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Picture of How to make a PVC chair
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In this Instructable, you will learn how to build your own PVC chair that will be able to hold an actual person. In order to have a solid chair that will properly hold a person it is vital that all measurements are accurate and carefully cut out so that all the dimensions are correct. Also in this Instructable you will learn some basic skills from the program, Solidworks, in order to design your own model before you actually build the chair with the real parts. Constructing a model on Solidworks is beneficial because it shows you exactly how you will build your real chair. 

The following materials are needed to build the chair:
1inch PVC pipe
PVC fittings (5 different kinds)
         Cross                                  Quantity= 16
         T-outlet                               Quantity=12
         90 degree elbow              Quantity=2
         T side outlet                       Quantity=8
         90 degree side outlet       Quantity=8
         Cross- side outlet              Quantity=2
PVC cutters
Sharpie
Solidworks Program and computer (if you choose to design a prototype, but it's not necessary)



 
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Step 1: Basic Solidworks Skills

Creating PVC pipe with extrude and cut:
Select a new part 
Click sketch tab in the main toolbar then click sketch button
Select the circle sketch tool
Drag the circle out from the origin Select smart dimension
Click on the outside of the circle and edit the circumference
Enter your desired circumference
Click save sketch by clicking the icon on the top right
Click on the features tab and go to extruded boss/base
Extrude the pipe to your desired length
Select the circle tool and click on the circular face of the pipe
Drag out the circle
Go to smart dimension and enter the circumference.
Save sketch by clicking on the green arrow on the top right
Click on features tab and go to extruded cut
Drag the red arrow all the way to the end of the pipe in order to cut through the whole thing
Save sketch by clicking the green arrow on the top right


Mating A Pipe With A Fitting (Mating With Axis and Inner Lip):
When you open Solidworks, select assembly
Open the fitting and the pipe
Select mate on the top toolbar
Highlight the circular circumference of the pipe and then click and highlight the inner lip, then they will automatically mate together.

These skills should help you to design a prototype, where you can see how to build the chair.


Step 2: Making Custom Pieces on Solidworks

Custom Semi-Circle Piece:
Open Solidworks
Go to top plane
Use circle tool to make a circle with a radius of .65625
Go to front plane
Use arc tool to make a semi circle with a radius of 1.65625
Exit sketch
Extrude swept boss base
Highlight circular face and make and use circle tool to make a circle with radius .53125
Extrude cut through piece

Step 3: Preparing To Build

Picture of Preparing To Build
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Before you start building the sub assemblies, you have to cut out all of the PVC pipe and gather the fittings. 
The following lengths and quantities are:

PVC 14.5in         Quantity     7
PVC 5in               Quantity 14
PVC 2.25in         Quantity  2
PVC 2.5in           Quantity  8
PVC 10.25in       Quantity  4
PVC 7.5in           Quantity  4
PVC 11in            Quantity  3
PVC 8.5in           Quantity  4
PVC 4.5in           Quantity  4
PVC 2in              Quantity  18

The PVC pipe comes in a very long size, so use a ruler to mark the length you need and then use the PVC cutters to cut them out.

Step 4: Back Assembly

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The chair is broken down into 3 sub assemblies. The back of the chair, the head-rest, the seat, and legs.

The first sub assembly that is advised to build first is the back of the chair:
As you can see in the final picture there is 3 spines that make up the back of the chair.
Start with the the left spine.
The order of the fittings from top to bottom should be T-piece, T-piece, T-piece, Cross, Cross, T-piece, T-piece, Cross-side outlet.
In between each fitting put the 2in pipe, all the fitting should be flush together.
Repeat this same process for the right spine. They should be identical.

For the center spine, the order from top to bottom is cross, cross, cross, cross, cross, cross, cross, and t. 
These fittings should be flush to each other with the 2in PVC in between to connect them. 

After all three spines are made, take the 5in PVC to connect all three spines. So the 5in will connect the left spine to the middle and the right spine to the middle.



Step 5: Head Rest Sub Assembly

Picture of Head Rest Sub Assembly
For the head rest, you need the following fittings:
4 90-degree elbows
1 T-fitting

Take the four elbows and lay them out so that they make a square.
Insert 2.5 inch pipe in between the side elbows.
Insert 4.5 inch pipe in between the top elbows.
The T-fitting connects the bottom two elbows with 2.5 in PVC in between, and the T-fitting also connects to the cross of the back of the chair.

Step 6: Seat Sub Assembly

Picture of Seat Sub Assembly
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The next sub assembly you should build is the seat. 

The seat is made up of 3 rows. The 3 bars are all 11in.
Lay out two t pieces across from each other and put the 11in piece in between. 
Repeat that same thing for the second bar. 
For the third bar the 11in piece will connect two 90degree side outlets.
Connect the three bars with 4.5in PVC.
The order of the bars from the back of the chair to the front is the t-bar, the t-bar, and then the 90 side outlet bar.


Step 7: Legs Sub Assembly

Picture of Legs Sub Assembly
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The last sub assembly is the legs of the chair.

The legs have two sections, with a square separating the two sections.
The top half is the 4 pieces of 6.5 in PVC.
Connect the 4 pieces into each of the four corners.
Then at the end of those four pipes, put on t-side outlet  fittings.
Next you will make the square that separates the two sections of the legs.
Put 14.5 in PVC into the t side oulets to make the square.
Next for the lower half of the legs, insert 4 pieces of 10.5 in PVC into all the fittings.
At the end of all the four pipes, put on 90-degree elbows facing toward the middle of the base.
All four 90-degree elbows will connect to a cross piece in the center with 9in PVC.

Step 8: Combining Sub Assemblies

Picture of Combining Sub Assemblies
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Take the seat with the legs which should already be connected from the last step, and connect them into the crosses of the back of the chair.
Then on the top of the back of the chair, the cross will be sticking up and that is where the head-rest will go on.
Connect the head-rest to that middle cross.
Now the chair should be complete except for the bends that you have to add to the back of the chair. 

Step 9: Bending Pieces For The Back

Picture of Bending Pieces For The Back
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For the custom bends for the back of the chair, you will need the following materials:

PVC pipe heater
Gloves to protect your hands
A cold wet rag to help cool down pipe and re-harden it

To begin you must measure the length from the middle of one pipe to the middle of the other pipe where the bending is occurring.
Cut the pipe to that length.
Place the pipe in the heater.
Heat the pipe for 5 minutes, rotating it 180 degrees every 30 seconds.
It is important to make sure you rotate it so that all sides are heated the same amount.
Once the 5 minutes is up, take out the pipe and bend it into the semi circle shape.
Stick it in the two holes where it is going to go and hold it there.
While you are holding it there have someone else take the wet rag and run it over the pipe to help it harden.