Last night I wrote about making the prototype for my sculptural desk chair design. Now it’s time to share the finished product! As I mentioned yesterday, I always knew I wanted the final version to be made of bamboo, so before starting work on it I had to make sure everything was perfect. I tweaked a few of my computer files, with the biggest change being a more angled backrest. Additionally, the man I was making the chair for had a fondness for high-backed chairs, so I stretched the backrest a bit to make it a little taller.
As with the prototype, the first step was to cut out all of the parts with the Shopbot. This process was a little more complicated than a normal Shopbot session, as the complex design called for three different bits to complete each session (one to cut the channels, one to drill holes and one to cut the outline of each piece). The whole process went smoothly and I quickly moved on to sanding and staining.
Once each piece was nicely finished, assembly began. I slotted the base together and then moved on to stringing the cables through their respective holes and lining them up with the proper channels. Of course, this part ended up being much more difficult than it was with the prototype. As I mentioned yesterday, the process of working the cables into their respective channels while gluing the two halves of the central spine together is a little tricky. The cables have a tendency to pop out of the channels and get in the way of the two halves coming together. My error in moving from prototype to final version of the chair was that I made the cable channels a little less deep in the latter version. The prototype channels had a little extra wiggle room and I thought things would look better if they were smaller. Mistake! While the cables still fit just fine, making the channels smaller ended up making it much more difficult keep the cables in place while gluing the two halves of the spine together. What had taken me 15 minutes to accomplish with the prototype ended up taking about three hours this time around.
In the end I managed to get everything in its place and I moved on to the final step of tightening and locking the cables to secure the backrest in place. I’m really happy with how the final product turned out!