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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 05-29-2012 01:10 AM 1312 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RussellAP

2950 posts in 942 days


05-29-2012 01:10 AM

Has anyone ever tackled making a Herman Miller Eames Lounge chair?

I wonder what’s involved in the construction.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.


13 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2304 days


#1 posted 05-29-2012 01:27 AM

this one is on my project list.

requires some bending forms, and thin plies of wood. the interesting thing about this chair is how the back is connected via the arm rests…

a beautiful and intriguing chair

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 962 days


#2 posted 05-29-2012 01:37 AM

Never tried it myself, but if you attempt it, Ill take two ;)

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View ShipWreck's profile

ShipWreck

536 posts in 2409 days


#3 posted 05-29-2012 11:07 AM

What bending method would you use? I have steamed smaller pieces before but never attempted larger/longer pieces.

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ShipWreck

536 posts in 2409 days


#4 posted 05-29-2012 02:35 PM

Ahhh…....makes sense to me.

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 942 days


#5 posted 05-29-2012 02:47 PM

I don’t think I’ll ever build one, but I’d love to see how it’s done.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 920 days


#6 posted 05-29-2012 04:39 PM

The knock offs are not as good as the real thing (I know because I have sat in roughly 1,000 Herman Miller (Eames) 670+671 chairs and their knock offs).

Here is the one in our living room (a repro until we can source a Rosewood one or maybe a Palisander or White Ash/pearl leather combo):

Our home tour: http://www.southernsprout.com/tour/living-room/

Building the shells would be pretty staright-forward if you have some vacuum presses, forms, and sheets of ply. If you didn’t know, a good portion of their wood chairs were formed plywood designs and the Eameses (Charles and Ray) were pioneers in production-based plywood furniture. The hardware isn’t as easy though.

You might be better off attempting the LCW or DCW chairs first before tackling the iconic 670.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Loren's profile

Loren

7561 posts in 2304 days


#7 posted 05-29-2012 04:48 PM

There’s a book that has some information in it.

Aside from the plywood laminations, the chairs have a lot
of proprietary metal parts, proprietary rubber parts and
difficult-to-execute upholstery. The plywood is the easy
part. Sometimes the rubber cracks and the “ears” on the
lower back break off. It’s a not uncommon restoration
problem. You can buy all components from Herman Miller
of course and also get vintage parts on ebay.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 920 days


#8 posted 05-29-2012 10:10 PM

Those parts do cost a pretty penny too Loren (I fix Herman Miller and Eames stuff from time to time).

The hardware is definitely difficult to come by (or buy b/c it’s expensive). That is usually what separates the knock-offs from the real thing.

You can sometimes find the individual parts from a well-worn chair on eBay.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Texchappy's profile

Texchappy

252 posts in 876 days


#9 posted 05-30-2012 12:29 AM

Doss, like the shelves behind the chair. Cadovius?

-- Wood is not velveeta

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 920 days


#10 posted 05-30-2012 03:01 PM

Texchappy, thanks. I’ll have to check for the maker again. I used to remember who it was, but it’s escaping me now. IIRC, they are from Denmark roughly from the 1960’s.

The original owner had an entire collection of Scan/Denmark furniture and I pretty much bought all of it (estate sale… I walked in with “SOLD” stickers and put them on everything, much to the ire of others).

I’ll get back to you on who made them.

Russell, when I get more time, I plan on trying to tackle some forms similar to the Eames 670+671. I’ll let you know how it turns out and what it took to do it.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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RussellAP

2950 posts in 942 days


#11 posted 05-30-2012 03:45 PM

Thanks Doss. I saw one in a Salvation Army thrift store in my neighborhood last year and have been kicking myself for not shelling out the $200 for it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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Doss

779 posts in 920 days


#12 posted 05-30-2012 03:52 PM

Umm…. what?! The shell alone (if it was a Herman Miller branded shell and not the Plycraft, knock-off, or Mulhauser) was worth more than that. If it was a knock-off, it’s still probably worth more than that unless it was in terrible condition (most knock-off 670/671’s are $500-1500).

I need to get to your Salvation Army store if this is the kind of stuff that gets dropped off there.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 942 days


#13 posted 05-30-2012 03:54 PM

It was likely a knock-off, it wasn’t leather and had no ottoman. Still the hardware angles were the same and that would have made it worth the price.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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