How to Build a Sofa/Couch #3: Finished springs, starting on the Back Rest

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Blog entry by dakremer posted 05-24-2010 06:45 AM 88128 reads 2 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Springs in the platform Part 3 of How to Build a Sofa/Couch series Part 4: platform finished...almost there!!! »

So far I’m done with the “8-way hand tied springs” as you can see from the pics below. I think I tied over 300 knots for the entire thing. It must have taken me like 5 hours just for the springs (if not more). My fingers are killing me – jute twine is not very forgiving. Anyways I tested it out and it is VERY sturdy. It seems to be working exactly like its supposed to. I then constructed the back rest. This was the part that I was least confident about. Not sure if the way I’m doing it is going to suffice – what do you think? I might make changes – but I think when I wrap it in all the layers and staple all the fabric to it, and attach it to the arm rests and platform, It might be alright. I also started sewing the fabric for the front of the sofa and wanted to get the platform completely finished, but of course I ran out of staples, and being a Sunday night, no place was open to go buy more. I’ve used TONS of staples so far, and theres plenty more coming. Thanks for reading!


-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

25 comments so far

View wichle's profile


96 posts in 3365 days

#1 posted 05-24-2010 07:08 AM

Too bad people aren’t watching. Good job looks great

-- Bill, Michigan "People don't come preassebled, but are glued together by life"

View Dez's profile


1167 posts in 4495 days

#2 posted 05-24-2010 07:34 AM

I have been watching with interest. I have concluded that you are more determined than I – or more of a masochist, one or the other (maybe both? :) )
Please continue!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View a1Jim's profile


117653 posts in 3995 days

#3 posted 05-24-2010 07:43 AM

Its cool watching it come together

View uffitze's profile


199 posts in 3373 days

#4 posted 05-24-2010 08:24 AM

I’m interested too … I haven’t done much upholstery.

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 4400 days

#5 posted 05-24-2010 02:05 PM

Looks good. I built a few for my murphy beds, but I had someone else cover it. Mine was a lot more simpler too. This looks great! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4205 days

#6 posted 05-24-2010 02:12 PM

Very interesting project. Looking forward to future installments!

View Nate Finch's profile

Nate Finch

29 posts in 3342 days

#7 posted 05-24-2010 02:56 PM

I think this series is terribly interesting. I’d love to be able to build a couch to my own specifications. heck, maybe this will give me enough information to replace the springs in the bottom of my current couch.

-- Nate, Harvard, MA

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 3656 days

#8 posted 05-24-2010 03:02 PM

So many questions

How many miles of string do you have in that? How many miles does it feel like? :-)
Where did you get the springs? What booze did you drink to get the courage to tackle that project?

Looking good and always very good to learn new things.


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View CaptainSkully's profile


1610 posts in 3976 days

#9 posted 05-24-2010 03:57 PM

I have enjoyed this blog very much, I just didn’t have anything to say mid-build. I was actually thinking that when we get back from our circumnavigation, I might build a couch just like this. As a professional rigger, we use marlinespike hitches to tension twine. This info may be a bit late. Please feel free to do a “how-to” if you feel so inclined, so I can favorite it. Thanks.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View dakremer's profile


2742 posts in 3509 days

#10 posted 05-24-2010 04:11 PM

Wolffarmer…I don’t even want to add up how much string. I think when it was all said and done it was something like 500ft of twine, along with 300+ knots. I’m glad that part of it is over. It was definitely that hardest part. Hopefully the rest will go smoothly from here! Thanks for reading, and commenting!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View sras's profile


5108 posts in 3547 days

#11 posted 05-24-2010 04:25 PM

I find this to be quite interesting as well. Upholstered furniture can have so many more options in terms of shape, fabrics and structure. You refer to 8 way tied springs as longer lasting. What eventually wears out in this type of construction? Does the twine break or do the springs go soft?

I am not sure why you think people are not interested. Your last post had ~250 reads in ~one day. I am usually pretty pleased with that. I think you will find people will keep viewing your blog for months to come. Keep up the good work!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View chrisstef's profile


17935 posts in 3424 days

#12 posted 05-24-2010 06:02 PM

Quite an undertaking … not only would i call yur post here interesting but impressive as well… the closest i ever came to upholstering was on a poker table abd i think that was enough staples for me

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3876 days

#13 posted 05-24-2010 06:07 PM

I’m pretty sure a lot more people are looking on with interest at your blog… as far as comments go though, I would go so far as to say only 5 – 10% will actually comment. I am guilty of this at times, and not innocent this time either. Please continue to post this series, I am very interested in the process and outcome.

-- San Diego, CA

View dakremer's profile


2742 posts in 3509 days

#14 posted 05-24-2010 08:05 PM

Sorry guys, I didnt mean that as a GRUMPY “i’m not going to waste my time”.....I guess ultimately I was just saying I’m going to shorten up the writing and include more pictures maybe, and if you guys have any questions you can just ask me. So its not longer really a “How to” but more of a “project progress” – I’d still be happy to answer any questions, or go more in detail on some things – if asked.

Sras – from sofas that I have seen, its most often the jute webbing at the bottom starts breaking, before the twine breaks. Once all the springs are tied together they all work as one unit. so if you put pressure on one spring, you’re essentially putting pressure on all of the springs. This makes the springs last a VERY long time. (compared to Sinusous springs – you put pressure on one spring, you are basically putting all the pressure on that ONE spring).... but as far as failure of this system. Unless the sofa is abused or used very very heavily (kids jumping on it, etc) this spring system will last a life time!

thanks for all the positive feedback – hope you are enjoying! So far its not as hard as i thought (even though the springs sucked….big time)

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4066 days

#15 posted 05-24-2010 08:11 PM

very cool progress. must be great being able to build your own!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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