Homemade Pren-Thomas Laptray:
The provided techniques are only suggested methods and may be altered to best fit each person’s needs. During the fabrication process, make sure you wear all protective equipment to prevent any injury.
Also be aware that this device must be removed when the user is in a vehicle to prevent potential harm.
- Supplies: All supplies can be found at your local hardware store with the exception of the plexiglass solvent acrylic glue that can be ordered online. Supplies include
- A Plexiglass sheet 3/16 inch thick. (wood can be substituted if needed)
- Plexiglass glue: Weldon IPS #4 Solvent Plexiglass Acrylic Glue is recommended for adhering plexiglass. It can be ordered online through a variety of sources. This is an optional supply depending on if a ledge is being applied to the bookshelf tray top.
- Sanded Plywood: 1/2 inch thickness is recommended to safely fit under wheelchair cushion if making base out of wood rather than plexiglass. The wooden block will also be used to secure the flagpole mount to laptray shelf.
- 2 Angle adjustable flagpole holders: It is important to get the holders that have an adjustable angle to allow for the position of the laptray to be customized to each individual.
- Dowel Rod: Roughly 1inch diameter will be needed, but make sure to size your dowel rod to fit your specific flagpole holder.
- Screws: These are optional depending if you choose to make a plexiglass or wooden base. Screws may also be needed if attaching the laptray shelf to the flagpole holder with screws rather plexiglass glue.
- Paint (optional)
- Creating the laptray shelf:
- Table saw used to cut plexiglass
- Laptray must fit within armrests of wheelchair
- Bookshelf lip is an optional addition which needs to be cut to size and adhered with plexiglass glue.
- Round and sand edges to prevent any harm
- Miter saw can be used to cut down the edges and then smoothed down with a hand sander.
- Plexiglass glue can also be used to add on a bookshelf lip. Follow instructions on packaging. Clamps can be used to ensure proper placement of the lip onto the tray. This should be set to dry for 24-48 hours.
- Cutting plywood or plexiglass for stable base: Our base design was 18 inch wide by 7.25 inches deep with the tongue measuring 1foot in depth.
- The mount should stick out between the users legs without rubbing against skin.
- The width should be the same width of the cushion and the depth should be short enough that it ends at the mid thigh so it doesn’t add additional pressure to the sit bones. If fabricating a wooden base, be sure to sand and bevel wood to prevent rough edges and increase ease of sliding device under cushion.
- The laptray center mount- made out of plywood, use screws or contact cement to attach to plexiglass tray
- Mount flagpole holders to base using a drill and screws.
- If you choose to glue the plexiglass laptray shelf to the center mount follow instructions on contact cement packaging to securely adhere laptray shelf to center mount.
- Select the desired height for the dowel rod. The dowel rod should be a snug fit into the flagpole holder, use the knob to tighten the dowel rod into place at desired height.
- Allow the laptray and mounting system to dry over 24-48 hours prior to use. Dycem or Velcro can be added to the top of the tray to attach needed items such as phone or tablet.
- Prior to user getting into the chair, place the base of the laptray system under the cushion, using caution to prevent any damage to chair or cushion.
- Finally, be sure to adjust the flagpole holder at the base and mount to ensure accurate placement of device according to the users’ preference once the user is safely positioned in the chair.