Refurbished folding lawn chair with repurposed materials

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Picture of Refurbished folding lawn chair with repurposed materials
It's just an hour away from the close of a contest on Instructables.  That means I'm cramming like a freshman student to try and get my project done.  Strangely, that's the first and only introduction that i planned on writing for this project. 

I really should take this more seriously.

But I do.  For years I have been intermittently collecting seat belt webbing with the intent of making a folding lawn chair a bit more permanent.  And this project finally got me to dig them out and mash them up with the belts, webbing, and a few found objects to make the best folding lawn chair this side of the other side of my house.
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Step 1: Tools and materials

Picture of Tools and materials
  • Drill and bits
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Hole punches
  • Pop rivet gun and rivets
  • An old folding aluminum lawn chair
  • Belts, seat belts, straps, dog collars...
  • Awl
  • Marker
  • Tape measure

Step 2: Strip the old frame

Picture of Strip the old frame
Take a faded , old aluminum frame and strip off the old webbing from it with a screwdriver. The one I have appeared to have been in too close contact with some major heat.  The cats loved it!  These are great pieces of furniture.  They can be fixed much easier than a broken plastic piece of what currently passes for lawn furniture.  Ultraviolet deterioration is a major contributor of the degradation of the chairs of this era.  Put a straight bit in your drill and remove the old (and likely rusted) screws from the frame.  Liberate those straw-like strands of plastic.

Step 3: Find the center of the chair

Picture of Find the center of the chair
Find the center of the front and back bars of the chair.  Mark them with a permanent marker.  We'll be centering the first strap on this one. 

Step 4: Drill holes in the frame

Picture of Drill holes in the frame
You might need to drill new holes in the frame or you might be able to use (or enlarge) the holes that existed.  A really wide piece of webbing like i used for my center one will require two rivets on each end to distribute the weight better.
Love it.
Great reuse.
Great thought/suggestion/rule about keeping your eyes open when biking.
But the most important part of this Instructable is your way of seeing new, useful uses that you can give the things that thousands of other people pass by.
Thank you for a fine piece of work.
tulekah4 years ago
i've no seatbelts but yards and yards of 4" truck straps. i was going to cut up some steel folding lawn chairs for rafter hooks but i've got to try this first! thanks for imagination!
zieak (author)  tulekah4 years ago
Thanks! Post pictures here if you do it!
tulekah zieak4 years ago
i'm sort of glad it's been a hard winter here. it took me a while to remember why i was going to cut up the chair frames into rafter hooks. when the chairs were still strung they killed my back! one thing with old truck straps, they're strong enough to grommet and lace underneath the chair, saves material and makes them adjustable.
This should have won... it's awesome
zieak (author)  KoolAidDisaster4 years ago
Thank you!
mary candy4 years ago
very cool!
zieak (author)  mary candy4 years ago
Thank you!
mole14 years ago
That looks great! Just what my old beach chairs need!
Why rivets instead of screws?
zieak (author)  mole14 years ago
I wanted to prevent oxidation so wanted to use the same material as the frame of the chair. I could have used short screws though. ...and thank you!
Dr.Bill4 years ago
A chair like that was made into a 6 meter transmitting antenna and featured in QST magazine as the "Squallo".

Shore do wish I could Find some of these old chairs.
zieak (author)  Dr.Bill4 years ago
I'm going to have to look that up!
Calorie4 years ago
I like it. Unfortunately I cannot find the old fold up frames (new or used.) They only sell the frames already extended. You stack them up for transport. If you want a folding type, you have to get those hideous cloth ones that hurt your back.

I wanted to say that you did a great job. I remember my Mom re-webbing ours when we were kids. We bought the webbing at TG&Y. Stuff was too expensive to throw away then.
zieak (author)  Calorie4 years ago
Yeah, I think many people discarded them long ago. It sure is sad!

Thank you!
Great idea!
Much more stronger then those replacement plastic strips. Got a bunch of old rotted out chairs like that hanging out in the garage.

Now to find a source of those discarded seatbelts.
zieak (author)  Treasure Tabby4 years ago
I have the opposite problem - not enough of the old lawn chair frames! But you can bet i'll be collecting them for the rest of my life now. As well as cutting out the seatbelts from every junk car that passes in front of me.
rendermatt4 years ago
Great instructable, chair looks pretty good for being repurposed! Its a shame that people throw out these chairs when the frame is still good. At the very least people could use the metal for other things
zieak (author)  rendermatt4 years ago
I agree. Fortunately we're allowed to salvage from the metal and wood piles here and at least the person discarding it put it in that pile instead of the pile of stuff to be baled up and shipped to a landfill. I actually found another of these chairs the day that I finished this one! Fortunately I still had lots of material to work with so now have a second chair. (Although it doesn't match exactly.)

Oh, and thank you!
No problem, are you salvaging from a collection facility place or what?
zieak (author)  rendermatt4 years ago
Sort of. The town's waste is baled up and shipped by barge to Seattle. But metal, wood, glass and recyclables can be separated. The wood is burned weekly. The metal and cars are picked up by a recycler about once a year. For $5 for a day or $50 for the year you can salvage through the wood, metal, and cars. Sometimes it is awesome. Sometimes a letdown. Rarely is it not worth $5!
thats awesome!
Perfect chair for my garden! :)
CrLz4 years ago
Cool chair, its got some nice flavor!
zieak (author)  CrLz4 years ago
Thank you!