Man Cave Work Stool (Car Seat Conversion)




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.

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    12 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I think you'll be far, far, far too comfortable on that seat and you'll get very little work done.

    You'd better send that seat to me and I'll look after it for you while you get to work on things.

    Thanks for showing us your workshop and new seat.

    1 reply

    I must admit that I have spent some additional time in the seat lately. I need to get off my butt and nice chair and fix/build some stuff.


    8 years ago on Step 6

    Great instructable, hell of an idea. Looks like I might be off to the auto wreckers soon. Keep up the great work and cool ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Step 2

    Cool instructable. I've got a pair of seats from a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle 1300 (I have a 1971 Beetle 1300, but these didn't come out of my particular one) that I've been thinking about turning into chairs for my home office, which has a classic VW theme with other parts used as decor. At first I was going to pick up a pair of those low steel frame / plastic seat chairs kids use in school which are always in thrift shops, but I like this more.

    1 reply

    Sounds cool. I am a big VW fan too. I would probably cut the loop off the bottom of the vw side rails. This design already pushes the envelope of good sense when it comes to center of gravity. That extra 6 inches or so would really put it up there. I suppose you could go the other route and get really happy cutting down the stool legs, or just make the base larger. I may do that later as well.

    P.S. I have owned over 30 vw's and used to work for one of the largest vw shops in the 80's called Barrett enterprises.


    8 years ago on Step 6

    nice one stylish and comfortable= GREAT! your man cave looks amazing aswell, you should do a tour of it (im really nosey lol)

    1 reply

    Thank you. I have been building, modifying and improving it to my tastes for over 18 years. I try to find new uses for retired and discarded old stuff. I also try to find ways to make my small space work better. I will try to get some of my projects posted soon. They should include some shots of the overall shop in action too.

    Thank you for the comment.

    It actually is more comfortable than I had anticipated. I also have a milk crate under the bench as a foot rest. Thanks for the comment.