Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Denver chair / cats perch chair plans

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Svalbard


    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2015
  • Loc: USA

Posted 24 May 2019 - 08:32 PM

Looking to build a chair and wondering if anyone has plans or links to plans to build one? My neighbor has a wood shop and offered to cut the pieces for me and let me borrow clamps etc. 


appreciate it!

#2 eyeoftexas


    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 66
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2019

Posted 24 May 2019 - 08:45 PM



Here are a couple of links with plans:





#3 coopman


    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5518
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2006
  • Loc: South Louisiana

Posted 24 May 2019 - 09:05 PM


#4 astronz59


    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 950
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:04 AM

I made a classic Denver chair from the plans on the first link. It worked OK, but the stair tread grip tape kept wearing the **** out of my pants! My latest home built chair works well and is 'non-invasive'! lol.gif

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1090486.JPG

Edited by astronz59, 25 May 2019 - 04:05 AM.

  • peleuba and NMBob like this

#5 wrvond


    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1639
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2014
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 25 May 2019 - 07:29 AM

The “cheap” Denver chair is a great first chair project because it’s quick and easy to make. After you make your first one you’ll have all kinds of ideas how to make a better one.

For example, the non-skid is not good. Notches on the back is the way to go.

Chair 001
IMG 1758

#6 Svalbard


    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2015
  • Loc: USA

Posted 25 May 2019 - 11:23 AM

Yes, I do want to do the notches in the back. I’ve always wanted to make one but it will never had the equipment to do it.

#7 dhferguson


    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 75
  • Joined: 21 Sep 2018
  • Loc: Pleasanton, CA

Posted 17 June 2019 - 03:49 PM



There is a nice design for an "observing throne" in the first edition (and maybe more recent editions?) of Philip Harrington's book "Starware." I would recommend it. I've attached below an image of a chair I constructed based closely on the "observer's throne" described in PH's book. Having built it, I have a few comments:


(1) first, it works. Importantly, given my not-so-great back, it allows me to observe seated in comfort instead of standing, which tenses me up after a few short minutes. This has really helped me to enjoy the hobby better,


(2) you will need a router (preferred) or a table saw to cut the long grooves on the front legs between which the seat slides. The seat slides very smoothly, BTW,


(3) I made the seat from mahogany and this was good. However, I also made the seat side brackets from mahogany and this was a mistake. Not seen in the image is a 3/4" dowel that slides in the grooves. Each dowel end is mounted in a seat side bracket. I thought I'd left plenty of wood but the stress from me sitting (I'm 185 lb) cracked the wood. I suggest you go with the original design and use 3/4" plywood for the seat brackets. Incidentally, I salvaged my seat brackets by reinforcing the area with long lag screws, and this is an option too,


(4) note the furniture gliders I used to protect the "feet" of the legs. I also coated the bottoms, several coats, with black liquid plastic to protect against wet grass. Cans of "liquid rubber" are available at Lowe's and Home Depot,


(5) I added two bushings (Lowe's) with brass set screws (made using a drill press and tap) to keep the 3/8" round steel rod secure within the seat side brackets.


(6) for finishing,  I used standard graded sandpaper; then four coats of lacquer, steel-wooled after each coat. It looks good, I think,


(7) instead of 1 x 4s for the legs, I used red oak 1 x 3s. These are plenty strong enough for me, 


(8) it was easy to cut the notches in the front legs using a router. However, I really didn't need to extend the notches as far down as I did,


(9) the "ladder brackets" are in fact brass table brackets, available from Amazon. However, I could not find a matched left-right set. Instead, both are "rights," which means the ladder doesn't quite close all the way. In practice, it folds well enough to just about fold flat and is fine for storage or transportation in my car's trunk,


(10) those of you with low-swinging Dobs may wish to move the mahogany lower front brace down further. This would enable the seat to slide further down. BTW, I mounted the brace where it is to ensure the spacing between the grooves on the front legs, in which the dowel slides, remained at constant separation down the length of the legs. I needn't have been quite so conservative as there is plenty of stiffness.


Oh, that is my 14.5" f/4.3 Nightsky Dob bagged in the background. I bought it recently used and it is quite wonderful. As an amateur now, a former professional astronomer, and the owner of a systems engineering consultancy (retired) specializing in optical and infrared payloads and spacecraft, I can heartily recommend Pegasus mirrors from the late John Hall. The Nightsky Dob is not of lightweight construction but it is very steady and maintains collimation well through the night and even between uses. It came with wheelbarrow handles and is thus easy to move about the patio.  I also have a lovely 10" f/6.6 reflector on a Cave GEM with Byers drives and push-to capability. I will write up details of my extensive modifications to a Astrola 1.5" axes GEM mount (I am the original owner) when I get some time, perhaps within a few months, and also offer a detailed comparison of the two scopes. Bottom line: the Dob is somewhat easier to use but not as comfortable (the 10" rotating Parallax tube rings allow for perfect eyepiece positioning). I use the Dob for DSOs and the 10" for planets, and yes, the drives really help.


Happy observing always,



Attached Thumbnails

  • 20190515_ObservingChair.jpg

  • ADIEL likes this

#8 luxo II

luxo II


  • -----
  • Posts: 1073
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 19 June 2019 - 01:44 AM

Most of those are very heavy and about as comfortable as a bench at a bus stop.

Take a look at the Berlebach Charon - elegant, simple, and lightweight - pick it up with one hand, and adjusting the seat height is a one-hand task, too. With some power tools it should be easy to cut from a sheet of ply, at a size that suits you.

That it flexes a little when you sit on it is intended, it’s part of the comfort factor, and the seat is padded with a waterproof cover.

Everyone that has seen/used mine is slightly envious.

Edited by luxo II, 19 June 2019 - 01:52 AM.

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Recent Topics

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics