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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Metal Chair: Part 2

Alright, I gotta be honest. It's been a while since this project, and I'm not sure I can describe it as well as I did for the first post. But I'm going to try my best! 

Where I left off on the last post, I had just finished bending the metal for the back and seat.


I bent the tops of the sides to make the corners and welded them together at the center. 


And then I cut and mitered a piece for the back of the seat. 


That got welded together too, but I don't think I have a photo. 


These half-circles are cut into the ends of the bars for the back of the chair. They fit around the back of the base of the chair, like so: 


That welding is a little janky, probably should have spent a little more time on it. 

A chair with a completely open back doesn't make a whole lot of sense, so next up was cutting and molding wood. 


So we got this weird foam thing. Can't remember what it's called, but here's what we did: 
1. Glue it all together to make one big block
2. Trace the outline of the back of the chair onto the block
3. Cut the block along that line using the bandsaw


And then we put several sheets of this bendy wood in between the two pieces of foam and clamped it. This sat overnight, and when the clamps came off, the wood was the exact contour as the metal for the back of the chair. 


Like that! 


Then I used some scrap plywood to cut out the shape for the bottom.


I didn't want the wood to be visible in the final chair, so I bent sheet metal to cover the back: 


And cut out sheet metal and welded it onto the bottom of the base. 


And remember the last picture in the last post? Here's what it turned into: 


Probably the best finished piece out of the whole project. Too bad it's one of the least visible pieces. Oh well!

That circle is for the top of the new base design. Unfortunately, I can't find a picture of the sketch I made, so I'm gonna tell you about it with real pictures: 

I started out by laser cutting a pattern, using the same curves as the back of the chair. 


And then I bent four pieces of metal to be the legs. 


I used the same curves as the back of the chair. 


Not all the legs were completely straight, so I cut, rotated and welded back together a few of them. This ended up working in my favor - it gave the metal a nice texture when I painted it. 


I cut them all down to the same length and cut half-circles into the top. These half-circles fit around the circle I made for the top of the base. 


Like this: 


You can see how the base was attached to an adjustable-height thingy (I think it's called piano bench hardware?)...but that's a story for the next post! We're also gonna talk about the upholstering and more structural stuff I put into the base. 

See you in two weeks! 
-Taft WK


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