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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm trying to build this couch:


The frame looks like this:



I was wondering if people have any suggestions about what type of wood to use for that? They don't look like 2x4's.

And if you happen to have any other advice both in terms of building methods and materials, very invited, and thanks for any help.
 

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that video was made in Asia - probably India or near there.
there is no telling what kind of wood it is.
what part of the world are you in ??
I would use Poplar from your local Box Store - it is a pretty stable building material.

and welcome to the forum !!
are you a woodworker? do you have the tools and shop space to make a project like this?
you said you are "trying" to make this couch - have you started on it yet?
or - do you mean that you "want" to make this couch once you find out what materials are used.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I'm in the San Francisco Bay area. And sorry I should have been more clear, I'm talking about the cuts of wood to use. Looks like 4x4 posts, maybe 1x3 frame pieces?

And I'm not a professional wood worker but have built a lot of things with wood. Let me know if that means I'm on the wrong forum. I have plenty of space to build this, as well as access to a pro wood shop.
 

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no, not at all - I (we) are just trying to figure out your original question.
I found this company's phone number on FaceBook with the country code of "91" which is India.
my limited experience with foreign countries building practices is they use whatever is available.
they might use 3x3 because it is available when a 2x4 will do the same job. a 4x4 would be overkill for a sofa.
if this was my project, I would use 2x4 and 1x3 framing. (and either an electric or pneumatic stapler for the webbing and upholstery).
so, my vote would be 2x4 and 1x material - or, whatever you have access to or can cut yourself.
 

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and BTW - there are LOTS of very talented furniture builders on this forum.
so when you start your project, this is the place to come to for any kind of assistance you may need.
looking forward to seeing you get started.
 
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I suppose you are not an upholsterer, otherwise maybe you would know more of that sofa construction.

Before you build your seat frame, figure out what all seat padding you will use. Try to make a test seat at the height you suspect will be comfortable for you, family members, etc. You don't want your seating to be too low. Even when buying furniture, always test the seating height for a good long time before committing to a piece. In the video adjustable feet are used. Do a test seat height with the feet you will install, if feet are not built-in. So often folks sink into seat cushions and can't easily get up, especially older folks. Take care to make your frame so as to accommodate a resulting comfortable seat height for not only sitting, but being able to get up without difficulty. It may not matter too much for younger folks, younger families.

Video notes:
1) I would not recommend gluing your foam padding to the frame, as in the video. Staple it to the frame... staple at corner edges, as you would toenail a board-to-board attachment. Gluing the top edge of the backrest would help, as bending your foam may like compromise stapling-only attachment. 3M spray glue (foam, headliner) is available at many auto parts stores. Clean up spray glue with mineral spirits.
2) Don't apply any padding to areas or lines-of-fabric-attachment, i.e., don't apply padding to where you will be stapling/attaching your fabric. Do you understand what I am saying, here? The guy did not apply foam where he subsequently attached his fabric.
3) He custom fit the fabric as if making a slip cover, then permanently attached the "slip cover" to the frame. You may have to do the same or similar. You might want to study some slip cover making videos.... BASIC (not complicated) slip cover videos. But the video guy shows a fairly good presentation. Use pins to align & attach fabric together (seams) before cutting.... don't want to cut off too much. Maintain 1/2" seam allowance.
4) He applied fabric directly over the foam. You may want something between your fabric and foam, like polyester fiber fill. That layer of fiber fill between fabric and foam helps preserve your foam. Body oils and such penetrating the fabric onto the foam will cause your foam to decay much faster.
5) Note when he installs fabric to the front bottom face of the sofa and bottom sides. As he gently stretches the fabric across the span, he pats or pets the fabric in place - time 19:10 to 19:25. You don't want to pull your fabric or pinch-pull. You want to, as if, pet your fabric as it is stretched across a span.... and in some cases left or right as you stretch up or down at the same time... fine that happy medium of fabric tension across the span.
6) He hand stitched a closing on the back side. There are blind tack strips for that, rather than hand stitching. For slip covers zippers or Velcro is sometimes used.
7) At time 24:05, on the side of the sofa, and at 24:09, on the back side, there are shadow-like lines running up and down. That's an upholstering mistake, fabric not stretched quite right. Those shadow-like lines are caused by a pinch-pull on the fabric. See #5 above.


All in all, that's a good easy constructed sofa and upholstering. That's not the first time he's done that.

For a sofa as that (video), you may want to use railroaded fabric, not standard fabric. If you use standard fabric, those wide fabric panels will have a seam... more likely two seams each.... requires sewing.. With railroaded fabric you will have no seams... no sewing required. In this link, standard fabric is noted as "up the roll" (should be "up the bolt").

You might want to buy a staple puller, just in case you screw up... er... make adjustments to some of your stapling. https://www.amazon.com/Osborne-No-1...P537CRNYDEZ&psc=1&refRID=NJ2VTHZFTP537CRNYDEZ

Sectional clips for connecting the two units. Sometimes a pain to access and/or to release the clip/connection, especially if they've been damaged somehow, broken, worn out.

Or, OR just an old fashion hook latch will do. https://www.lowes.com/pd/National-H...46RVwzBKE8pmfGCuURwaAmdtEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Hope this helps.
Sonny
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank you so much SonnyAgain for those great tips. Still processing them, and sharing them with my friend who I'm building this with. Much food for thought.

I should also mention, the stitching and finish in general don't need to be perfect, just very functional. But it doesn't need to look completely "pro", but as close to it as possible. I'm hoping to rely heavily on stretching the fabric over the foam, with bunting. Very good tip about not pulling too hard.

Does anyone have any idea what that webbing material is that they're using here, and where to get it?

 

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Does anyone have any idea what that webbing material is that they're using here, and where to get it?
The green elastic webbing stretches. The video guy added a blue non-elastic band for further support... it doesn't stretch. If you used just the elastic webbing, the attachment with staples might rip apart at the attachment/staple points. Probably need about 4-5 rolls of this....

Non-elastic banding:

No matter what wood you use, if you use laps joints, be generous with gluing and nailing. You want good solid joints.

Sonny
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I ordered this webbing earlier today:



And 4" foam for the seat:


And 3" foam for the back:


And we broke proverbial ground!

424996


424997


The first couch section, which we're working on now, goes from the bottom of the R to about 34" from the wall. Then the next couch section runs 8' or possibly 10' from the corner. The record table gets moved.

And when we're done we plan to repaint the concrete floor black. If anyone has any ideas for that, let me know. Alternatively thinking about buffing it, but that might be a dusty mess and not look much better than just repainting it.
 

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This 1" webbing you ordered is elastic. I'll call it the "secondary webbing".

I don't think you want elastic webbing for the secondary webbing. I think you want the non-elastic webbing for the secondary webbing. In the video, his secondary webbing was not pulled real tight, just snugged a bit. In the video, why would he use elastic for his secondary webbing. He could have installed more strands of the green 3" webbing. His secondary webbing is not elastic.

Install the webbings you'll get. Lay your foam on top (no staples or glue) and sit on it. See how far down you sink. You want to make sure you don't sink too far down. In the video, after installing his webbing he tested it (at the 1:45 time). It depressed about 1". His secondary webbing stopped it from sinking further.

One other suggestion: In the video he didn't lay a sheet of "fabric" on top of the webbing before installing the foam. He laid his foam directly on the webbing. You may want to lay something over the webbing before the foam... something like regular burlap, synthetic burlap or some fairly tough fabric. Foam has a tendency to be cut by the webbing's edges, hence the foam will punch through the web openings. Those elastic bands flex during use and the edges work their way, cut their way into the foam. Quite a few dining chair seats (and other similar seats) have the Pirelli webbing (elastic or rubberized) and I've changed many of them and installed new foam.

Sonny
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks for catching that! I changed the order to the webbing you linked to. So these are my two webbings:



And thanks for the excellent advice on how to test the webbing, and on putting a fabric buffer between the foam and the webbing. I'll see what I can find at the fabric shop for inexpensive buffer fabric.

Here it is at the end of day 1, which was mostly cleaning, planning and buying lumber.

424999


The plan is to put a tabletop across the top of the backrest, which will rise about 26" from the top of the frame in that pic. So from the R to the wall on the right will be a narrow tabletop flush with the top of the backrest. Then the other sectional couch will go where the record rack is now, with the same dimensions except no tabletop on the backrest.
 

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Maybe a little late now, but shouldn't the webbing have been wrapped around the frame one time and then nailed or stapled down. That way the nails would not be taking all of the force at one point
 

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Tony, it's not too late. Wry hasn't installed the webbing yet. In a way that sort of application is advisable for some circumstances. A wrapping as you mention is often over kill. With the number of webs and the amount of staples, the subsequent load/stress on each strand is reduced. For the video's secondary webbing, he did attach the webbing on the side of the board, not the edge. This side application may have been to prevent too many staples on the edge of the board.

Precaution: When stapling on the edge of a board, you don't want to align all your staples in a row, in a straight line. Always try to angle the staple head a little, relative to the line of attachment on the board edge. Aligning your staples in a straight row will sometimes perforate the board, such that the board ends up splitting along the line. Plywood edges are weaker than solid board and plywood edges are more apt to split this way, especially if lots of staples are used in a small area, along a short distance.
The elastic webbing presents an additional problem when stapling. It is somewhat loosely woven "fabric", so it has a tendency to fray or shred at the ends, so more staples are used and/or the ends are folded over itself and stapled again. The more staples, the more the board edge is apt to split if lots of staples are used and are in line. Staple alignment is a consideration, but with a little care, Wry's application shouldn't be problematic. His boards look fairly thick enough to handle his stapling..... but always try to angle them.

Wry, your local fabric shop should have regular or synthetic burlap... or grab any "durable" cloth at a nearby garage sale, even if you have to piece small "swatches"/panels together. Might be a good idea to get some dust cover at the fabric shop, also, applied on the bottoms of your furniture.

Sonny
 

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@SonnyAgain , thanks for the education. I know nothing about upholstery. I was just thinking of the way I saw webbing on old frames in the past.
 

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and that is also the only "educated" experience that I have:
stripping old furniture down to bare bones to see how the original fabricator made it.
now, to have a fresh enlightenment of how to build one from scratch is a bonus !
thanks Sonny
 
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