Last week I posted Part 1 and Steve Jones gave some grief about not posting some pictures (rightfully so) of the pile of plywood, so this week we have some pictures. But first, some commentary!
The next evening I had some time I finished up the footstool, you can see it upside down being painted behind the chair. It took just over an hour to get the tools out, do the cutouts, get it all fastened together.
The session after that I finished the basic chair as you can see below. I had to run to the store first for the lag bolts that hold it together, then about 1.5 hours to do the cutouts on the sides, cut the three cross pieces, bolt it together, and then cut and apply the arms. The hardest part was the layout of the cutouts. Well, it actually doesn’t matter if they don’t exactly match, but the angle on the back bottom – the rocker part – needs to match, as do the holes. Couple tricks you can use if you build one. One is to build a layout stick that is 2-3/4” to 3” wide to draw in the offsets. Another is to layout the three holes (front of seat, back of seat, top of seat) and draw in the offset based on lines between the three holes. Having the holes line up does matter if you want to sit on a level seat, so I stacked them and drilled the holes in both pieces at once. Ideally you’d do the cutouts the same way, but 1.5 in of plywood is a lock for a jigsaw.
The plan calls for AC grade plywood, I used some 11mm birch I had left over from another project. I didn’t have enough 2x4 for the cross pieces, so the top backing board is 2x6 – I could have ripped it down, but it doesn’t matter so I didn’t! It’s a hefty chair, feels solid, the lag bolts very effective at holding it together. Outside on the patio the rok-bak feature worked well, but couldn’t really decide if I liked it because I don’t have the headrest on it yet. The seat angle seems ok, but the seam seems a little high, may trip an inch or so off the bottom. I took it inside to test and the rocker part doesn’t work as well, on carpet it seems a bit off center, wanting to lean back rather than stay forward. Adjusting the angle of the rocker might fix that. The footrest seems ok, but without the cushions wasn’t quite comfortable.
Next step is to add the headrest and trim the bottom a little, then try it out with seat cushions. I like the idea of making my own (kind the point, right?), but want to see if I’m going to like the chair or not first. As you can tell from the splash of paint it’s going to get painted, mostly because I like the kids to help me and painting is one way to do that, even if it doesn’t turn out well sometimes, the footrest has about a 1/4 of paint on the bottom!
In terms of skills, this is doable for a beginner. You’ll need at least a jigsaw and drill, useful to have a circular saw. I’d say the hardest part is the layout of the cutting lines, and you’ll probably need a little help while you do the cutting and then again when you screw the sides together. It’s fun and useful, and probably costs $50 to make not counting cushions (get the good plywood!).
Hopefully next week I’ll finish it up and have some final photos. Then to decide – does it go in the house, to the office, or will I raffle it off at SQLSaturday, or ship it to PASS so I can have my chair when I pick my networking spot? We’ll see!