I want to build a home office chair using the most common materials: lumber and wood, but in the most practical way.
A few years ago, a friend made an impressive desk that was made entirely from wood — although he also used PVC pipe to store and transport each piece of wood, a pretty simple construction. (It’s amazing what just looks pretty good when you don’t have a designer’s eye for it and, with a little patience, you can build a working desk or table!)
I’ve wanted to build a similarly simple office chair myself, and I had the opportunity to do so for the first time last year. Now the challenge is to bring everything together in a way that makes it affordable, and usable.
The furniture must look and feel as it is built, or it’s just a pile of cheap wood that makes no sense. But if the pieces look and feel right, then I’m golden. If not, well, that might just take some trial and error.
My friend and I wanted to try the wood-working techniques on this little desk, so we made the frame, assembled everything, and sent the whole thing off to a local home shop. The shop owner had a pair of JNCO Diamante cutters and a pair of 1/4-inch-wide router bits, and they cut and shaped everything into wood scraps we could use — except for the legs, which we hand-drilled. There are lots of ways to do this, from a hand drill to a router bit — but this one has worked for our first few attempts.
I’m not sure how the shop owner got those bits or how he’s got a pair of the right size router bits to achieve such a tight finish. Either way, the leg is well finished, and there is just the right amount of grain to hold down the legs without coming off at the leg corners. (I can only guess that this is just one of those things that just works out, and once you get the hang of it, it’s a joy to do.)
But now I have the challenge of actually making the leg. To get a look at it, I’ve been using an xeriscape machine to create a 3D print, but it’s a lot of work — the machine prints a thin layer of foam along one edge only, then a thin layer of plastic on top of it. The end result is an arm that folds and folds along the edges, just