Christina Pupos folded chair

In June 2012 I taught a furniture design class at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Penland is a fantastic place with the best facilities, staff, students, and perhaps most importantly: Food! But, I digress.

Christina, a Canadian designer who has a passion for furniture making was one of my students whose achievements ranked among the top in our two week class. Her goal was to build a three-part oak chair that could be folded down. The mechanism of this chair/coffee table was simple and elegant: The legs were compressed to the seat with a pivoting wooden knuckle hinge and were pulled tight with the help of a rope.

To make these robust hinges, Christina began by thickening the rims of the seat edge and the “U” shape legs-rails trio. She shaped the amalgamated wood into a long cylinder-like form using the table saw and hand tools. After this she cut the needed opening in both sides of the hinge’s leaf. Following this she drilled a hole for the hinges’ pins. The pins were made from threaded rods and were secured on each end with a concealed nut.

To secure the chair in it’s installed position, Christina incorporated a tried and true mechanism that was initially fashioned to tension bow saws. By placing a cleat in between the two tensioning ropes and twisting it, the distance between the “U” parts shortens and the legs compress neatly into the seat sides. 

I can’t wait to see what Christina will make next..

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Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.