What’s the coolest thing about doing upholstery work? Aside from the fact that you end up with a new thing to sit on, sometimes the work only involves clever stapling, and no sewing is necessary. Such is the case with [wyldestyle]’s upcycled jeans chair, which started as a bare-wood swivel number from the dump. In fact, this project is almost completely made from recycled materials, except of course for those staples that hold it all together. And really, that heavy-duty stapler is likely the fanciest tool you’d need to make your own.
[wyldestyle] didn’t have any furniture foam, and we think that stuff is too expensive, anyway. So the padding treatment begins with a piece of thick Styrofoam that covers the seat screws and bolts. This is glued in place and trimmed down to match the contours of the chair’s seat and back.
Here’s where things gets tricky: the next step is wrapping over the stiff foam board with a few layers of that foam sheeting stuff that’s often used as packing material. This sheeting needs to be taut, but pull it too tight, and it will rip.
To add some loft to the chair, [wyldestyle] stretched and stapled the stuffing from an old pillow that was headed for the garbage. The final step is strategically scissoring jean scraps to fit, then stretching and stapling those to cover all the layers underneath. We like the way this chair looks, and would probably try to place pockets somewhere useful, like the back of the chair.
It’s a shame that so much denim goes to waste all over the world. There’s often a lot of life left in most of the fabric, which can be repurposed into all kinds of things, including eyeglasses frames using a wicked set of jigs.
An obligatory “Future’s so bright I gotta wear… denim” joke is the only way to kick off this article. Sorry!
Now that that’s out of the way, how would you turn your own blue jeans into sunglasses? Well you wouldn’t, unless you’ve built an intricate jig for assembling sunglasses frames like [Mosevic] has done. Boiled down, this is like making parts out of carbon fiber, except you swap in denim for the carbon fiber. Several layers of blue jean material are layered in a mold and impregnated with resin. Once hardened, parts can be milled or laser cut from this stock and then assembled into the frames all of the hipsters are after.
For us its the assembly jig that’s so interesting to see. [Mosevic] shared it in an unlisted video of an update to the Kickstarter campaign which ran at the end of 2019. The jig is used to align machined parts into stack ups that include brass reinforcement and pins to align layers, as well as the joining for the three parts of the frame via the metal hinges. Most of the jig is made from machined plywood. The plates that hold the three parts of the frame, the “frame front” and the two “temples” in eyeglass parlance, are interchangeable so that the same jig can be used to assemble several variants of the frame design. The most notable non-plywood part of the jig are two metal clamps that hold the hinge into the frame front as the glue dries, holding a couple of tiny chunks of denim/resin block in place.
Here you can see the jig with all clamps fully closed. There is not an insignificant amount of time just getting the parts into this jig. But parts still need quite a bit of cleanup after this process to sand, shape, and polish all edges and surfaces of the frames. And of course you have to figure in the time it took to make the parts that went into the jig in the first place. The finished frames are gorgeous, but we have a lot more respect having seen what it takes to pull it off.
Now if you like your glasses like George Washington liked his false teeth, here’s how you can pull a set of shades out of your woodshop.
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