I have a line of projects that have formed in my head. I have a pile of them in closets and on the porch, in the yard, in the carport, and the boiler room. But despite that i want to the dump and salvaged for more stuff. You see, last week i was up there and noticed a pile of aluminum tent poles. Not just a few - a lot of them. Some were broken and there was a lot of shock cord showing - pointing out that they were probably pretty beat. Gears started turning. I didn't decide what to make out of them until after i was piling them into the car. I planned on turning this...
into a lounge chair. (Cue music.) So by about 1:00 i was going through that mess of poles and cutting out elastic and sorting by color and dimensions. I had to do a little rooting in my supply of never discarded "could come in handy sometime" lumber to find a few pieces of yellow cedar that would accommodate the curves that i had in mind.
If you look at the above picture you see the chair was going to take after the Adirondack style furniture. I think the low angle for the back legs greatly increases the stability over what my amateur carpentry skills can create.
Of course, i decided to add some attractive accents to the frame before completing anything actually functional. I notched the base piece for the back supports and have pieces of metal attached until i figure out exactly what i'll put on the sides of the finished piece. (You didn't think i actually finished a project in one day did you?)
If you look closely at the picture above you'll see that i marked the route for the curve of the back to give me a guide for the drilling. I fired up my trusty Makita 9.6 volt cordless drill and rifled through my dwindling set of drill bits. I selected a decent match, drilled one hole, looked at the number of holes that were going to be done and said "i have to go to the hardware store". I bought a corded drill (finally!) for $55 and a bit set for $65. Do you think those costs should count against the project? My new drill handled the job like a champ. It was perhaps a little too aggressive. The smell of cedar filled the air.
I then tapped in 84 of the longest gold colored pieces into one half. I then tried to get the other board to line up with the staves. No way. I would have needed 42 people to make that work. So i pulled all of them back out and just put four in - in key locations i could handle getting that lined up. I then started to pound a piece through about every other spot.
I figured that going with every other would let me flip it over to catch the open ones - this is most important because not all of the segments are the same length. some stuck out an inch and most didn't span the entire width. By having half started from one side and the other half start on the other i was able to make the chair very stable. So stable that i actually don't need to add the bracing that i had planned on in the first place. Of course, we needed to test it out...
And here is the semi-final product. I want to conceal the holes and eliminate the metal plates eventually.
I have plenty of the tent pole pieces to do another chair. I'm thinking of doing a more upright seat though. And my girlfriend challenged me to make a purse out of them too so i have that task ahead of me too. Wheels turning... A reader of my personal site suggested making a lampshade also. I have quite a few left and i think i might be able to do all of those projects. Eventually.
This project took nine hours of thought and work. I spent the $5 for the salvage permit, and besides the tools mentioned above i had everything else on hand - a couple of galvanized metal strips and some screws to connect the cedar planks. With the meal breaks and everything else excluded i spent about 4-5 straight hours working on this.