Franklin Chair for the Shop

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Project by vrice posted 11-02-2015 11:44 PM 7294 views 15 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was in need of a step ladder to get at lumber on my lumber rack and some floor to ceiling shelving I have covering one wall of my shop. While looking for some decent designs, I ran across several designs for something called a Franklin Chair. Sure enough, I then located several here on LJ. My design is based on several different ones I saw, with my own design for the chair back.
Given this is strictly for shop use, fine furniture was definitely not the end goal. As such I made this thing entirely from 1×4 select pine boards from the big box store. The only other part of note is the piano hinge I used. Finally I put a couple of coats of spray on poly-urethane just to seal and protect it.
This perfectly suits the needs I had for the shop. It provides a perfectly sized step ladder AND converts to a chair otherwise. You can find my Sketchup model for this chair here.

-- Vic Rice

3 comments so far

View bushmaster's profile


4148 posts in 3567 days

#1 posted 11-03-2015 02:49 AM

Very nicely built chair and step ladder. I have made a number of these with solid with solid sides, but have given them all away to my kids. Need to get busy and make one for myself. Very nice work.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Jose Mota's profile

Jose Mota

3 posts in 2641 days

#2 posted 11-03-2015 07:43 PM

In my opinion you put the hinge on the wrong side. I think you should put it in such a way as to avoid that the body may prevent contact, when this piece of furniture is in setting the chair.

Best regards

-- Jose Mota, Portugal

View vrice's profile


111 posts in 3976 days

#3 posted 11-03-2015 08:49 PM

Jose, you are absolutely correct. I noticed the faux pas AFTER I chopped the bloody mortises. However, given the barrel for this piano hinge is quite small, the problem is not that bad. In fact, when I finally noticed this I deepened the mortises by about 1/16th inch. This keeps the barrel MOSTLY below the surface when sitting. Although I have not spent hours at a stretch sitting in this thing, my test sits (5-10 minutes) indicated this hinge barrel was barely noticeable on my “posterior”. Good observation on your part. Thanks for mentioning this so others don’t make this same mistake.

-- Vic Rice

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