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  #1  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:33 PM
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Sid Sid is offline
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Default Build your own Bomber seats - Part 1

First off, Bob Villa sucks. OK, thatís a little harsh and maybe Iím just jealous of all the equipment he has but in any episode Iíve watch, where heís bending wood, he makes it look so easy. After reading another post that had a few pictures of WWII bomber style seats I decided to make my own. First I picked up a sheet of 1/8Ē 2íx4í birch plywood. Now, I had been taking pictures of the entire process in making the seats but my hard drive took a dump and I lost all of them. Anyway, I first sat on a piece of craft paper and drew and outline of my backend profile. After squaring it up and rounding a few corners I had the shape of the bottom of the seat and proceeded to cut out it out of the plywood. To the seat bottom of this, I trimmed it in ĺĒx1 ĹĒ wood. This would allow me to mouth the side and back of the seat. So far, so good.

For the back, I cut out a pattern from the plywood that I thought would work. I figured the wood should bend easily so I first dampened it then heated it up in the over. I work on it this way for about 45 minutes before giving up. Next, I soaked it in water overnight and it still would not bend, and of course it started to delaminate, as I expected. I didnít want to kerf cut it because it is thin enough. The next day I picked up another sheet of wood and made a jig.



The problem with this was the ribs were too far apart and I needed more straps and wood strips for backing. This piece eventually cracked so off to Home Dept for another piece of plywood. I shortened up the jig to only bend a 2íx2í piece, added more straps and backing. I cinched it up tight and then soaked it in water for 2 hours. After which I was able to complete the bend. Then I left it to dry for 3 days.





Next, I clamped the back of the seat to the bottom and fastened it with glue and nails. After it dried I proceeded to cut out the profile and added the sides as well. To stiffen up there sides a bit I added an additional layer of plywood and feathered the back edge to blend in with the seat. I added an ergonomic design to the seat by stacking some left over plywood up and shaping.

I coated the entire surface of the seat with marine epoxy I had left over from another project. I didnít like the end result much because I had a bit of sanding to do to get it smooth but I fig it would aid in keeping the edges from delaminating.



I picked up green spray paint and applied the layer. I hated the color and it wasnít really close to what the cap indicated it would look like. I found the color I really wanted and sanded it down and applied it.



Over and out,

Sid
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:35 PM
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Default Build your own Bomber seats - Part 2

I donít think Iím German but I have a tendency to over engineer things. I know that I want these seats to be safe so I started welding together metal framework that supports the bottom, sides, and back. To this Iíll be able to attach a seat mount for them that will secure them to the floor of the truck.



Letís see, I the last time I sat in front of a sewing machine was in Home Ec, long, long ago. I dug out my wifeís machine and proceeded to figure out how to use it. Using a WWII tent I picked up at a surplus store for $3, I cut out my patterns and in a matter of an hour I had some cushions.



The last thing to do was attach the seat to the frame. Iím pleased with the end result because one, it was cheaper than buying an aluminum seat, and two, I made it myself.




One down, one more to go.

Over and out,

Sid
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2009, 10:41 PM
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Gastrick Gastrick is offline
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Very nicely done Sid.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:13 PM
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Turned out real nice Sid
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:22 PM
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You make it look so easy too Sid! Nice work! I dare say, I couldn't do that if I tried even with instructions.

Thanks for the pics

Thunder
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:38 PM
chasingadream chasingadream is offline
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Looks nice, just curious, why did you make the seat out of wood instead of metal? Judging by the frame you made you have metal working skills. I ask because i'm thinking of making bomber seats for my '38 Ford.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:16 PM
dyce51 dyce51 is offline
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That turned out great!!!! Nice work!!!
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2009, 12:11 AM
Carlos Murphy Carlos Murphy is offline
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Default Seats

Very nice, talented craftsman.
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  #9  
Old 08-16-2009, 04:10 PM
yone187 yone187 is offline
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I have built a skateboard with a press really easly I bet you could have used that method as well... especially that now you have a seat you can get a mold with.
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  #10  
Old 08-16-2009, 05:11 PM
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Wow that is a neat seat. Why did you paint it? I think I would want to show off the fact that you made it out of wood.

Thanks for sharing the process.
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