I think a smaller version of this will be my next venture. I've been looking something to make it easier for larger older people to get in and out of the pool...
The planking is a product from Home Depot advertised on the shelf as "Garage Door Trim".
It comes in 8 or 10 foot lengths and is 5 1/2 inches wide by 3/4 thick.
It is very light (the 10 footer comes in around 2-3 pounds)
It has 1/4 inch deep ridges on the underside. The top surface has a wood grain effect which in my opinion provides a decent non slip surface.
It looks as though it is designed to be painted over, since who would want a bright white wood finish.
The cost is about $16 for the 10'. I used nine of the 10s and one 8 footer.
Just over half of the total cost came from the planking.
I secured them to the 1 1/4 PVC tube with 3" countersunk galvanized machine screws/lock nuts.
About $26 for a box of 100 and I used 98.
If I can find a good online source, I will replace with stainless next year.
(no sign of corrosion yet after 6 weeks submerged)
1 1/4 pvc sched 40 tubing. I used 10 10 footers.
I bought all of the unions online since I needed 4 and 5 ways which HD did not sell.
They are furniture grade PVC connectors which I was happy to use since they have smoothed/beveled edges. The sched 40 ones were a bit rough.
They cannot be used for plumbing.
I used a combination of approx 30 T / 3 / 4 and 5 ways at about $2 a piece incl shipping from US Plastics http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/def...arentcatid=690
Regular PVC cement.
The planking is not as sturdy as I originally looked for, so I had to reduce the span width between tube supports to 24 inches.
I would recommend 16" inch since my family are somewhat light weights.
The whole thing took about 5-6 hours to build (maybe less if you are more used to working with PVC plumbing tube/unions).
Note from experience: work from one corner to the opposite.
Think about how the next 2 to 4 unions will go together and will the frame bend in that location to accommodate 2 joints at once.
I tried to connect 3 pipe ends to one union at the same time but it was not easy and I would recommend thinking ahead and trying to avoid.
Clean up the unions as you do each one since once the glue is dry it is much harder to remove and causes imperfections at the joints.
Very Important: Remember to drill about 1/2 inch holes at all corners if you want it to be sunk.
The whole thing weighed about 120 lbs.
Easy for 2 to carry to the pool but it took 4 people to lift over the edge.
At first it made a nice floating island. The PVC tubes and unions and hence frame would sink with no problems. But the planking is very buoyant.
Once I stood in the middle of it, it became apparent that at least 100 lbs was needed to sink it (once all of the bubbles came out of the frame) I went for rocks but will be rethinking this next year.