Introduction: 'The Royal Birding Chair'

About: Failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success.

The concept of this project was born many many years ago. With some friends I was on a festival with a lot of beer, a lot of rock bands and a lot of fun. All around there were a lot of stalls also with a lot of everything and particularly an african-inspired site were a lot of handmade stuff was sold.

There was a chair, hardwood, foldable, handmade, heavy and too expensive for my student's budget at that time. I wanted it, so I decided to make one myself. I spent a lot of time hanging around making mental pictures (there were no mobiles yet - I'm gettin' old!) and took some basic measurements with a, well, empty beer bottle...

Back at home I started experimenting and when my first one was finished I discovered that this could be THE birding chair.

I love birding. Sitting 12 hours on a mountain pass to observe & count migrating raptors, storks, passerines and other stuff passing by is something you really must have done in this life. It's magic, I can't describe it differently.

But, while birding you're looking all the time into the sky. Painful and bad for your neck, except with this chair. Why? Because you're leaning backwards!

When I arrived for the first time in Organbidexka, a french counting site, everybody looked at me and wanted to test that crazy thing. They called it 'La Chaise Royale' - The Royal Chair.
Since then I did a lot of modifications - this must be version 4.0 or so...

Why is it different from those other 'ethnic' chairs? Because in a classic foldable chair the seat goes in the back, in mine the back goes into the seat since I wanted a very large sitting surface - luxury birding!

I made this one a few years ago. Since then the wood has started to split and I've got to do some reinforcements with aluminium plates and bolts. Many people have asked me the dimensions of it and hence I didn't know Instructables at the time I made it there are no pics of the building process. The sketches and plans will compensate, I hope.

Build it. Test it!

Step 1: Copy It or Modify!

Copy the dimensions on a board of plywood of minimum 20mm (3/4 inch), or scratch. I made mine from oak scratch I recycled in our previous house.

The concept consists of 4 pieces:
- the back
- the seat
- a cleat fixed to thet backside of the back that blocks the back (otherwise it would slide all way through)
- a wedge to block it all

The dimensions of it don't really matter. What's the most important is the 2/3 ratio: the back does have a 'tail' that's 2/3 the tail of the seat. If the tail of the seat is one foot, the tail of the back is 2/3 foot. Changing this ratio is changing the angle of the chair. After many tests I found out this ratio gives you the most comfort.

Cut it all out with jigsaw and ripper and sand it. Note the 'sharkbite' in the seat and the back, this gives you more stability.

Step 2: Looking at the Seat

Well, it's a seat you know. With a slot to insert the back. This slot is a little bit wider than the width and thickness of the back. Wood is living material!

Note the reinforcements. When it starts to break down it's time to react! Using plywood will avoid this problem.

I doubled the zone with the slot because my boards weren't just thick enough. The thicker this zone the more stable the chair will be.

Step 3: Looking at the Back

And this is the back, with a cleat to prevent it from sliding deeper into the seat and a small slot to insert a wedge.

Achtung! The distance between the downside of the cleat and the upside of the slot is a bit less than the thickness of the boards used. This permits the wedge to do it's job.

My Royal Chair has served a lot and I've reinforced it several times. The bolts in the back are only decorative, it remembers those used in the seat.

Step 4: Finish & Go Birding!

I oiled it as usual. Teak oil is perfect, it will darken the wood and make it waterproof.

It's heavy stuff, but decorative and neck-saving. 'La Chaise Royale' will offer you the best birding you ever did!

Thanxxxxxx for watching!!!

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