It's not easy to bend wood, so I decided to let Ikea to the hard work for me. The POÄNG chair has all the curved wood you need to make a sturdy sled!
The Scandinavians are well known for their exceptional modernist design skills, both in furniture and architecture, and it seems fitting that Ikea's famous lounge chair easily doubles as a sled (see what I did there?).
Step 1: Tools & Materials
- Ikea POÄNG Chair: I sit in one of these every morning while I drink my coffee and read my blog feed. I absolutely love this chair, and I'll admit it was hard to cut it up. But the end result was worth it and it was fun in the process!
- Saw: I made 6 total cuts for the whole project. I used a battery powered circular saw, but any wood saw would do.
- Drill/Screw Gun: I drilled a few pilot holes and screwed the parts together. Any off-the shelf hand drill will do.
- Screws: I just used a handful of drywall screws and a few spare 3/4" wood screws for this project. Ideally, you would have a pile of 1 1/4" wood screws (countersunk) and two 3/4" wood screws.
Step 2: Assembling the Chair: Cutting the Parts
As you'll see in the youtube video, I just opened the box, looked at the parts, cut them into sections that seemed like they'd be useful, and started screwing stuff together.
I'll go through the finished product bit-by-bit so you can make your own if you feel so inclined.
The only cuts you have to make for this design are on the leg/arm parts. The basic idea is that you're making two flat skis with a radiused tip out of the leg and the armrest (Ski 1 and Ski2 in the image above).
That's all! You're done cutting. All the other parts remain intact except for sawing off the dowels on the struts that hold the legs together- these get in the way of some other parts as you'll see.
Step 3: Sled: Back Half
To make the back half of the sled, I used Ski 1 from the photo in step 2, one of the flat profile leg support beams, and one of the curved back supports.
- The back of the flat leg support screws into both Ski 1's about 8" from the flat back of the skis.
- Once the flat leg support is screwed to both skis at a right angle, I screwed in a curved back support so that it was centered on the flat leg support. This creates a spring action for the seat, kind of like a leaf spring on a car.
Step 4: Sled: Front Half
The front half is basically the same as the back half. It uses SKI 2 and has the other flat leg support attached so that it is flush with the back end of the ski.
Step 5: Attach the Sled Parts
Next, I attached the front and back sled parts end-to-end. With the curved and of the back sled touching the back end of the front sled on a flat surface, I toenailed some long screws through both. The structural connection here isn't that important, there are a lot of other connections holding the parts together.
If the spacing of the flat leg supports is correct, the seat will fit perfectly so that the seat supports line up with the curved back supports.
Step 6: Attach the Seat
First, I put the seat together per Ikea's instructions. The two curved seat supports slide into the fabric sleeves and bolt into the sides of the seat.
Once the seat was assembled, I screwed the curved seat supports into the curved back supports sticking up on the back and front parts of the sled.
Step 7: Side Struts
The sides struts are really important. Without them this thing would snap in half at the first bump.
Setting the sled on its side, I used the back rails as the side struts. With the pockets facing out and the notched end facing forward, I screwed the back rails into the sled in 3 place: two places in the side of the seat, and one in the front ski.
Mirroring this on the other side gave me a very sturdy finished product.
Step 8: Cross Beam
The last step is to add a cross beam to keep the front skis in line. For this I used the last curved back support and screwed it in towards the front.
Step 9: Shoot the Slopes!
I'm a little embarrassed to admit this was my first time sledding. I grew up in South Louisiana; it snowed once when I was 7, and there were no hills to sled on.
That being said, it seemed to work pretty well except there's really no way to steer. I got a lot of compliments from passers-by, molded plywood looks a lot classier than brightly colored plastic!