Intro: Tiny StumpChair
StumpChair (https://www.facebook.com/StumpChair) has been an ongoing project for quite some time. At one point a few years ago I started making tiny StumpChair models and leaving them around town in stores to see if anyone would notice.
The first Tiny StumpChair was made on the stump created when a full size StumpChair was cut down.
If you are a fan of StumpChair but don't have any stumps this is an easy alternative to a full size chair. The process involves a woodworking technique called Bent Lamination in which veneer is wrapped around a form and glued to create a curve.
Step 1: Supplies
You will need:
A Large Stick
Some 3/4 Inch MDF or Other Wood
Balloons or Bike Inner-tube
Toothpicks or Skewers
Step 2: A Tiny Stump
Fallen sticks are plentiful in most city back yards and city parks. Find one that is the right size and cut a small piece off with a hand saw. The stump should be about two inches tall.
Step 3: Mold Making Part 1
On the MDF or scrap wood draw out an arc as shown above. The base of the arc should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the stump piece. Cut this arc out on the band saw and smooth the edges with a sander. If you don't have a band saw available a hand saw or jigsaw will work instead.
Step 4: Mold Making Part 2
Apply one layer of packing tape around the entire edge of the mold. The tape ensures that the back of the chair will not stick to the mold while the glue dries.
Next, tape two deflated balloons to the square base. These balloons will help create even pressure around the mold while the glue dries.
Step 5: Veneer Preparation
Cut four strips of veneer matching the width of your mold and the total arc length of the mold. For me it was 1.5 by 5 inches. It is a good idea to keep the veneer pieces slightly under the arc length rather than slightly over.
Apply an even layer of glue to 3 of the 4 pieces and stack the veneers so there is glue between each layer. Over gluing is better than under gluing in this case.
Step 6: Wrapping
Start by bending the stack of veneer over the curved end of your mold. Hold it in place while you wrap the balloons around the mold and veneer. The balloons should be pulled tight so that they are applying pressure over all of the veneer evenly. Finally, hold the entire thing in place with a layer of packing tape.
Step 7: Cut and Shape
Let the glue dry for about 3 hours (or what ever the bottle says).
Once it is dry you can unwrap the molded chair back and slice a 1/4 inch wide section off with the band saw. Since the edge is probably rough from gluing you may want to take a piece from the middle.
Next, round off the ends of the chair back with a Dremel or similar sanding tool.
Step 8: Drill and Glue
Drill 7 small holes in the stump. The holes should be drilled along a small arc. 5 of the holes should match the diameter of the skewers or toothpicks you are using as spindles. The outer 2 holes should match the base of the bent piece.
Once you have the holes drilled in the stump go ahead and drill five matching holes in the bent part of the chair.
Step 9: Glue, Clip and Sand
Apply a small amount of glue to the holes in the stump. An easy way to do this is to apply extra glue and smear it into the holes.
Insert the bent part of the chair back into the appropriate holes.
Stick the skewers or toothpick through the holes in the top of the chair back and into the corresponding hole in the stump.
Clip the skewers with wire cutters or a tiny saw and sand off the excess with a Dremel. You can use sandpaper to smooth off the chair a bit more.
Step 10: Place
Tiny StumpChairs are funny in potted plants or with bonsai trees. They could also make good lawn art for gnome homes or doll houses. For more info about the full sized StumpChairs visit (https://www.facebook.com/StumpChair)