Chairs are generally more difficult to make than benches or stools, but here's one that can be made by stitching (or what we're calling 'stiching') plywood pieces with zip ties.
- 1 Description
- 2 Sommaire
- 2.1 Introduction
- 2.2 Étape 1 - Measure and mark the plywood strips
- 2.3 Étape 2 - Cut the pieces
- 2.4 Étape 3 - Sand the edges
- 2.5 Étape 4 - Mark the holes
- 2.6 Étape 5 - Drill the holes
- 2.7 Étape 6 - Loosely stitch the boards together
- 2.8 Étape 7 - Shape and tighten
- 2.9 Étape 8 - Add supports (Method A)
- 2.10 Étape 9 - Add supports (Method B)
- 2.11 Étape 10 - Tada!
- 3 Notes and references
I was able to make 2 chairs out of a single 4’ by 8’ sheet of plywood. The chairs I built with ¼" thick plywood are strong, but over time the holes could wear through, so I'd recommend using ½" thick plywood. Feel free to do some experimenting with the design of the chair and share your results.
4'x 8' Sheet of 1/2” Thick Plywood. There are a lot of different types of plywood. I used ¼” plywood which is strong enough to hold my weight but might not stand the test of time. 3/8” or ½” thick plywood would provide superior durability.
Zip Ties Zip ties – also called cable ties or tie wraps – come in a variety of different sizes. I tried both large 10” ties and thinner 4” ties. The thinner ties are much easier to work with.
- Cordless Drill
- Circular Saw
- Diagonal Pliers
- Long Nose Pliers
Étape 2 - Cut the pieces
I used my Circular Saw with a plywood blade to make the cuts. The laser guide makes it really easy to follow the lines. If you don’t have a laser then clamp a guide to the plywood.
Étape 4 - Mark the holes
I measured a line 1/2” from the edges and marked an X every 1" inch down the line to indicate drill marks.
Étape 5 - Drill the holes
I clamped 2 to 3 boards together to drill the holes on multiple pieces at the same time.
Étape 6 - Loosely stitch the boards together
I zipped a series of loops into the drilled holes in the first piece. Then I strung zip ties through the holes in the second piece and the zip tie loops in the first piece. This creates a zip tie to zip tie connection/link. Keep the links loose for now.
Étape 7 - Shape and tighten
Shaping and tightening the zip ties is an incremental process that requires a bit of patience. The good news is that you can always cut and redo zip ties if you make a mistake. Use long nose pliers to tighten the ties and diagonal pliers to cut the long ends.
Étape 8 - Add supports (Method A)
I used giant, 3 foot zip ties to make tension supports for the chair. Simply drilling two holes through the plywood and using a box cutter to carve out the area between the holes, I was able to create a rectangular hole large enough to strap part of the zip tie through. I then cut the head off of a second tie to cap the other end. I used the same method to make vertical supports that keep the back from reclining too far.
Étape 9 - Add supports (Method B)
For the second chair, I cut some scrap plywood into supports and zip tied them to both the leg and back pieces of the chair.
Étape 10 - Tada!
Good luck making your own ZipStich Chair and please email or tweet photos to @benuyeda or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more detailed instructions, dimensioned drawings and different variations of the project, check out our soon-to-be-released book.