Materials: Ivar chair, stretched to 48″ with laminated pine board
Description: The idea behind the “multivar” was to create a multi purpose piece using the simple and inexpensive Ivar dining chair side frames. I have seen the Ivar converted into bench already on this site but this is a variation on that. The final dimensions were 48″ wide x 18″ deep x 28″ tall.
My end use was as a tv/media stand but this would also work as entry way bench or low console table with display area or book storage.
The cost was approx. $50 ($20 for the Ivar and $30 in Pine boards). It was fairly simple to to make and took about 2 hours to build. The pine boards were 48″ long from the hardware store which dictated the width. They were 24″ wide and had to be ripped down to 15.5″ (for seat) and 13.5″ (for bottom shelf). The remaining pieces were cut int 2.5″ (approx.) for the 3 horizontal cross members. The ends of the cross members had tenons cut onto them to fit into the side supports. This was done by tracing the factory ones against the new boards and trimmed with a table saw. This could be done with coping saw too.
Note: the new tenons do not have to be perfect as long as they fit into slot. Carpenter glue was used in the joints along with the stock hardware although the glue was not required. The addition of the lower shelf added a lot of extra bracing and makes the piece very rigid. I left the finish natural with no stain or clear varnish as I prefer the natural look and find it hard to do a good finish on pine. Painting it would probably be best.
Notice that the back rest was cut down in height. I did this for several reasons although it could be left the orig. height too. Firstly I wanted it to be below my window but also found that the height looked awkward and really was not comfortable with the thin flat slats across the back. Here it retains the look of a bench but the back rest really serves no purpose. If you were to use this as a dedicated bench I would increase the width of the 2 back slats to 4″ or 4.5″ wide and add a cushion or upholstery to them.
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~ Ron Weaver, Sacramento, CA