One of my kids ripped a hole in the top of my primary work stool. It has been bugging me forever, but today I got the inspiration to fix it and improve it. This is a quick conversion of a bucket car seat to a work stool base.
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Step 1: First Find a Donor Bucket Seat
I hate to break up a pair of bucket,s so I have been looking for a lone bucket seat for a few months. Mostly on Ebay and Craigslist. Focusing my attention on something that would not be too large and had some style. While perusing the junk yard today, I came upon this 1987 Porsche 924s. It was pretty beat up, but it had a lone bucket (even better it was the passenger side, less wear) and it was in decent shape.
Step 2: What All You Will Need
Pretty basic needs for this build:
1. Some sort of stool base. I used an old auto parts store stool.
2. 3/4 inch plywood for the platform/base between the seat and stool.
3. Hardware to match the seat bolt holes or threads (mine were 6mm)
4. Hardware to match the stool (I reused the ones from the original) use your judgement.
5. Extra washers for distributing load at the bolt holes.
6. Black paint optional. I like the look to be finished.
7. Saw, drill, wrenches, pipe cutter (You may not need to pipe cutter) and some soap (I needed to clean this seat before use).
Step 3: Seat Prep
The seat was super dirty so I started with a good scrub. Some mild soap, warm water and some soft brushes. I kept cleaning the seat and swapping the water until it was suitably clean. Before and after pictures do not do any justice.
Next remove the seat hardware. I saw no need to keep the tracks. Besides, they could be good ebay fodder.
Clean up bottom of seat to ready it for plywood base. Brush it off, vacuum the debris and chased the threads. Yours may just have open holes.
Step 4: Stool Legs and Base Prep
For the stool leg prep; I just unscrewed the top (4 screws). While I was at it I lubed the swivel and shined up the chrome. Why not???
The base material was selected from my scrap wood pile. Just so happens I had not put the wood away from the last project (note: there will be another instructable for that one too). I used the piece on the left, it was some regular 3/4" plywood. Any finish of plywood should work, or even metal plate, just make sure you choose something suitable for the load it has to distribute.
I measured the holes on the seat bottom and made the plywood base 1" larger (the holes were 16" wide by 13" deep so the wood is 18" wide by 15" deep). I wanted to make sure it would be strong. I drilled the holes and mounted the base to the seat first. Then I used the original stool top as a guide to lay out the best placement of my holes in the base. I tried to estimate the new center of gravity. I used the WAG method (wild ass guess). In the picture you will see I put the stool top all the way to the back of the car bucket. I got lucky on the first try and it worked great.
I transferred the bolt pattern from the stool swivel to the base. After drilling I test fit everything. I used the original screws from the stool's OEM top. I may regret that later, but it seems sturdy for now.
Step 5: Final Assembly and Test Drive
Once I was happy with the fit and balance of it all, I did some painting and finish work.
I used some left over flat black paint from another project. It sucked up two coats very quickly but did what I needed it to... hide the hack.
On the finish assembly, I used large fender washers at the seat mounting bolts and added washers at the swivel base.
I also added some all purpose construction adhesive to the swivel base screws, Gorilla Glue would have worked for this too but I was all out. I know it probably will make no difference if they decide to pull out, but sounded like a good idea as I did it. The reality is, I was too lazy to look for some bolts and the glue bottle was already at my bench.
On the test drive I realized it was now too tall to fit under my desk. So I had to cut 2 and 1/2" off the legs.
Step 6: Enjoy
I should have done this a long time ago. It is waaaaaaay more comfortable to sit at my computer in the garage now.