Assigned a project in my theatre workshop class, I was directed to pick a theme and build furniture based on the theme. So with focusing on Batman I saught a project to learn many new things (welding, working with wooden curves, sewing, fabrics, etc.). In all, it turned out very well, though I had to abandon it when I moved back overseas. It's comfy, it can rotate up and down (even to face straight out) and it can light up (mostly) like the real thing!
My drawings and measurements are metric, so if you use imperial measurements (and correspondingly buy materials in imperial) you'll have to tweak and possibly redo the drawing/measurements to suit your needs. Also, my numbers are a bit wacky (for example, the drum is 1152mm in diameter rather than my intended 1.2m). Many of these odd numbers are a result of mistakes I made during my process. I wanted to learn, and so I didmaking many mistakes along the way. As wacky as some numbers are here, I have used them in this instructable because I know for a physically-constructed fact that they work. And as to the pictures, I did the project nearly two years ago now; I took pictures for what I could--planning for an instructable eventually--but was sometimes too caught up in building and learning for pictures. But that's the point, right?
A final warning: this project isn't super low-waste (mostly for plywood), nor is it super low cost (assuming you have access to all the tools, it's about $300 to buy all the materials/fastners/paints). You will, however, end up with a bizarre and unique piece of furniture that tells well your skills and obsessions.
Skills/tools: In this project, you will [learn to] weld steel, plane wood, staple-gun fabric, paint with a very viscous paint, cut fabric, cut wood, cut and de-burr metal, sew stretchy and non-stretchy fabrics, drill metal and wood, use a router to plunge-cut and to edge, sand, and glue. Though not in that order. It's a lot of skills (and access to a lot of tools), and definitely a good project to learn a wide range. That said: IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PROPERLY TRAINED IN ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY DANGEROUS IN THIS PROJECT, PLEASE ONLY DO SO WITH SOMEONE EXPERIENCED WHO CAN TEACH YOU PROPERLY. Wear safety glasses when appropriate (i.e. all the time) and hearing protection when using loud cutting tools, fume protection while painting, and all kinds of protection while welding. Be safe, build well, learn much, and have fun!
7.7m length 3mm thick MDF, 700mm wide
2 sheets of 1200mm square, 19mm thick plywood (or one sheet 2440 x 1220)
8.6 m of 25mm square steel tubing
1.8 m of 50mm square steel tubing
4 steel plates - approx 100mm x 25mm x 3mm, exact size not crucial
2 steel plates - 50mm x 50mm x 3mm
2 x 150 mm long M16 hex-head bolts
8 x M16 nuts
8 x M16 washers
8 x 30 mm long M12 Coach Bolts
32 x M12 washers
8 x M12 locking nuts (or use 16 normal nuts, 2 for each bolt)
heaps of staples
32 x 25mm long wood screws
24 x 40mm long wood screws
a medium-small bottle of wood glue
a medium-small tub of wood-filler
1L paint primer (preferably white)
1L hammer tone/hammered finish paint
1 can spray-on (or small can of brush on) clear coat lacquer
1.5m stretchy white fabric (the stretchier the better - optimally lycra/spandex)
1.5m stretchy black fabric (the stretchier the better - optimally lycra/spandex)
1.5m strong, static (not stretchy) white fabric
4m length of rounded black/grey foam padding (like water pipe insulation)
Make sure to download the PDF attached to this intro; it contains the drawings for this whole project. Useful stuff.
Step 1: Research and Design
The first step was to search for inspiration. I found many pictures of all kinds of bat signals from all eras and mediums of Batman, and decided to create a composite design for the look of it. You can see design elements in the couple of pictures attached here (found via Google images) from a couple toys, a drawing, and from the set of Batman Begins.
In addition, I looked for some pictures of papasan chairs so I could get an reference for the amount of dip I would need to be comfortable. In addition, a friend measured their papasan to have a diameter of 1170mm, so I used that as a beginning point in my design.
To figure out the dimensions of things, I sketched what I wanted in 3D in Vectorworks (starting in Google SketchUp for rough ideas), working through a number of revisions until I ended up with the PDF attached here. Each revision either brought me closer to what I wanted, or else compensated for my mistakes while building.