How-To: Rubber hose chair


This handsome chair looks like a prototype you'd find in the workshop of a mid-century furniture designer. Instructions are at Instructables.

How-To: Rubber hose chair


  1. this is cool, but it seems like the rubber hoses would wear out and need to be replaced quite often.

  2. I used to have a mid-century sectional whose cushions rested on very thin, looped rubber tubing. It was amazingly sculptural.

  3. Hm. The overall shape is nice, but I’m not wild about the bare plywood (so I’d quibble with “handsome”, and … well, ya can’t tell comfort or lack thereof without actually sitting on the thing, and unless it’s comfortable it isn’t a chair.

  4. looks like most folks would have to do a lot of shopping to make this thing, so it doesn’t really do much in the material conservation department.

  5. looks like most folks would have to do a lot of shopping to make this thing, so it doesn’t really do much in the material conservation department.

    Scrap plywood and an old garden hose? All you’d have to buy is the hardware.

  6. pneumatic industrial hose wear out quickly? not likely. looks like a cool design for someone with the supplies at hand.

  7. Scrap plywood would certainly not handle the job well. I’d imagine you could use it if you doubled up on all the pieces, and maybe out a metal cap on each foot to prevent de-lamination.

  8. The design is structurally deficient. The threaded rods are not strong enough to keep the chair from collapsing on itself. But that’s easy enough to fix.

  9. I think those threaded rods need to be a bit thicker, personally. And I’m not even that fat…

  10. Actually, you don’t need thicker threaded rods, you just need four or five more of them.

    But that one in the front does look like it’s starting to bow a little…

  11. I pity the fool who is sitting in the chair when the hose finally does snap. Whiplash!

  12. It is a very good chair by itself and it is an even much better chair by the way it stimulate emulation.


  13. But once you rubberhose the chair, it’ll disappear. Unless you know exactly where to look for it.

  14. “Scrap plywood and an old garden hose? All you’d have to buy is the hardware.”

    I am certainly picking at knits here, but the structure of the chair is dependent on those metal rods and other hardware, which will probably cost over ten dollars(?), and also probably cost the most resources to make. It’s not so much the chair that I am responding to here (I don’t really care for it anyway) but the emergence of a DIY culture that is largely just another form of consumerism that might liberate us from one big-box store (the one with crumby disposable furniture)only to make us dependent on another (the one that sells hardware). I don’t think it’s that hard to make a chair without shopping at all.

    By the way, I think the hose would last for quite a while (especially if you don’t leave it out in the sun, and that with all the friction of the hose on the wood, it would not be particularly violent if the hose broke.

  15. It’s an EXCELLENT initial design! And in no way should it be thought of as incorrect.

    It’s just that, as with all initial designs there’s margin of tradings. Trading making it at all for obsessive recalculating that never makes a real object. So serial #1 of stuff I have made looks totally ghetto&FUGLY to the hilt in some cases. But? There’s a sensibility of simplicity being it’s own beauty. Like with this chair as it is.

    Think of Huraches made from old bias ply tires as one example. Initially they were a crudity born of whatever situations their makers were in. Later we ended up with commercial shoes molded to emulate the treads of what had been a tire. Think of it as tire recycling at an ad hoc level meets design inspiration. Ah, there is a connection.. Strips of bias ply tire could replace the rubber tubing if one were creative.. Back to the chair “as shown”

    This chair seems to be a potential winner! If the original designer were to clean up the design sketches and submit them to Ponoko etc, -Yeah- that would be neat:>

    RP and non-traditional services like Ponoko:

    Can take an idea like this from what the initial one is into something truly unique and polished. Though there’s a lot to be said for handcrafted unique too.

  16. The all-thread rods could be replaced with plywood slats. It would be far less prone to keel over sideways then.
    I agree that the plywood is rather fugly, but black laquor and a pretty hose would look great!

    On the subject of home-made seating, my older brother Thrill used to build award winning custom choppers back in the ’60’s, and rode with several clubs. He built a 3-wheeler, and for seats he cut an aluminum beer keg in an ‘s’ cut that made two seats. He upholstered them and mounted one behind the other and WHAM! Another giant trophy.

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