Monday, February 7, 2011

Take A Seat

With the Oscars right around the corner, you're probably going to need a few extra chairs for all those guests who'll be dropping by for your big shindig. Buying extra furniture can be expensive, and cheesy folding chairs look tacky. But this do-it-yourself seat looks sleek, modern, and can be put together with just a few simple, inexpensive purchases from the hardware store! Thank you for the wonderful idea, which was taken from the book Home From The Hardware Store by Kathleen Hackett and Stephen Antonson! Instructions follow...



The only time-consuming step in making this chair is cutting the shelf supports. Unlike the table, which is all right angles, this chair is designed to conform to the way we sit, which is always leaning back slightly. To achieve this, the chair base is smaller than the seat. If you want to make a perfectly square chair, make the sled legs 18 inches long.


2 plated steel slotted angle shelf supports, 3' x 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" each
9 plated steel slotted angle shelf supports, 18" x 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" each
2 plated steel slotted angle shelf supports, 15" x 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" each
18 zinc bolts and nuts, 1/2-20 x 1/2" each
18 flat washers, 1/2" each
18 lock washers, 1/2" each
18"-square piece of 3/4" plywood


Phillips-head screwdriver
7/16" wrench

1. Arrange the 3' lengths on a work surface, flat edge down, so that they are parallel. Position an 18" piece on either end so that the edges are flush, and place another 18" piece 15 1/2" from one short edge. Fasten them together by sliding a flat washer onto the bolt and inserting it into a corner hole from the underside of the frame. Slide a lock washer onto the bolt, followed by the nut, and tighten with the wrench. This is the back of the chair.

2. Position an 18" shelf support on each end of the ledge of the support in the middle of the chair back. Fasten them to the frame along the inside edge and middle support, using the washers, nuts, and bolts as you did in Step 1. Fasten a third 18" shelf support across the front of the seat in the same manner.

3. Attach the 15" shelf supports to the outside of the bottom of the frame. Fasten an 18" piece across the front of the base.

4. With the chair front facing you, tilt the frame by pulling the seat toward you and pushing the chair back away from you. Attach the front legs as in step 3, mounting the remaining two 18" shelf supports to the outside of the seat and base frame. Once it's completely assembled, work around the chair to tighten each bolt.

5. Set the plywood into the seat frame so that it rests on the bolts; it will be slightly higher than the edges of the frame (see 5a), so that your legs are not touching the frame when you're seated. If the plywood resists, use a hammer to tap it into place.

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