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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently got back from a trip to Belize and saw these chairs everywhere. Have seen them referred to as Belize, Cayo and Clam Chairs by different people.

They look fairly straightforward to make, does anyone have any idea where I would find design specs etc? I wish I had taken some measurements when I was down there.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well...if anyone is interested, I made some mostly uneducated guesses and built myself a chair. One thing (of many) I couldn't figure out was how to cover the bolts with a good looking wood cap, there just wasn't enough room for both a bolt and a plug.

Sat in it all afternoon on Sunday and it seems to be fully functional - let me know what you think...and feel free to suggest improvements, etc.

 

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Great job, it's a very aesthetically cool design. I have to be honest though, it looks like it would be terribly uncomfortable. After you sat in it all afternoon could you walk the next day? :)
 

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Actually, incredibly comfortable. I also noticed the original had a bit more bend to it, I'm guessing that:

1) Since the back was shorter it caused more pull on the metal rod to cause the bend
2) They used a thinner rod so it had a bit more give

I would think both...or maybe they just bend the rod, although i would think that would make assembly even more of a pain.
 

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Looks really neat to me :yes:, very
well done Turk. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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A few years ago my wife & I took a trip to Belize & these chairs were on the front porch of our cabana. Loved em & so unique.

I am building a new paver patio in our backyard & have had the idea in the back of my mind to build a set of these chairs for us, but like you- don't have plans & didn't take measurements (or even great pictures of the chairs to figure it out). I've found a version of these that folds online, but again, no plans or even pricing.

Can you send me your plans/measurements?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Love this. I understand the idea of the curve to help in comfort...but do get this wouldn't you need to stager cut your lengths to achieve this? If you do come up with any plans I would be interested also.
 

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After no response for plans, I came across a friend of a friend that had one. I pulled dimensions off of his & made 3 chairs (OK actually 2-1/2 chairs). Overall they are larger than the traditional Cayo chairs from the islands, but I think they are more comfortable- the island chairs sit lower to the ground & are not as wide across the seat & back.

My chairs also have the curve that the original chairs have & fold up for storage (although they are actually a bit more curved than what you can tell by my pics). Comparing pics, I think TurkVu must've staggered the lengths of his boards which resulted in the straight back & seat. By keeping the pieces all the same length & drilling the holes in the same spot, you create a natural fan or curve to the design, which makes for a more comfortable seat- more like a bucket seat & less like a bench. I think this is also what lends the flexibility to the chair to allow them to fold. I'm sure somebody w/an Engineering degree can explain HOW this works, I'm just saying it DOES work.

I'm also not sure, but it looks like TurkVu fastened his together w/a heavy bolt or thick all-thread. The ones in the islands use something much thinner, as did I. I thought about all-thread, but felt the continuous threads inside the chair would eat away at the inside of my holes overtime from folding & unfolding, plus it's a bit more expensive- although in hindsight, I think it would do just fine. Instead I used smooth welding rod & once the chair was assembled, used a dye to cut my threads on each end. A small flat nut on each end holds everything together & is tucked in the outer pieces w/a counter-sunk hole covered by wood plugs (although the plugs aren't in place in the picture). I didn't use any washer (locking or standard) as there wasn't much room. I suppose if you didn't want to counter-sink & plug you could use Acorn Nuts, but the hidden fasteners look better & won't snag anything.
 

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My chairs' dimensions:
  • 2- 1 x 1 1/4 x 45 chair back/legs
  • 7- 1 x 1 1/4 x 34 chair back
  • 2- 1 x 1 1/4 x 32 short chair back, places opposite seat legs
  • 2- 1 x 1 1/4 x 34 chair seat/legs- actually tapered 1 1/4 to 2 at leg end
  • 9- 1 x 1 1/4 x 14 1/2 chair seat
  • 12- 1 x 1 1/4 x 6 back/seat attachment pieces
All holes are 1/8, counter sunk holes for nuts are 3/4. Drill holes for back pieces 1 1/4" & 30" from top. Drill seat holes 1 1/4" & 13" from where will be the front of the seat. Drill attachment pieces 1 1/4 from each end.

If you number the back pieces 1-11 left to right, Back/Legs are 1 & 11, short pieces are 3 & 9. Do the same numbering on the seat pieces, Seat/Legs are 3 & 9 as well. I used welding rod that comes in 36" lengths- two rods will make one chair, as they end up being roughly two 10" & two 21" lengths...but I wouldn't cut them untill you've got the chair assembeled.

For the child's chair, all pieces are 3/4 x 1 3/16. Back/Legs are 30" long, Back pieces 22", short back pieces are 20", Seat/Legs 22", Seat pieces 9", & attachment pieces 4".

Hopefully this works for anybody who wants plans. Good luck & enjoy.
 

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bzguy
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I realize this post is old, it popped up on google..
I am surrounded by these chairs here in Belize.
I know the guy who designed them years ago, Ceasar Sherrard, everyone here makes them now.
I ran a shop who had one employee dedicated to making these.
Turk, I assume you assumed just like I did that it was threaded rod and nuts under the plugs.
They are actually assembled with steel cable.:smile:
 

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Belize Clam Chairs

I am currently making these chairs here in West Michigan -

have sold many locally and have shipped some as far as Utah!

I have also designed a clam stool - (foot stool) to go with my chairs.

my site is still under construction - but, you can check it out here:

www.belizeclamchair.com
 

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Pain in the A$$
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My chairs' dimensions:
  • 2- 1 x 1 1/4 x 45 chair back/legs
  • 7- 1 x 1 1/4 x 34 chair back
  • 2- 1 x 1 1/4 x 32 short chair back, places opposite seat legs
  • 2- 1 x 1 1/4 x 34 chair seat/legs- actually tapered 1 1/4 to 2 at leg end
  • 9- 1 x 1 1/4 x 14 1/2 chair seat
  • 12- 1 x 1 1/4 x 6 back/seat attachment pieces
All holes are 1/8, counter sunk holes for nuts are 3/4. Drill holes for back pieces 1 1/4" & 30" from top. Drill seat holes 1 1/4" & 13" from where will be the front of the seat. Drill attachment pieces 1 1/4 from each end.

If you number the back pieces 1-11 left to right, Back/Legs are 1 & 11, short pieces are 3 & 9. Do the same numbering on the seat pieces, Seat/Legs are 3 & 9 as well. I used welding rod that comes in 36" lengths- two rods will make one chair, as they end up being roughly two 10" & two 21" lengths...but I wouldn't cut them untill you've got the chair assembeled.

For the child's chair, all pieces are 3/4 x 1 3/16. Back/Legs are 30" long, Back pieces 22", short back pieces are 20", Seat/Legs 22", Seat pieces 9", & attachment pieces 4".

Hopefully this works for anybody who wants plans. Good luck & enjoy.
I've been looking at making these. Using this design, which is fairly straightforward, how would you secure the welding rod at both ends to prevent it from wanting to work its way out? Thanks.
 

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Saw that I missed a question from several months back regarding how I fastened the chairs. Since then, others have posted about using cable - genius! I will be making another child's chair soon & will give it a try. However, for the original ones I made w/the welding rod- I used a die (as in tap & die, not colors) to thread the end of the welding rod & then just screwed on a nut. The counter-sunk holes are small, so there's not much extra room for washers, etc. Once you plug the hole, you shouldn't have any problems.
 

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Pain in the A$$
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Saw that I missed a question from several months back regarding how I fastened the chairs. Since then, others have posted about using cable - genius! I will be making another child's chair soon & will give it a try. However, for the original ones I made w/the welding rod- I used a die (as in tap & die, not colors) to thread the end of the welding rod & then just screwed on a nut. The counter-sunk holes are small, so there's not much extra room for washers, etc. Once you plug the hole, you shouldn't have any problems.
Thanks for replying. I didn't think about tapping using a dye to thread the rod.

As for using cable with the clamps, I thought this would be great except I don't like the look of the clamp showing. How are poeple addressing this?
 

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Make counter sunk holes in the outer pieces so when you place the fasteners on, whether that's nuts on the rod or clamps on the cable, they sit down inide the wooden piece. Cut a wood plug to fit the counter-sunk hole & hide the fastener. Viola!
 

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@ejg Those are very similar but seem to have a few more pieces than the ones we've been running here.
Here's a thread of a build I did:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/some-folding-stick-chairs-50436/

and here's the video made by one of out guys "A Sailor"
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f30/building-folding-stick-chair-42571/

This is his website.. scroll down a bit and you'll find the dimensions.
http://woodworkingtrip.blogspot.com/

If you have any questions about my jigs etc feel free to drop me a note.
BTW.. Welcome to the forums.
..Jon..
 
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