PVC Pipe Bench?

Someone contacted me about ideas for building a bench for a youth center out of PVC pipe.  Based on this information, I thought it should:

  1. Look cool
  2. Be inexpensive to build
  3. Be safe
  4. Comfortable!
  5. Fun

Here is what I came up with as a rough draft.  I’m not sure how to position the pipes so that it provides #4 above, but this was a rough guess.  I’m using a SPLINE curve in SolidWorks with pipes 3″ on center.

Any ideas about how to make something like this comfortable?
Also, anyone know where to get load calculations for structural use of PVC pipe?
It would be my preference to use thick walled aluminum tubing (or solid rod!) but again, #2 above needs to be satisfied.

5 thoughts on “PVC Pipe Bench?

  1. Jason, what age are you thinking about? For real comfort the seat should come up a little bit under the knees, and and then the back should curve in a little in the lumbar area. That’s for older folks — for you and the kids, it matters not. ;o)

  2. Hi Aunt Lois,

    Well, it is for all ages. Especially want it to be confortable for you when you visit again! If I have time, I’ll revise it a bit and re-post.


  3. I think the pipes should be touching for the best sitting surface.

    That having been said: I am a fitness trainer who uses park benches for our exercise equipment. I have found benches to be great for that purpose, except for 2 things –most commonly, 1)the bench seat has a curve which makes sitting on it anywhere but the center uncomfortable; and 2) the upper edge of the back is square, making it uncomfortable to rest your hands on while supporting yourself during an exercise–for example, a push up. If you want the bench to have a dual use, do not add the under-the-thigh curve, and use a larger pipe for the top edge of the back. See my video “101 Things to Do on a Park Bench” on You tube to get the picture. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNBUWXQuCfI

  4. Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I looked at your video and it was very well done. The PVC pipe bench has not been materialized yet, but if it ever does, I will surely incorporate your comments (the contour was simply a guess on my part).


  5. Hi, Jason. Thank you for a very cool and straightforward design. I hadn’t even thought of something like this and for what I want a bench for, I can modify it to work out just great. Maybe add a little something like Liquid Nails to keep the seating and backrest in place. I’m thinking of using something other than PVC pipe, like 1″ boards or something. This is what I need so my cats can sit on it without their tails getting caught in between the spaces. One little guy has a broken tail and I think it happened on my old-fashioned wooden bench. Thanks again. Your idea is fabulous!

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