Dolls' Houses Past & Present

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Four Modern Chairs for under £10 by Pinch of Pepper

This is a really simple design that you can copy or put your own stamp on. Enjoy!


Things you'll need

  • A sheet of aluminium (you can buy it from shops that sell model making materials)
  • Four BBQ skewers (round or square profile, doesn't matter which)
  • A steel rule
  • Heavy duty side cutters or a hacksaw
  • Two clamps (the ones in the picture are 'G' clamps but anything that can hold the work is fine)
  • Strong glue (such as two-part epoxy resin like araldite)
  • A strong work surface (I'm using an Ikea chopping board) 


First ~ remove both ends of your BBQ skewer with either your side cutters or a hacksaw. 


Lay the skewer next to your steel rule and find the centre. You can mark your measurements with a biro will rub off no problem when you're finished. From the centre mark you need to measure 3/4 of an inch either side. From those measurements mark at 1 and1/2 inches either side. From those measurements mark another 1 and 1/2 inches. Rub out the initial centre mark.
You should now have five measurements of 1 and 1/2 inches.


Now here's the fun part. You need to clamp the skewer firmly, by placing it under the steel rule and tightening the clamps over the steel rule and onto the chopping board. The steel rule will act as strong edge with which to achieve a 90 degree angle. Start at one of the marks closest to the centre of the skewer and align that mark with the edge of the steel rule. Carefully push upwards until you get a nice 'L' shape in the metal.  


Do exactly the same thing from the opposite side.


This is what you should  will have at this point.   =0)


Now .. place your work flat onto the board and clamp it at the next two marks that you measured (1 and 1/2 inches along from the corners that you've just bent). Again, bend both parts of the skewer up to make a 90 degree 'L' shape.


This is what you'll have now.


Okay, these are the last bends you need to make for the frame. Clamp your work as shown in the picture above, at the final two marks. Again, bend both ends of the skewer up into a nice 'L' angle.


When you're finished this is what you will have. Using your side cutters or hacksaw, measure and cut the excess off 1 1/2 inches from your last bends.

This is the leg frame of the chair.


Now the seat. Measure and cut an 85mm x 45mm piece of the aluminium. You can use any type of aluminium .. not necessarily the perforated type, as long as it's sturdy enough to hold its shape. If you're using the perforated type, it's easy to cut along the holes with kitchen scissors. Use a piece of sandpaper or nail file to take the sharp edges off the metal (aluminium is soft but a shard of it in your skin hurts like a *@)£"%*).


Find the centre and, you guessed it, bend it up so that you're left with an 'L' shape. Use the steel rule as a guide to get a precise bend.


Use the back of a teaspoon to gently push about 2mm at each end of the aluminium, over the edge of the steel rule. This technique is 'Burnishing'.
Because the back of the spoon is polished it doesn't scratch or spoil the aluminium.

*When I learned that technique from a teacher like a gazillion decades ago I thought, when on earth am I going to need that in my adult life ... he will be soooo smug now*  

This is what you should have now. Using a little - and I mean little -  amount of your glue, smear across the frame and set the seat into place. Keep it weighted down until it is set solidly.


And this is the end product. Have fun!

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