Cantilevered Cardboard Chair

Introduction: Cantilevered Cardboard Chair

      I've always liked the old, "cool" and different furniture that's coming back into style now but never had any or had the means to afford the ones I really liked. Although I could have made something exotic of wood or ply-wood which I was comfortable working with, I had recently seen some interesting cardboard furniture (of which there's much more of now).  And, it just so happened that my school was having a sort of cardboard fundraiser for our STEM and TSA clubs.(They were replacing all of the fluorescent lights and housings in the school with energy efficient fluorescent lights and housings). So, in total there was a couple of tons of flattened cardboard boxes and at approx. $100 a ton recycled value, it was a strange and almost equally profitable alternative to a bake-sale or the like.
       Since I obviously had all the large flat pieces of cardboard I could ever want, I chose a more solid laminated construction because everybody I told about it thought it wouldn't work, and I definitely didn't want to prove them right.

Step 1: Cutting and Gluing

    When I settled on my final cantilevered design I sketched it out on a piece of cardboard and cut it out to have a template. Luckily I had access to a large band saw that allowed for large stacks and long cuts. I chose to cut out the chair in four or five sections because that was about the size of a stack I could handle. Although this will inevitably result in different size sections, I decided that there wasn't really any other way, and I would trim it up at the end.
    Once all of the slices were cut out, there were several different options for gluing them together. I used a combination of a consumer loctite spray adhesive for the majority of gluing with squirts of elmers glue in places I thought might separate like the front of the seat, the bottom of the legs, and at the very top. It turn out that the elmers worker the best, and I would recommend to water down a large bottle of elmers and paint or roll it on as apposed to a spray adhesive.

Step 2: Trimming Up

Use classic old hand saw to make clean corrugated cuts.
Unless you have access very nice massive ban saw I would cut every thing a couple of inches oversize.

If you can, pay attention to the direction of the corrugation to make it look the best.

I am having to re-glue it now, but it's still resists shifting sideways fairly well. I could have also trimmed all of it up like I did the front but decided I liked the rough cut just as much. Most importantly its pretty comfortable not very soft, but a practical and usable chair.  

If someone is wanting to make a better chair I would suggest making it a recliner or put arms on it!

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    Have you ever tried using an angle grinder and a carbide wheel to rip this stuff down? It works surprisingly well. Thanks for the post.



    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I haven't, but I did try using a handheld electric wood planer on the seat. That's why it looks smoother than the rest.