Wood is one of the most beautiful materials in the world to work with. We created this couch using exposed walnut, and with sustainability, fit for purpose and comfortability in mind. I have received numerous compliments, and even some offers for my walnut chesterfield couch.
Please have a look at this instructable, to see just how easy it is to make your own.
Step 1: The Design
The most important step of any project is the design step. Although many aspects of the couch can be altered, the following guidelines are recommended:
1. The width of the couch should be between 400 - 500 mm for optimal seat depth.
2. The seating height, including cushions, should be about 400 mm depending on your preference.
3. The front cross beam, should be slightly higher than the back, to allow for a bucket seat effect, 20 - 40 mm should be sufficient
4. In our design the armrest is about 400 mm from the cushions, which is slightly to high. I would recommend a length smaller than 400 mm
5. In our design, we planned to outline the couch with walnut, this the back mantel trim, underside trim and leg design for which we intended for expensive wood, and the rest for a common wood.
6. Lastly, for the upholstery, an edge of at least 20 mm should be left for the thumbnails to hold the leather, in our case.
Step 2: Building the Base Framework
Compared to other woodworking projects, building the framework for a couch is simpler than most people think.
The design uses dove tail joins, and creates a simple base frame on which all other components can be mounted. It is important that the width of the wood used for the base is thick enough to be able to mounted the upper frame. We used 50mm wooden planks.
In the picture, we already completed the base frame, and started to saw and place the back upper framework.
The front arm rests and connecting braces between the front and back armrests are not showed in the picture, this also need to be cut and fitted.
Step 3: Jig Sawing the Back Mantel
Since this couch was our first attempt, we were unsure of the integrity of the couch, should the back mantel be multiple pieces, since this was the only method of in our opinion of tightly binding all the back components.
We used a 50 mm walnut plank, that was about 300 mm wide and jigsawed this to the pattern in the picture. It was no joke, working with such expensive wood, we needed a 270 degree turning circle for 2000 mm long plank, which is near impossible in any garage.
As a result, from our experience, perhaps using multiple pieces is a better approach.
We used a flexible ruler to draw the template on the plank, and used carefully placed points, to transfer the design symmetrically. (for example, dividing the wood plank up into a grid)
Step 4: Designing the Legs
For this step we used a lathe,
It is important that when you design, you take into account how much wood you have, and what the thickness is that you can have for all the leg components.
In our case, we have just about 150mm of length and 90mm of width to design something special. To do this we needed to have a design that elegantly uses the depth available, while keeping a simplistic design.
The design started of with a ring, leading into a ball, that ends in another ring, which is where that tapering off starts, and to finish the design, we added another ring floating within the heel.
Step 5: Leaving the Rest to the Upholsterers
Now that the entire frame for the couch is completed, the project can be taken to any upholsterer in your area. We chose the leather to be used, explained the button design, and left the rest to the upholsterer, which did the following:
1. He inserted springs at the bottom and on the back of the seating area, for the most comfortable support.
2. He used foam, leather and thumbnails to cover the entire couch.
3. He provided the to cushions, as per our design.