I always wanted to make a bent plywood chair so I went ahead and made this prototype. I used compression mold to curve the plywood and a water based resin glue to put the bendy ply together.

I decided to make a simple design that would be broken down into 7 different pieces:
• Front leg (x2)
• Back Leg (x2)
• Arm rest -connecting front and back leg- (x2)
• Seat

The seat is elegantly supported from the edges of the branching legs creating a bridge between the front and the back legs. The ramification of the legs not only split in two directions with the same angle to each side generating a consistent flow in the legs but also creating the armrest. The biggest design challenge was creating the partition in the legs that become part of the armchair and seat. The front legs start thick from the ground and bend forward to become the seat and also backwards to become the armrests which then come down as the back legs. The ramification was the whole concept around the project, which made it an interesting detail.

Material: Poplar bendy ply and red oak veneer
Molds: Random scrap plywood
Strip of plastic (x2) for quick and clean unmold
DAP® Weldwood® Plastic Resin Glue
Biscuit Joints
to put the 7 pieces together

Step 1: Testing Ergonomics

Making a full size prototype is helpful to check dimensions and proportions.

Testing the ergonomics to verify if the angles and lengths are comfortable.
<p>A very good design, cheap, but looks like an expensive chair from the furniture store. Needs a lot of work, but I'm very sure you are very satisfied with your perfect job. I like it.</p>
<p>A very good design, cheap, but looks like an expensive chair from the furniture store. Needs a lot of work, but I'm very sure you are very satisfied with your perfect job. I like it.</p>
<p>A very good design, cheap, but looks like an expensive chair from the furniture store. Needs a lot of work, but I'm very sure you are very satisfied with your perfect job. I like it.</p>
<p>A very good design, cheap, but looks like an expensive chair from the furniture store. Needs a lot of work, but I'm very sure you are very satisfied with your perfect job. I like it.</p>
Exelente trabajo, me gustaria aprender m&aacute;s sobre las tecnicas para curvar que se pueden hacer, hay algun libro o web donde pueda mirar? Un saludo y enhorabuena.
<p>Muchas gracias. Hay mucha informacion y videos en instructables o en youtube. Un libro que recomiendo: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Manual-Wood-Bending-ebook/dp/B002TKKP4A" rel="nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Manual-Wood-Ben...</a></p><p>Saludos!</p>
<p>really amazing. the chair is lovely and looks more elegant, and more comfortable than an Eames plywood guest chair. so your $100 beat the $1,000 competition. </p>
<p>nice carpentry skills!</p>
I want one Ale!!!
this is really a beautifull design with low cost....thanks for sharing this post
This is beautiful!
Beautifully done. Thanks for the very clear step-by-steps. Were I to try something similar - which I'm certain would be worth it all, with thanks to you - I'd consider a few changes: <br>1. To have the front and back legs bent from the same pieces of ply as the back and seat. The grains would be continuous that way adding harmony and congruity. Yes it will complicate the molding quite a bit but that, frequently, is the self-imposed challenge of an artist. <br>2. To have the back high enough to serve as a rest for both the shoulders and the head. <br>3. To give longer legs to the chair. It would be more comfortable for me that way. <br> <br>Thanks for your enthusiasm and ingenuity. It is a beautiful accomplishment!
best thing i've seen on here in a long time!
Others have said this already, but: beautiful object, well written 'ible, great photography! Very keen to see more Instructables from you.
Can you give some insight as to how you made the forms? The lamination does not look to difficult, but I want to know how the forms are built.
My wife wants 2 please!
:) thanks!
Went to this Blog: <br>http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2013/09/cadeiras-camaras-digitais-e-vigilancia.html
exelente trabajo, exelente dise&ntilde;o, exelente &quot;instructable&quot;. felicidades y gracias por compartir.
Gracias vaquero!
Totally Rad!<br>I need more clamps!
Thanks! Check out one of the comments bellow, it might be interesting to explore this option and use less clamps : http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5cm4MO0-Udk/SnHTPmfVFWI/AAAAAAAAAHA/yQXP-FHSzbI/s1600-h/003.JPG <br>
Very nice piece
fabulous inst. wow, a $500 chair . although it looks like a fortune in clamps, but if you make enough, that amortizes out. these should sell like hot cakes to up scale decorators.
Thanks! It would be pretty cool to get a manufacturer excited to make these!
What to say!? Whaoow!!! Excellent work, thanx for sharing, I'll start this day a bit less stupid! <br>To make an IKEA-version you could integrate bolts (those long ones) into the seat and screw it all together.
Thanks. Anyone has contacts with the IKEA design team?? :)
Very interesting design. I thnk it might look a little better about 4&quot; taller on the back. <br>I wonder if a lazy mans version where you cut kerfs (for the curves) into regular plywood would work?
Thanks. I don't know if will work (the kerfing). I tried kerfing on a few projects and it usually breaks after some use.
Gorgeous! This brought back a lot of memories of a bent plywood chair project I had in design school. Although I will be honest and say your results were far more elegant than mine :&not;D) The other thing I like about this approach is that you can play with different wood veneers and colours on each side of the pieces. Great job!
Thanks! Great advice, could look really sexy with different veneers and colours.
Nice work and great design! I like the huge spacious shop you get to work in. Awesome.
I wonder if Min-Wax Wood Hardener would give added strength to the BendyPly?
I've never heard about the hardener. I might give it a try for another project and will let you know.
Great work! Great design! One note, A metal strap will save you a ton of time on future projects :) <br> <br>http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5cm4MO0-Udk/SnHTPmfVFWI/AAAAAAAAAHA/yQXP-FHSzbI/s1600-h/003.JPG
Nice! I heard about it. That picture is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
What are biscuits?
i've not actualy gotten tto the point where they mention them, but in wood working, a biscuit is a small piece of wood taht you fit into a slot cut into two pieces of wood. you then glue them in. they're usually ovalish and long, thin. it adds strength to a joint and helps line up pieces where you want them.
Yes. They come in 3 sizes and they are really easy to use. Check out on youtube some videos (for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJt5NRZH7_U) <br> <br>
Wickedly Beautiful! <br>I [currently] weigh 290 - think it would support that kind of weight?
I used bendy-ply for the prototype and I guess it won't hold 290 pounds. If you use single plywood it should definitely work.
Well done! <br>Nice &amp; professional product pictures as well. Quality is clearly one of your core values. <br>I want to make a chaise longue and this instructable helps me forward to that project.
Thanks! Good luck with your chaise longue, hope to see some pictures soon!
Very cool, beautiful chair. Thanks for showing all of the work to produce the chair. Thanks for posting.
Beautiful! And I'm amazed at how cheap the basic supplies were for such an elegant final result.

About This Instructable




Bio: Alejandro is an industrial designer who focuses on creating impact through his designs. He has a broad background having worked at a graphic design agency ... More »
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