Paracord Laced Pallet, Hanging Chair

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Very comfortable, very easy to make chair from a pallet and some paracord.

I know that there are a lot of different kinds of chair instructables already, but I have never seen a chair like this before. It is so easy to make and it is comfortable because it conforms to your body. I don't know how I came up with the idea and as I was making it I wasn't even sure if it would work out. But it did and I am very happy with the results. So here goes- my first instructable.

This instructable will show you everything I did to make the chair, but I am sure you will find ways you can customize yours to meet your needs.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Stuff you will need-

Tools:
Drill
Saw
Lighter
Sawzall (optional)

Materials:
Paracord
Pallet (I was able to get by with just one but it all depends
on how much usable wood you can get off of each pallet)

I used pallet wood because it is hardwood and free but, as with all treated wood, you need to use precaution when handling this wood. Make sure you are wearing a mask when cutting, and gloves at all times. When you are finished with all the cuts and have drilled all your holes, it is important that you seal the wood.

I used paracord because it is small yet strong and does not stretch as much as other ropes. Paracord is also easier to work with because it doesn't unravel or fray like other types of rope, and because the ends can be melted to make lacing with it easy.

Step 2: Take Pallet Apart

There are many different ways to take apart pallets in order to use the wood for something else. I have  found that prying them apart causes a lot of damage to the wood and is a lot more work then is necessary. So, my preferred method is to cut the pieces apart using a sawzall.

All you have to do is cut through the nails that are holding it together and you are good to go (with minimal damage to the  wood). If you want you can pop the remaining parts of the nails out of the wood.

Just take the sawzall and cut right between the piece you would like to save (the top piece) and the thick frame. Try to cut just the nails and not too much of the wood. Once you get the hang of it it will go really fast.

Step 3: Cutting the Wood to Size

Now here is where you need to decide how wide you would like your chair. I guess you should base the size on the hiney that will be siting in it. With the pallet that I had I was able to just cut the boards right down the middle (20"). Butt the size is up to you :)
The amount of board is also up to you. I ended up using 16 boards for my chair.

Warning:
Make sure you look out for left over bits of nails in the wood as you are cutting.

Step 4: Marking Wood for Lace Holes

Now what you want to do is take one of the boards and mark where you want to put the laces.
I put my laces 1/2" in from the edge of the board and put them 2" apart.

Depending on how you would like yours to look you can make the laces further apart or closer together. As long as they are in far enough from the edge so that the board does not break once it has weight on it. Keep in mind also that if the laces are spaced further apart,  the boards will tend to pull away from each other more, making a gap where things might get pinched (fingers, "cheeks", etc.)

Step 5: Drill the Holes

Now that you have your holes marked you can start drilling. I used a drill press but a regular drill will work just fine.
I started by drilling all the holes in my first board and then I used that board as a jig to do the rest.

You will want a drill bit that is a little bigger then your paracord so that the cord fits easily through the holes.

Step 6: Start Lacing

Now comes the fun part. Start by placing two of your boards next to one another. Now lace the paracord through them just as you would a pair of shoes. Once you reach the end cut the paracord, making sure you leave enough slack to tie a strong knot at the end. Now you can pull the paracord out and use it to measure the rest of the pieces you will need. When you cut the rest make sure you leave a little room for error. It's better to have too much then to have too little and have to start over.
Once you have cut your paracord to size it is a good idea to melt the ends so that it is easy to get the cord through the holes.
Now you can start lacing boards together.

Things to watch as you're lacing:

-Make sure you are paying attention to what side of the board is up and what side is down so that you end up with all the good looking sides facing up.

-It  looks best to have all the knots on the bottom.

-Once you have finished a lace go back and pull each "X" to get the slack out



Step 7: Hang and Enjoy

Now all you have to do is hang the chair from whatever structure you have available.
I used some 2x4's between the trees in my back yard (not the prettiest but it works).

Just drill a couple of holes in each of the four corners you would like to hang the chair from and thread the paracord through them. I put the front cords back one board from the end so that it would be more comfortable on the back of my legs.

For a somewhat laid back chair attach the front and back cords further apart from each other with the back cords low, for more of an upright chair, like mine, put them closer together with the back cords high.
The whole thing is completely adjustable to your liking, so tweak it till it's comfortable for you.

Note: I used two strands of paracord per corner, which is strong enough to hold me, but you might want to braid more together for added strength.

-Getting into the chair can be a little tricky (kind of like getting into a hammock) but once you do relax and enjoy.



Improvement:

I think I would stain the boards next time, this would look nicer and make the paracord stand out more.

Step 8: Other People's Versions

Many people have made their own versions of this chair. If you make your own, please send me a picture.

Paracord Contest

First Prize in the
Paracord Contest

3 People Made This Project!

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133 Discussions

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oppie

3 years ago

I would recommend either furniture webbing or running cord(s) up and down the backside. The lumber is in tension - pulling it across the grain which is its weakest dimension. Like a chain, it is as strong as its weakest link.

Also worth chamfering the drilled holes on both sides to minimize sharp edges cutting the cord.

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jaegsoppie

Reply 2 years ago

Good points Oppie - or thread the cord through 2 points inboard and outboard in the slats

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GrannieannieFoppie

Reply 2 years ago

Thank you for that suggestion. I agree with you. I have seen this design before and would like to make one sometime and will remember your suggestions. : )

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ThurmanB

2 years ago

Perfect project for my boy scout troop. We have lots of pallets left over from a mulch fund raiser and 550 cord from a donated parachute. I can see a lot of scouts jumping on this as they can roll it up and use on camp outs. We'll make spreader bars too so they can hang from a branch. Thanks for the idea. The scouts will love it.

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JerryS42

2 years ago

This is cool! I'm planning to making a couple of chairs, but i'm concerned about the boards splitting. I was thinking about running two ropes behind the boards (like a rope bridge), and then tying the boards into the ropes rather than each other, Any comments or thoughts?

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zacker

2 years ago

love this!!! and I like all the different variations that everyone is making! great idea!

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TimF10

2 years ago

How wide were your boards? Were they basically 1x2 or 1x4? I want to make two of them, but I'm planning on using new lumber.

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monkeyF

2 years ago

that is amzing

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David Catriel

3 years ago

Absolutely awesome. Will make this one day (when I finally have a tree big enough to support it). Some food for thought: the current design lets the boards flex vertically, but would be cool to let them flex horizontally as well so it can fit your contours sideways as well (almost like a hammock). Problem with that is that the whole thing could basically sag into something like a deflated balloon when it isn't used, so would be nice to find a way to limit the horizontal flex. If I ever make that I'll come back to post the shots. Thx for the idea!

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crwydryny

3 years ago on Introduction

I'm book marking this as a possible future project for my conservation group. a few of these would be great in the woods near our community centre

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kbenton3

4 years ago

I really like this thank you for stepping out and doing this instruct-able ! Hope you do more !