Heh. The first time I typed the title, it read, “How to Buld a Toe Tent….”. Pam’s sensitive feet or no, PVC pipe or no, maybe I should have left it that way. Certainly would have made Googlers wonder, maybe enough to click on the link. Ya think?
Seriously, though, my wife’s feet have problems. Let me list the ways:
2. Plantar fasciitis.
3. Bullet shrapnel fragments in both feet and ankles. A guy once shot her, twice, .357 Magnum rusty home reloaded hollow points. That was more than 20 years ago…and she’s still walking.
4. Gout, the kind “only” men usually get. My redhead’s a high-testosterone chick.
5. Calcium fusion of one big toe joint. She kicked through a steel bathroom door once, when she was 26, rescuing a panicked (and screaming) gal the malfunctioning door mechanism had locked inside. Problem was, she hadn’t yet gone through martial arts training, hit the door toe-first.
6. The feet’s share of her total body fibromyalgia.
With all that going on, her feet are just a tad touchy. (Yes, I’m understating. Wildly.) As long as I’ve known her, heavy blankets have been a problem for her tootsies.
Today, 15 years and some months into our relationship, I finally did something about that. Researching “toe tents for sensitive feet” on the Internet was the first step. There were some cheap metal “blanket hangers” that looked absolutely worthless. A few other available designs looked a bit better…and then a page surfaced which showed several toe tent designs built from PVC pipe.
The owners of that website sell their end products. For several reasons, though, I rejected the idea of buying from them. Their contraptions all feature 1/2″ PVC and reinforcing crossbars which would present toe-hazards in themselves, their sizes were not meant for the 17″ deep latex mattress Pam uses, I could build for $10 what they were selling for $40, and that extra-thick mattress of Pam’s meant we could get away with using 1″ pipe.
There’s little point in listing the precise measurements of Pam’s new toe tent. They’re scaled to work with her specific bed, which is hardly “standard” by any stretch of the imagination.
But you might get an idea or two for your own construction from the photos below.
Building materials required:
–15 feet (approx.) of 1″ PVC pipe
–Two 45 degree elbows
–A whole bag of 90 degree elbows
–Purple PVC primer
–Clear PVC glue
Oops. Got so involved, priming and gluing and such, that I forgot to take pictures during assembly until this point (see below). My bad.
The local wildlife–at least one chickadee–simply had to stop by, hanging out in the shadow of a nearby mesquite tree to size up the contraption. Not until the photo reached the computer screen did I notice the bright blue bit of trash lying on the ground beneath its tail.
Having the bird come in so close, to a range of no more than eight feet, was an honor. Local chickadees are usually mighty flighty, wary little things. Which makes sense. Were I that size, I’d be wary, too.
Two more 90 degree elbows and one crossbar later, the toe tent is completed. All that remains now is to clean it up a bit (since it was assembled outside on bare dirt to avoid getting too many glue fumes going in the house).
Next, removing the blankets from Pam’s bed–a simple process, since she was away from home for the day. Much safer for the husband. Less likely to be criticized for doing “it” the wrong way.
Note: The holes in the sheet are not because my wife’s husband is too cheap to buy her decent bedding. Gato cat simply likes to crawl under the covers…and chew.
How to install the PVC pipe toe tent? Just jam–uh, slip the bottom portion of the assembly in between the mattress and (in this case) the comforter padding the solid wood platform upon which the ultra-deep mattress rests.
With a thinner mattress, the 1″ pipe, especially at the elbows, might produce lumps to bother the sleeper. But with 17″ of latex, and at the foot end, that’s not an issue.
…and finally, a blanket is draped over the bed, toe tent and all.
A few details:
A. The angled blanket draping over the end would touch the toes of a tall person…but Pam is five feet even (if not less these days, thanks to osteoporosis).
B. My wife is a creature of routine. Changes can be traumatic for her at times, and adjustments take a while. Meaning, she was not comfortable with nothing touching her feet in bed. So she had me set up her top sheet and a light blanket the “normal” way, just keeping the heavier (brown) blanket up, up and away.
C. The “tent peak” looks in the photos like it’s wa-ay up there, but in fact it only clears the toes of an up-pointed Pam-foot by a few inches…and she has some restless nights.
D. When winter comes back around, we may need to buy a larger blanket for additional draping over the toe tent. But not until then.
Pam is sleeping now, or at least faking it really well. Her tootsies are tucked under the PVC pipe toe tent. It’s (of course) a good thing I was able to tackle this project while she was gone earlier in the day. Being a husband, I obviously can’t do much of anything right without female supervision when she happens to be in the vicinity.
Such as cleaning up a bit of loose cat hair. Apparently, if I don’t use Lysol wet wipes, I’ve failed the hair picker-upper test.
Not complaining, just explaining. Every married man out there knows whereof I speak. Tackle the in-home tasks while your honey is out gallivanting around; save the outside chores for when she’s parked in front of the TV.
In the morning, when she is parked in front of the TV, I’ll check to see what she thought of the toe tent as a sleeper helper. If there’s a problem with it, I’ll let you know. Otherwise, consider the procedure outlined here as at least one way to build (not “buld”) a toe tent for sensitive feet using PVC pipe.
How to tweak it to fit your own situation? Not a clue…but I’m betting you’ll figure it out.