This chair is made from a 1/2 sheet of plywood, uses no glue or fasteners, and is held together by a single ratchet strap. I made this chair because I was interested in the forces at play to make a chair stand up: the different parts in tension and compression that make up the structure. It's also part of a broader study I'm up to experimenting with ergonomics- trying variations on the dimensions and posture of Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavillion Chair (1929).
Step 1: 3D Model
I designed this chair in Fusion 360 (it's recently become my go-to modeling program). The file is attached here, please download it and tweak it yourself! Fusion 360 is free for "enthusiasts", and it's on both Mac and PC.
Step 2: Tools and Materials
- I used a Metabeam Laser Cutter to cut out the pieces, because it's fast and we have one. A Shopbot would make short work of this, and you wouldn't have any burn marks to manage later.
- IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CNC MACHINE: Before I had access to CNC machines, I did lots of projects that were just as complex using full-scale prints from Kinko's, spray-gluing them to plywood, and cutting them out with a jigsaw. Check out my Lace-Up Chair instructable for more details on doing it that way.
- An orbital sander, finishing at 180 grit.
- OPTIONAL: I also used a table router with a 1/4" fillet bit for some nice rounded edges.
- 1/2 sheet (4' X 4') of 3/4" plywood.
- One ratchet strap (1" strap).
Step 3: Cut Out the Pieces
My Metabeam settings are as follows:
Material: "Hardwood .25"
Step 4: Finish the Pieces
I started at 100 grit to get the burn marks and smoke residue off the wood, then stepped down to 180 grit for a smooth finish.
I used the fillet router bit on all of the edges of each piece.
Step 5: Assemble The Chair
- Slot the truss into the back legs
- Add the front legs
- Add the seat
- Slot in the seat back