Tripp Trapp Chairs

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Project by woodnteeth posted 03-19-2013 04:03 AM 3645 views 7 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife saw a real Tripp Trapp Chair at a speech therapy clinic and insisted we must have three…one for each of our children. We looked online and they cost between $200 and $300 a piece. All of a sudden I was certain I could make them. They are probably worth that, though, as they were more difficult than they look to build. My kids love them and I only spent about $300 to build all three (tools I didn’t have, wood, etc). Great way to get new tools, though.

-- Alan

10 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2731 days

#1 posted 03-19-2013 04:16 AM

Very nice and quite unusual…Are they adjustable as they appear to be?

View woodnteeth's profile


31 posts in 1333 days

#2 posted 03-19-2013 05:04 AM

Yes, they are. As you see, there are two pieces of threaded rod. Loosening the knobs on each side of each piece of threaded rod relieves the pressure pinching the seat and foot rest in place. You can then move the seat and/or the foot rest up or down as needed into a different set of slots, re-tighten each knob and the seat and foot rest are once again tightly held in place. The adjustable feature helps the child always keep his/her feet on a platform and knees bent at somewhat of a right angle so they don’t wiggle around so much in their chair. Apparently it helps with them being able to focus and ultimately learn better. Also, since you can make the seat higher, they can be sitting right up to the level of a standard dinner table instead of having to sit on their knees on a regular chair to reach their food.

-- Alan

View Oldtool's profile


2365 posts in 1613 days

#3 posted 03-19-2013 12:14 PM

Nice build on these chairs. I’m curious about the leg to foot joint, looks like it must be under a great deal of stress. How did you make this?, does it have dowels or bolts to strengthen it, or is it simply glued?
Thanks for showing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View macdo's profile


29 posts in 1365 days

#4 posted 03-19-2013 01:16 PM

Great job, I would like to know where did you get the plastic parts and if you made any kind of jig for the slots.
Thanks in advance,

View woodnteeth's profile


31 posts in 1333 days

#5 posted 03-19-2013 02:58 PM

Thanks for the questions. The leg to foot joint is just a rabbet joint that is both glued and has two 3/4” dowels running from the inside to just shy of the outside. They are glued as well, of course. The bottom horizontal piece is just a glued dado joint with dowels as well from the outside. The chairs are pretty sturdy and I’ve sat on them, but I wouldn’t personally use them for an adult. Mine are just for kids. Regarding the plastic parts, I ordered the baby restraint seat from Stokke, which is the maker of the original Tripp Trapp Chair. I did make a jig to router the slots. That was the most difficult part. It has to be a reversible jig as you can’t use the same one for the slots on both verticals since they go in opposite directions with respect to the angle of the vertical, if that makes sense. I also made a jig, of course, to bend the pieces that make the back. You can find some partial plans online with some dimensions (distance between grooves, angle from foot to leg joint (72 degrees), overall height, overall width, etc.). I can’t remember where I found them but Google it and you’ll find them.

Here is the link to the Stokke website and a short blip about the history of the chair:

Tripp Trapp® chair
A modern classic.
The Tripp Trapp® chair, created in 1972 by the designer Peter Opsvik, has never been bettered. In 1972, revolution was a fact. Back then no one had seen anything like the Tripp Trapp®, and almost 40 years later it is still unique: the only child’s chair that can take you from baby to adult, keeping you secure and comfortable all the way.
The Tripp Trapp® designer’s inspiration came from watching his own young son, Tor, struggle to find a comfortable position to sit in at their family table. Having grown out of his old-fashioned high-chair, but still far too small to sit on an adult’s chair, Tor was left dangling his legs and struggling to reach the table.

-- Alan

View LesB's profile


1228 posts in 2866 days

#6 posted 03-19-2013 07:07 PM

Interesting design and great work.
I have made a similar chairs with a different method for holding the seat. The advantage your Trip design has is a foot rest which I never added to mine. I have made 18 at last count and the kids have used them until they are about 12-14 years old. Had I seen the Trip design I would probably have used that design also.
My plans for this chair are posted with my projects for any one who wants them.

-- Les B, Oregon

View woodnteeth's profile


31 posts in 1333 days

#7 posted 03-23-2013 04:46 PM

That’s a nice chair. You could add a foot rest pretty easily into that design. I am sure your chair is easier to get into and out of, which is my only complaint about the Tripp Trapp design. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

-- Alan

View Philip's profile


1275 posts in 1962 days

#8 posted 04-02-2013 04:40 PM

Love it! This one is going to the favorites for sure…

-- I never finish anyth

View Thirdtimesacharm's profile


3 posts in 662 days

#9 posted 02-16-2015 05:56 PM

Do the seat and footrest just slide in to what depth you put them at, or is there some kind of stop? None of the chair pictures anywhere show the underside of the seat. Thanks.

View woodnteeth's profile


31 posts in 1333 days

#10 posted 02-16-2015 06:41 PM

Do the seat and footrest just slide in to what depth you put them at, or is there some kind of stop? None of the chair pictures anywhere show the underside of the seat. Thanks.

- Thirdtimesacharm

There are no stops. The two all-thread cross bars “squeeze” the seat and foot rest to avoid sliding around, but you just put them where you want and then tighten the four knobs. Does that answer the question?

-- Alan

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