'Success? Failure?' Rating: ★★★★☆
Inspired by a recent visit to Ici et Là in Sydney, Australia, I decided to fabricate a pair of folding deck chairs. The design was based on the chairs sold in the shop (which is where I got the fabric from, too).
I used a local timber, rimu, to build the frame, but any reasonably strong timber should do. I purchased dressed lengths of 100mm x 25mm [4" x 1"] - the dressing process reduces the actual dimensions to 94mm x 19mm. I sliced these boards lengthwise to get the 45mm x 19mm strips that I used throughout. The dowel used in the crossbeams is 20mm pine (it would have been nice to use the same timber throughout, but I couldn't find any rimu dowel). I rounded off the edges and ends of each frame strip on my router table. I then assembled the strips and dowels for each of the three frame components. I attached a set of blocks (spaced about 90mm apart) along the upper side of the innermost frame component. Everything was varnished before the three frame components were assembled using 40mm M6 bolts and nylok nuts.
Once assembled I cut the fabric to fit the chair when it is folded flat, with enough allowance to wrap around the doubled dowels at each end of the frame. With the left over fabric I made a small neck pillow, held in place with cord. The seat fabric was stapled in place with a staple gun.
It was only after I'd built my version of this folding deck chair that I found some images that might have been useful to me on the Ici et Là web site (always the way, isn't it). Their chair has slightly different dimensions to mine, so you may want to adjust the cutting/drilling plan, below, based on what they did.
Pros: The fabric from Ici et Là looks fantastic; the frame is lightweight and sturdy; the high back suits me very well (most deck chairs are too short for me).
Cons: The front of the seat is quite high when the chair is in a more upright position - this may not suit shorter users.
Enhancement Suggestions: Adjust the dimensions to better match those in the Ici et Là images.
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