Giant Deckchairs on Cardiff Bay Beach

Giant Deckchairs Ahoy!

Ok so sometimes making small things is rather complicated, and being a magician (yes, really) ‘in the know’, sometimes the things I’m asked to make are quite… umm… unusual.  Time to make something a bit easier, but BIG. This ‘simple’ project wasn’t all that bizarre, but it was quite fun to design and put together and – in the end – five of these monster chairs were built (the frames anyway).

So the first job was to go and look at a normal deckchair and get the geometry figured out, and that meant a decidedly non-covert mission to Barry Island with a tape measure… Then, fairly obviously, I scaled up – a lot – and went off to get a pile of bits…

Giant Deckchair pile of parts

All timber parts were made from treated CLS timber that came from sustainable sources, and all the steel fixings came from a big box.

I made my plans to work – in the main – with off the shelf lengths of timber, but obviously they all needed a bit of attention. Long bits made readyMaking the relevant holes wasn’t quite as straightforward as anticipated; wielding such large lumps of wood in a relatively confined space and getting the holes perfectly straight (so everything would line up during assembly) was one thing, but setting up the the multiple drilling required to create the ‘bolt head sockets’… sheesh. Quite the little production line I had going in the end.

Homemade Drill GuideGetting the holes nice and straight was done initially with my bench drill on the floor, but the wood wielding was a bit much so decided a more portable drill press was in order. Now being slightly impatient when looking at anticipated delivery times, and reading bad reviews on marketed products, I did what any fool would do…
Homemade Marking GaugeI made my bloomin’ own! Worked a treat to be fair, and now has a special place on the shelf.

Oh and I needed a new marking gauge too…

Several high precision techniques were used throughout the build, such as the leg radius production, caught here on camera just before the saw and belt sander were applied…Marking out the end radiuses

So after all the bits had been cut, drilled and shaped, it was time to put the thing(s) together. Now these units were/are big, and the easiest place to assemble was on my drive…
Heaven knows what the neighbours were thinking.

Frame pre-assembly

Et voila!

Giant Deckchair frame assembled

Giant Deckchair fully assembled

The fabric ‘slings’ for these were made by someone else and I needed to provide an easy way for them to be fitted and changed; the design is such that they can be, in just a couple of minutes.

These chairs were seen on/at Cardiff Bay’s ‘urban beach’ throughout the summer of ’14. They were commissioned and officially supplied by InHouse Entertainments who also made the slings.

During the multi-unit project of five chairs, I decided to film the assembly (of Chair No.4, in case that matters)  just for fun and posterity really (and that’s nothing to do with bottoms)…

Please do go and view this on my YouTube Channel too, so the numbers can go up nicely. And subscribe too, that’d be lovely 🙂

ADDED NOTE: Since the build in 2014 and posting the video on YouTube I have been asked a number of times if I have plans available for these chair frames. My workshop guide at the time was a rather rough set of sketches and scribbles on a piece of cardboard packaging (and you thought I used CAD) so the answer so far has been “Not really. Sorry”. But, maybe it’s about time I drew up some proper plans for the build; watch this space. 🙂