Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Outdoor Chair

At some point I decided to go through all my old dollhouse furniture and see how much of it was correctly sized for Sylvanian Families. I didn't worry much about scale as a kid, and as it turns very little of my furniture was scaled correctly. So I contemplated making appropriately scaled furniture.

During my browsing of articles about making dollhouse miniatures, I came across The Art of Dollhouse Miniatures. This site discusses craft wood supplies that can be used as 'scale lumber', in particular the rather useful "Skinny Sticks" (I picked up a bag at my local Michaels). The site also has instructions for a Garden Lawn Chair.

Well, after looking at some number of miniature Adirondack chairs, I decided to try designing a chair scaled for Sylvanian Families. I also wanted a chair that they could sit in. Because of the way their legs angle, this made the project somewhat more complicated, since the seat needed to be extremely trapezoidal if I wanted the back to look like it was sized for one person rather than two.

The resulting chair is somewhere between the Lawn Chair and an Adirondack chair, and is made from 'Skinny Sticks'. It was stained with a wood stain after gluing all the pieces together. Also, some amount of filing and fiddling was required to get the pieces to fit together the way I thought they should.

I don't have complete step-by-step instructions, but here are the rough plans I made for myself along with a few notes on construction (pdf). I had some difficultly getting the back angled with the armrests actually sitting in the notches for them, so some additional filing may be needed. When printing the pdf out, make sure that it is printing without scaling (nor fitting to page, nor anything else that might cause the sizing to change).

Overall I am pretty happy with the result. My goal is roughly to have furniture the appropriate height: for example, table tops at adult waist height. Thus the legs should probably be a little shorter, so the seat isn't almost at their waist, but its pretty close.

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