Magnetically Assembled Cork Coaster Mini-Chair



Introduction: Magnetically Assembled Cork Coaster Mini-Chair

About: I'm a designer - I started off working with commercial Architecture/Interior design and transitioned through to Graphic, Product, and Industrial Design. I love making things, especially trying new techniques.

Video of the Cork Coaster Chair

I don't like coasters. I never used them growing up. My boyfriend insisted that we get some so I relented. However, I made it my way.

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Step 1: Materials

• 6 square cork pieces (10 cm square by 1 cm thick)
• 14 round magnets (approx 8 mm diameter by 2-4 mm thick)
• Superglue
• Exacto knife

Note: You could use thin flat 1 mm magnets and simply glue them on the surface rather than embedding them. This might be easier for younger makers.

You could also use another material aside from cork such as thick balsa wood squares. I just happened to find these inexpensive cork coasters and liked the aesthetic of it.

Step 2: Laying Out the Chair - Start With the Side

  1. Lay a coaster down. Imagine this to be the side coaster of the chair.
  2. Take another two coasters and put them at 90°. One will be the seat coaster and the other will be the back coaster.
  3. Place them on top of the side coaster perpendicular. Give them a slight angle as real chairs don't normally have vertical backs.
  4. Lightly mark out where you want the magnets to be on the side coaster.

Try to approximate the drawing as much as possible. Before you commit, you could tape it together to see how it all looks.

Step 3: Cut Out Hole, Insert Magnets and Glue in Place.

Video explanation of pieces

1. Using the Exacto knife, cut out a round hole for the magnet. These can be slightly smaller than the magnet and don't need to be perfectly round since cork compresses.
2. Insert the magnet and press - if it is flush, the you can dab a couple of drops of superglue to hold it in place. If not, dig out a bit more cork, being careful not to cut too deep.
3. On the seat and back coaster, mark out where the magnets need to be inserted into the sides.
4. Be careful when digging out the side holes for the side embedded magnets. I tested it out on an extra coaster first to get my technique right.
5. To make the cushions, just round off the edges of the square coaster. You could use sand paper to help smooth it out.

Note: Make sure to pair the magnetic poles properly. Before gluing, make sure that the magnets will attract the proper piece and not repel it. Double check it before gluing down.

Step 4: Assembling the Cork Coaster Chair

Watch the video again or look at the step-by-step photos.

If you want to make this step easier for people, you could label the magnets. Magnet A on the side coaster pairs with Magnet A on the Cushion. Continue with B, C, D... etc.

I hope you enjoyed it. I think ti's really neat. My guests like to disassemble and assemble it. I still enjoy that every now and then.

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