance (in a car sadly), but national park campgrounds (we get a 50% discount in case anyone doesn't know) have some pretty sketchy seating options that I'm sure won't work with those on top toilet seats. At least with a freestanding frame I can shit in a bag if I have to (and I have... it wasn't pleasant).

    Ahhh, yeah, the ol' shit-in-a-bag routine. Good point!

    eta: I suspect the corrosion has more to do with caustic residue than humidity. I have a stain-less steel kitchen sink and it never rusts. The less ferrite/martensite present the less magnetic, and prone to rust, but you're right, no stain-less steel is 100%. The most austenic steels are also not hardenable, or weldable, or cold-workable, without causing ferrite/martensite formation, and therefor corroding more easily afterward. Titanium or aluminum alloy, for the win! Aluminum would probably be lighter, unless the fabricator is an engineer, and wall thickness is optimally designed for the application.
    Last edited by Oddity; 10-12-2015 at 03:36 AM.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  7. #7
    Hi funklab, I have the same chair as this and I've been using it for holidays and hotel stay for 7 years now. I agree that the rusting is a pain, but it it gets scabby looking, I rub it down and paint it with black Smoothrite, being careful not to apply too thick on the legs to stop them sliding together.

    As far as making it easier to transport, I took the plunge and cut the seat and frame in half through the mid point of side opposite the opening. I drilled a hole through both sides of the tubing the frame either side of the cut and got a snug fitting piece of steel tube to slide up the inside as a connector. Two stainless steel ball detent pins were then used to hold the frame together and stop it rotating. I also drilled two holes in each side of the wooden seat base and got two short sections of stainless steel bar which I glued into one side of the base and would then fit into the corresponding holes in the other side, again, to prevent twisting. I then used waterproof silicone to cover the exposed wooden base and seat foam.
    With these mods I can fit the whole thing into a medium sized holdall as the dimensions are now down to 18" X 9" X 6". When broken down it forma a sort of box structure which toilet bags, catheters etc can be placed in to use up the extra storage in the holdall.
    I'll try to get some photographs uploaded to better demonstrate this.

    I have taken this on 3 american holidays (two weeks each) a week in lanzarote and regular trips to england for basketball matches and who knows how many nights away in hotels and it has never let me down. I'm now considering taking this to an engineering firm to get it replicated in stainless steel as I know the design and modifications work so well.
    Alcohol and Calculus don't mix. Never Ever drink and derive!.

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