La-z-boy Reclaimed





Introduction: La-z-boy Reclaimed

About: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (39 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more messing about with tools

I saw an old dirty La-Z-Boy chair at the side of the road and thought "well what can I make from that"

Everything used in this project was rescued from skips with the exception of the screws which were in an "end of line" basket at Mitre10 ($5 instead of $26:50) and the Macrocarpia used on the arms which was from an old garden Table and Benches I bought for $80 from "freecycle" (I still have over 90% of the wood left)

Step 1: Get in the Car Chair!!

Fortunately La-Z-Boys separate into 2 pieces and it fits nicely in the back of the car.

The mechanism is seized and the handle has snapped off but home it goes.

Although very dirty, it isn't in really bad condition, however as it was free it doesn't really matter what I do with it.

I was tempted to just clean it and use it in my workshop shed, but nooooooooooooooooo

Step 2: Free Up the Mechanism

I gave the pivoting mechanism a good spray with CRC (NZ's equivalent of WD40 (interestingly Australia's version is quaintly known as "Start Ya Bastard!))

Let it soak for a couple of minutes and it all worked nicely

Step 3: The Frame

I found this pic on the internet and it gave me the idea of what to do.

Originally La-Z-Boy chairs were garden furniture, so lets turn it back into that.

So all the leather needs to go

Step 4: Stripping for Fun!

I thought it would take about half an hour to get the leather off --- boy was I wrong!!

Many hours later it was done, I don't know exactly how long but I recall counting to infinity.---TWICE. (actually it took about 5 hours)

There were about 2000 staples holding the leather on, and each had to be eased out with a screwdriver and pliers. I also removed the seat springs and webbing (I have a neat upcycle idea for that too!)

Blood was spilled during this as the chair fought back from being naked!!

I have kept some of the leather as with a bit of a clean, I am sure I can use it for something!

Step 5: We Can Rebuild It!

I used some left over offcuts of cedar tongue and groove to panel out the 2 sides, these were pieces that were too short after I had panelled my shed ceiling.

I also gave all the wood a coat of oil stain in order to give some preservation against the elements. This was put on with a piece of sponge (recycled from the upholstery)

Step 6: The Back

I cut a bunch of 50mm wide slats from some 12mm plywood (marine ply) and attached them to the back frame.

Once again the ply was a skip find

Step 7: Seat Base

Did similar to the seat base, this time with 18mm flooring ply - also a skip find

Step 8: Footrest

More of the same with 12mm ply

Step 9: Arms

I figured that the arms needed a bit of beefing up, so I used some Macrocarpia from an old garden bench.

The underside was routed out to fit over the ply arms and then screwed in place from underneath.

I am considering whether to cut a "beer can" hole in the arm.

I also had to reshape one of the back slats to allow the recline action to work

Now it all needs some more stain

Step 10: And There It Is -- Job Done

Time to enjoy it, Total Cost less than $12 BARGAIN

Trash to Treasure Contest 2017

First Prize in the
Trash to Treasure Contest 2017



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72 Discussions

This is awesome, and I think I'll show it to the Mr., in case he feels motivated some weekend. We already have the bedbug free recliner sitting in our garage, as I bought a new one a week ago. I'll even pull all those wretched staples if he'll do the rest. Thank you so much for the wonderful instructable, it's a truly amazing example of making junk into something very cool and valuable.

1 reply

Thank you, have fun - it is quite relaxing destroying things before you repair them

Great job, I will be looking for one of these on garbage cleanup days.

1 reply

Awesome. I envy you sitting there, drinking a beer, and deciding what to build next.

1 reply

Oh I don't get time to sit down, the mistress beats me when I stop.?


1 year ago

Time is money too but still a bargain at $ 12. GREAT JOB

1 reply

Correct, unless you do it at work when someone else is paying!!! ?

Amazing. Brilliant. Fantastic.

My wife has MS and there is a direct connection to not getting enough Vitamin D. This would be great for her when I am BBQing (add some shopping cart wheels and my boy can wheel her all over the yard!)

Another project on my "to-do" list. Thanks for sharing, hope you win (I voted!)

1 reply

I have managed to find a second one so that's my weekend goosed!! Thanks for the vote

You still have a chance at the Epilog and Remix if you add a link to another project of the same thing. But you need to add it to the contest right now.

It's a shame I showed my wife your chair and she liked it. Well good luck in Trash to Treasure.

Damn, I wish I had thought of that! I got rid of mine last summer because the material and stuffing were failing. Having an outdoor recliner would have been so cool. If I ever come across another, I'll snag it right up!

2 replies

I imagine I have sent prices of old lazyboys rocketing - probably $2 by now!!!!!!!!!

i live near venice, southern california. there three a week in the alleys.