Introduction: *STAR Wars Chair...

Picture of *STAR Wars Chair...

Instead of simply sitting under the stars around your camp fire, bring them to your seat and sit on them. After the night is done bring the stars inside to continue your gazing. This Instructable will lead you on a celestial journey in bringing the stars (LED lights) and imbedding them into a bog style chair.

*This is an addition to a recent Instructable I wrote title: "Folding (pac-n-go) Chair" This technique can be used to any piece of wood or other materials.


Tools:

Router

1/4" straight router bit

Drill

3/8" forstner bit (helps to create a flat bottom hole)

1/8" brad point drill bit

Electric Sander (optional, sand by hand w/ sanding block)

Clamps

Putty knife

Handsaw, Bandsaw, or Miter saw

Chisel (optional, if you don't own a router)

Ruler


Materials:

Board material (3/4" plywood suggested)

Two-Part Epoxy

Cardboard (mix epoxy)

Toothpicks

Wood glue

3/8" dowel rod (poplar)

1/4" square dowel rod (poplar)

Bondo or some type of durable wood filler

Scrap 1" x 2" to clamp as your routing guide

Sand paper: 60, 100, 150, 180 grit


Lights:

Fairy Moon Light (strand of 12)

- I purchased the lights through Lights For All Occasions. The set I purchase was a strand of 12 cool white LED lights ran on two coin cell batteries. I chose this solely for the coin cell battery option due to the slimmer footprint of the power source to hide it in the design. This price was great too; $4.95 - is also on sale occasionally!

- http://www.lightsforalloccasions.com/p-1646-fairy...

Step 1: Positioning Lights

Picture of Positioning Lights

1st - Front Side of Board: The strand I bought had 12 lights roughly 1/8" big and 4" between each light (the between length is key to positioning). I placed 12 dots 3 3/4" or smaller apart. Once pleased with positioning, drill holes all the way through with your 1/8" brad point drill bit. Placing a scrap piece of wood under the piece will prevent the bit from ripping the wood on the back side. This will also create a cleaner pilot hole for your holes on the back side.

2nd - Back side of Board: Drill each hole again with the 3/8" forester bit, allow the previous hole be your guide. Depth is determined by the look of the light from the front side when placed in the hole. I started at 1/2" deep into the 3/4" plywood. That limited the shine so I increased it to 5/8" deep...be careful that only leaves 1/8" before you come through the front.

Step 2: Routing Light Path

Picture of Routing Light Path

Back of Board: Looking down the 3/8" holes to the small 1/8" hole, eyeball the center of the hole. Place ruler between two holes and draw a connecting line to create your path. If you chose the 12 light stand you will be drawing 11 lines.

With a 1/4" router bit in your router we need to connect the 3/8" holes with a channel to accept the strand of lights. First measure the distance from the center of the router bit to the edge of your router face plate. Mine was three inches. Then clamp a 1" x 2" board parallel to one of the lines you just drew as a guide for your routing. Look below for understanding distance for clamping this board from line. Make sure you set your bit to roughly route a 1/2" deep channel.

Guide board clamping distance from line:

3" (middle of bit to edge of router faceplate) - 1/8" (half the bits diameter, my bit was 1/4" dia)

=2 7/8" edge of board to drawn line

*This can also be done with a chisel, but would not be as crisp a cut due to using plywood.

Step 3: Housing Battery Pack

Picture of Housing Battery Pack

This step is not critical unless you want to hide the battery pack and you are potentially doing this technique with the same chair I have built...Remember one of my other Instructables explains the step to build this chair. "Folding pac-n-go Chair"

With being a chair I wanted the battery pack to not infringe on the over all look. Therefore, at the end of the routing path I routed a larger space to hold all the extra cord past the last light. With the design of this chair there is another support board that goes on the edge of the back. Before attaching that piece I notched out an area 1" wide and 1/4" deep the whole way through the 2" wide added support piece. This will allow for the battery pack to be removed if you need to replace the batteries. Look at the images above to understand this step and aligning the bigger route with the notch in the added piece.

*This can also be done with a chisel, but would not be as crisp a cut due to using plywood.

Step 4: Gluing in Lights

Picture of Gluing in Lights

Painting the back black was done to see the path better and acts as a primer coat for the painting later (optional). Taking the lights, I first stretched them out so they are straight as I begin gluing. Taking the 1/4" square dowel cut small scrap pieces to hold the wire down as it dries. Begin mixing up a small amount of 5 minute epoxy. Locate the end of the strand and place the first light in the first hole. Place the light so you can see it on the other side. With a toothpick drop a little amount of epoxy on either side of the hole. Not knowing what the epoxy would do to the lights I kept it away from each light. Once the glue has been added take one of your 1/4" square dowel pieces and push it into the slot to hold down the wire as it dries. Any extra wire between lights, simply push into the channel between the lights. Be sure the wood hold down pieces are not touching the glue...this would only cause more problems as you begin removing the pieces!

Step 5: Hiding the Lights

Picture of Hiding the Lights

After removing the hold down pieces of wood it is time to begin gluing in the wood pieces to hide the light strand.

3/8" round dowel:

First take the 3/8" dowel rod and cut them at the length of the holes you drilled. This will allow for the dowel, when glued in, to be raised slightly from the surface. This is so incase the top balloons out due to hammering it in you will still get a tight fit all the way down. The light will limit the dowel from going down the full distance. Add a little wood glue to the edge of the hole and begin lightly hammering in the dowels. Hammer lightly because you do not want to smash the lights at the bottom of the hole.

1/4" square dowel:

Now measure the distance between each inserted round dowel and cut your square dowel at the respective distances. With a little bit of wood glue added to channel insert the wood pieces. You will have small spaces between the dowels...the next step is to fill.

Step 6: Sanding, Filling, Sanding

Picture of Sanding, Filling, Sanding

Using an electric palm sander or sanding block begin sanding down the raised wood from the dowels. Once smooth with using various grits of paper 60, 100, 150, 180 grit brush off the excess saw dust. Mix up a small amount of Bondo (or desired wood filler) and with a putty knife fill in the visible holes between the round and square dowels. Once again sand with using various grits of paper 60, 100, 150, 180 grit until you achieve your desired smoothness.

Now take this technique beyond your creative limits!!!! Explore! Discover! Create!

Step 7: "STAR" Wars Chair

Picture of "STAR" Wars Chair

Step 8: "STAR" Wars Chair (video)

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