After all this time working on this project today has been a very good day in the workshop. The Captain America ball chair has been assembled for the first time! At least part way anyhow.
I was able to finally assemble all of the ring sections of the chair and start work on the mounting of the ball to the base today. I am very pleased with how all the pieces are coming together at this point but as you can see I still have a long way to go before I can sign off on this project and sit down and relax in it.
It's kind of a shame cover up all of the work that you see in the interior of the ball section. There are only three joints in the ball but there are a total of 72 mounting plates that needed to be cut, drilled, aligned and bonded into the project so everything could be assembled easily.
Shown here are the mountings for the dome section of the ball chair. These have a threaded insert in a small wooded block and then the next ring has a mounting plate that the bolts go through and into the inserts of the dome sections. This was the only way I could figure out how to mount these two sections. Simple and it works.
Here you can see a variety of mounts that I needed to set up for the project inside of the ball section of the chair. The lower ring of mounts are for the dome section of the ball where the star will be painted on the center back of the chair. The next two upper rings have mounts that are nothing more than 1/4 plywood bonded into the fiberglass sections. The two larger mounts in the middle of the photo are the 1/2 bolt mounts that will hold the ball to the base swivel mount. These again were wooden blocks that were bonded into the fiberglass to keep them securely mounted in the assembly.
There are multicolored sections of the chair at this point only because I have yet to do the finishing work on the pink and blue sections of the chair that you see in the photo above. All of the parts have been fiberglassed and will need a finishing coat to fill the weave of the fiberglass cloth and then sanded smooth to prep it for painting. The final prep work I will hold off on (wet sanding and painting) until I have some nice warm weather to take all of the sections outside. It will be much simpler and a cleaner way to get the final work done before setting up the chair for the final assembly.
Even though the ball chair is nowhere near finished I just had to try it out. I put a piece of Styrofoam in the base of the chair so I had at least something to sit on and took this shot. It looks like the chair will be a good fit. Just the right size and with the final inner sections mounted it will bring the seat height up to a good height. Something I was concerned about when I started designing the chair. That along with the opening diameter I think I hit the numbers right on the mark.
In this shot you can also see the outer blue lip of the chair opening. I worked that out a couple of days ago and it has a good feel and look so more brownie points for me on that point. I should be able to get the ball section mounted to the base in the next day or so to make sure that is all working properly along with the swivel mount. I don't see any real problems with that portion of the build but you just never know. I'll then pull the chair apart again and start on the finishing work and the prep work for the mold for the six inner wedge sections of the chair.
The light at the end of the tunnel is getting a little brighter every hour I put into this project. Speaking of hours the number now stands at 176 hours for this project. Also I weighed all of the components that I have on hand so far for the chair and it comes up to just short of 32 pounds. This will increase though as the interior of the chair still needs to be installed so this will add to the final total there. But I expect the chair to be under 50 pounds when it is completed and ready for use. Not a bad weight to deal with if and when I ever need to move the chair. Stay tuned for further installments on this project. It'll only get more interesting from here on.