Iraq'n Chair

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Project by kshipp posted 03-10-2009 06:59 PM 3621 views 6 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a project I spent about four months designing. It’s not that it really took that long but I’m currently in Iraq so I don’t have a lot of time to be on the computer or building things. I had never made a chair before so I figured I would try to figure out how I could make one over here. We really only have access to plywood, dimensional lumber, and very limited tools so I had to keep that in mind during the design. It is made out of 1” plywood, 2×4’s, and some scrap cargo straps.

The third picture is the design I did in SketchUp. The only difference between that and the finished product is the weaving on the seat. I wasn’t sure if I would need to do it for support or not. I was also very unsure on how to model the weaving in SketchUp so I just left it off. Any suggestions of an easy way to model the woven seat would be appreciated.

I printed a full-size template out (thanks supply) and used it to transfer the design to the plywood. I cut out the profile with a Sawzall and an old jigsaw that was pretty upset about cutting 1” plywood. The fifth picture is right before I cut out the inside profile. The last picture is the wood frame finished up. It was a pretty simple project in that I only needed was to identical plywood sides, and six 2×4’s of the same length.

The first two pictures are of course of the finished chair. I call it the Iraq’n chair because it’s not really a rocking chair and obviously my location. I put an angle on the back so I can lean back comfortably and it will be steady. Same thing for the angle on the front of the chair for when you really need to lean into your work.

I’ve already got some requests for more chairs from the other guys but I’m a little short on time and materials. Strangely my platoon sergeant wants me to go on patrols and only build things in my free time.

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

-- Kyle Shipp,

19 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4217 days

#1 posted 03-10-2009 07:40 PM

Brilliant design and use of materials, Kyle!

And thanks for your service.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3418 days

#2 posted 03-10-2009 08:23 PM

You rock, Kyle. The chair is pretty cool, but it’s awesome what you’re doing for all of us. Thank you for your service.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View dhg's profile


197 posts in 3711 days

#3 posted 03-10-2009 08:39 PM

I guess sergeants have no sense of priority!

Nice work on the chair with limited everything!

Thanks for being there and keep your head down.


-- Talent on Loan from God - Rush Limbaugh

View woodbutcherer's profile


30 posts in 3454 days

#4 posted 03-10-2009 08:57 PM

I actually really like the design of the chair! I can see tweaking it for asthetics and making it outa real wood!

it would make a neat patio chair!

Be careful about lead posioning! Good luck.

-- POST NUBILA SOL - After clouds sunshine

View rickf16's profile


390 posts in 3580 days

#5 posted 03-10-2009 10:03 PM

Kyle, Thanks for your service!!! And I wouldn’t change a thing on that chair. It looks perfect. I have the feeling that won’t be the only chair you make!

-- Rick

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

505 posts in 3515 days

#6 posted 03-10-2009 11:06 PM

Great looking chair! I agree that it would make a good patio chair. Thank you for your sacrifices and all that you risk on our behalf.

-- jstegall

View mountainsky's profile


29 posts in 3396 days

#7 posted 03-11-2009 12:44 AM

Kyle, That’s a GREAT CHAIR! IS there anything we could do stateside to help you with these? As echoed above, thank you for all you do for us and God Bless!

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3873 days

#8 posted 03-11-2009 02:14 AM

Very clever for your limited materials. I really like how it came out.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3651 days

#9 posted 03-11-2009 03:10 AM

Kyle this is a cool chair. I can see this as a great coffee break chair for me in my shop. It would get a lot of use.

Thanks for your service and be safe.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View davyjones's profile


47 posts in 3421 days

#10 posted 03-11-2009 12:15 PM

Great chair. I know how you feel though. i was there in 03-04 as a MP. also ended up being a woodworker, electrician and jack of all trades for my company. Thank you for your service! Keep your butt as low as your head. Stay safe brother. If you need anything let some of us know and i am sure we will all look for/ find a way to get it to you.

-- I came, I sawed I fixed it. (well sort of)

View firecaster's profile


572 posts in 3417 days

#11 posted 03-11-2009 02:58 PM

The nerve of the guy. Can’t he see you have talent.
Great chair, great design. It looks comfortable. I agree with the above post. This design would look good on a patio.

Thanks for your service. It’s men like you that let us worry about our hobbies instead of other things.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View Viktor's profile


464 posts in 3417 days

#12 posted 03-11-2009 06:32 PM

Great design and use of material. Those 5000 lb capacity straps look reassuring :)

View kshipp's profile


179 posts in 3777 days

#13 posted 03-12-2009 01:05 PM

Thank you for all the kind comments. I’m already thinking about building an ottoman to go along with it. As for my sergeant, I don’t really want to get stuck on post so I’ll let him think he is getting his way. :)

DaveR – Thanks for the help on SketchUp. I learn a lot from you.

Viktor – I am hoping that 5,000 lb is going to be enough capacity. It will encourage me to keep my weight down. :)

-- Kyle Shipp,

View kshipp's profile


179 posts in 3777 days

#14 posted 03-12-2009 01:09 PM

Sorry. I see I double-posted.

-- Kyle Shipp,

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3380 days

#15 posted 03-12-2009 01:32 PM

I’m so impressed! Really well made with such simple tools and materials at your disposal. You’re making me feel extra bad about slacking in my shop :)

Be safe, and thanks for posting!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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