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[icon] Engineering help: booster seat for car - Patti
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Subject:Engineering help: booster seat for car
Time:12:22 am
In days of yore, you could get a parade boot for convertibles. That allowed people to sit on top of the convertible well in parades and not harm the (rather delicate) mechanism. Unfortunately, such a beast isn't available for my car.

I'm trying to figure out how to make what is effectively a booster seat for the back seat of my car. The back seat is on the order of 42 inches wide, and I would want to make something that was about 18 inches tall and 16 inches deep. It doesn't have to be super durable, but it needs to be able to hold two not-terribly-small people for about half an hour of smiling and waving, but it needs to be reasonably stable. Not damaging the car is also important.

My first thought is to use an expanding foam to mold something. I know that this stuff is sometimes used for creating custom race car seats, so it should be workable for this. I could line the bejeezus out of the back seat with plastic tarps, use a board along the front edge of the seat to get the right depth, then pour in some expanding foam. When it's cured, I'd trim the top of it to the right size, and then cover it with more plastic.

Other ideas? Something with upholstery foam perhaps? Or something beanbag-ish?

I just did a compression test with styrofoam, since I had some sheets of it sitting around. I stood on one foot on a 3" styrofoam sheet for one minute, and it compressed less than a quarter of an inch.
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adbjupe
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Time:2010-06-22 07:59 am (UTC)
I've seen pretty stiff stuff made of corrugated board.
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rmd
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Time:2010-06-22 09:27 am (UTC)
My first thought would be some beanbaggy stuff or maybe a thick layer of soft foam at the bottom to match the seat contours, then several sheets of the pink house insulation foam that's several inches thick, and then some soft foam on top for cushioning, all hot glued and maybe covered in some kind of fabric. also, two milk crates or something for the floor in front of the seat so they have somewhere to put their feet.

for bonus points, try to make sure that the seat belts could be fastened around it to help keep it in place in case of bumps or jostling.
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crayonbeam
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Time:2010-06-22 01:51 pm (UTC)
I know time is short, but maybe there is some Ikea-level quality kid's sized sofa that could be trimmed to fit or rainbowy stuff could be put around it if it were too small.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Kids-Sofa-Sleeper-In-Your-Choice-of-Colors/10153946

Wood for shape covered by foam seems strong, but not sure how you'd attach it.

Will they need a step stool in the foot well to get up to the top/rest their feet?
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jcdill
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Time:2010-06-23 09:25 pm (UTC)
+1 on the modify something from Ikea idea. It's likely to be the least expensive and fastest solution.
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gunga_galunga
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-06-22 03:56 pm (UTC)
Do the rear seats fold down so you could build some sort of wood frame with a bench on it that is supported by the trunk floor and the floor of the backseat?

Otherwise, I kind of like the idea of two beanbag chairs with a 2x10 sitting across them, with maybe a couple of pillows on that so that your participants are a little more comfortable.
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-06-22 05:23 pm (UTC)
Nope, the seat doesn't fold down.
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jcdill
Subject:modifying
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-06-22 05:20 pm (UTC)
How about finding a boot for some other model, and modifying it as necessary to fit your car? It would seem to me that this would be easier than trying to reinvent the wheel.

I would think that there are a lot of old parade boots out there, bought to use once then not used again.

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/pts/1799447781.html

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whipartist
Subject:Re: modifying
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-06-22 05:22 pm (UTC)
One of the problems is that the Eclipse top sticks up a lot more than most convertibles when it's down. Plus, $700.
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gunga_galunga
Subject:Re: modifying
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-06-22 05:35 pm (UTC)
What is your budget? You could buy a bolt on trailer hitch then weld together a triangular bracket that has two supports sit on the floor and one that goes into the hitch receiver. Then you could build a seat on that. Seems like you could build it for < $100 + cost of the hitch.

Something like this:



Edited at 2010-06-22 05:36 pm (UTC)
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[icon] Engineering help: booster seat for car - Patti
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