Introduction: Turn an Old Bath Tub Into a Chair
First Prize in the
Reclaimed Contest 2017
The steel bath I used in this Instructable had been used as a trough to hold water so farm animals could drink for many years before becoming obsolete and left to one side to probably end up rotting away. I have no idea where it came from before that. This is a kind of recycling and up cycling project all in one. My son had been on to me to get him a "gamer chair" for a while and I thought that maybe I could make him one from the old bits I had laying around. Here is the result. Enjoy.
Step 1: Have a Look at the Video Below.
Have a look at the video above to see how I built the chair from a bath tub from start to finish.
Step 2: The Steel Bath Tub.
The bath was a heavy gauge steel tub not a cast iron one. As you can probably tell from the pictures and video it had seen better days and it would have ended up rotting away or being brought to a metal recycling facility if I didn't try turning it into something.
Step 3: Marking.
I started off by marking and setting out the size of the chair onto the bath. I took rough measurements from another chair I had to use as a guide.
Step 4: Cutting.
I used my angle grinder to cut out the shape of the chair. Note: I wear a face visor when using my angle grinder if I have taken the guard off. I take it off sometimes so I can get a better view of what I am cutting, so if the guard is off the visor is on! and if the guard is on the safety glasses are on! The bath was easy to cut and in the final picture you can see what you should be left with after cutting.
Step 5: The Base.
At this stage I will show what I used for the base of the chair. This base was part of a chair originally which I had acquired some 8 years previously. It was also going to be dumped from an office building that were upgrading their furniture before I rescued it. The rest of the chair was beyond repair but I kept the base in the hope it would someday come in handy for something. That day had come.
Step 6: Attaching the Base to the Tub.
I flipped the tub upside down and placed the base in place. I loosely fitted 4 bolts and nuts. These are what's going to hold everything together. With the base in place I tack welded the nuts before removing the base and then fully welding the nuts.
Step 7: The Bolts.
The bolts I had were too long so I had to cut them to suit. I placed them in a vice to hold them tight and then cut them with the angle grinder.
Step 8: Test Fit.
After I cut the bolts I fitted everything together to make sure it all went together correctly.
Step 9: Fill the Rim.
I wanted to fill the rim part where the bath had been cut. I did this with an off cut pieces of steel I had left over from another project. Firstly I tack welded the piece in place before fully welding it in place. I cut off any excess with the grinder and then ground the joint smooth.
Step 10: Surface Preparation.
Paint won't stick to the enamel surface of the bath so it had to be prepared to accept paint. I probably could have used an enamel paint but I had some other black paint so I decided to use that. I prepared the surface by using a flap disc and after that I rubbed the whole thing down with steel wool.
Step 11: Priming and Painting.
I primed the surface of the tub with a spray on metal primer. After that dried I applied two coats of a black metal gloss paint.
Step 12: Cleaning the Chrome.
The chrome base of the chair had become dirty and pitted from being left in a damp shed for many years. To clean this I used diet coke and aluminium foil. I brushed on some diet coke and let it sit for a minute before rubbing it with the foil. It works a treat for cleaning chrome.
Step 13: Trim.
I decide to add a trim to the front edge of the tub. The trim I used was from an auto store. Here is a link to the trim I used: Trim
Step 14: Blinging It Up.
This bit is totally optional! As this chair was going to be used as a gamer chair for my 7 Year old son, I added some led lights to the underside of the rim on the bath. I purchased a kit on eBay. The strip lights were self adhesive but I hot glued the battery power point into place.
Step 15: Assembly Time.
With the lights in place it was time to fit everything back together. I flipped the tub upside again and bolted the base into place.
Step 16: That's It.
The finished bath tub chair! Well it's one way to use an old bath tub. I have since added some cushions to make it more comfortable. My son loves it and thinks it's the best thing ever! I love to make or re-purpose things out of stuff that would normally end up being dumped or recycled. I hope it may inspire you to make something from stuff you have lying around. Now to make something from the other half of the bath!
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