Upcycled Ski Chair

Inspirations and Visions for the Project

The aesthetic I have decided for my upcycling project is the high-end ski après lifestyle. It only takes a quick google to realize that buying a hand crafted ski chair isn’t cheap, and yet all the ski resorts tend to have them littered around. As a kid I always thought they were very cool and after a while of collecting skied out skis, I finally had enough to turn into a chair. This is a great example of this aesthetic as it uses older style skis, which the aesthetic loves to use to bring back the nostalgia of old style skiing, and allows the user to sit in a piece of history.

The chairs themselves are also some of the more pretty design as far chairs go, even though I imagine my chair will not be as beautiful as some others.  The adirondak style of chair seems slightly daunting especially since it requires some free hand cutting and my plan is to only use a chop saw, drill, and some wood screws. I do really enjoy the bright colors of the skis used on these chairs and when I make mine I plan to use the more interesting colors of each ski in the final product.

As I stated before adirondak style ski chairs are relatively complex in their pieces and as a result they end up looking very beautiful due the non organic lines of the wood cut outs. I dont have the capacity to mimic this beauty and so my plan is to simplify the design and make a chair that is more upright and less leaned in the back, hopefully this will help to reduce the stress put on the ski back, since they will be held in with only a couple wood screws.

In closing, I am planning to mimic a ski chair seen at ski resorts in order to pay homage to the ski-apres aesthetic of old and somewhat current. I am excited to work with brightly colored skis and get my hands building again, since my last project has been a while back.

Fabrication Process

The materials required to make this chair consisted of:

-24 feet of 2x4s

-8 Skied out skis (old retro one)

-Wood Screws

The Tools needed:

-A drill and drill bit for pilot holes

-A saw, I used a chop saw but any electric would work

The first thing that I did was cut the 2x4s into 2 20″ and 2 15″ pieces and then I screwed those together into a rectangular frame for the seat.

Then I cut 2x4s into 2 33″ sections with 45 degree angle cuts on both ends and 2 22″ pieces with 5 degree angle cuts on both ends I affixed these together so that it would make the legs of the chair.

The next thing that I did was cut the skis. I laid the skis on the ground and then laid down on them (after putting them in the pattern for the back rest) I marked where my butt was located and used that as the point where I was going to cut. Once cut I affixed two 2x4s to the back of the skis to keep them in place.

The final step that I took was cutting the remainder of my skis into 20″ sections to place on the seat bottom.

I then connected the seat to the legs, and the back to the seat. Once the chair was mostly assembled, I  cut another piece of 2×4 and put that on the back of the chair to connect to the front of the chair and make the armrests for the chair which were cut to 22″ from a more modern style of ski.

Finished Product

The final ski chair turned out pretty well! However it does not look like a typical Adirondack chair and instead  has a seating position more like a table chair, it sits about 18″ off the ground and is relatively comfortable. I designed it so that it fits a 6’1″ tall individual and anyone taller than 6’4″ may bump their head on the curved skis. It took about 20′ of wood to make this chair, and about about 1200 cm of skis. I broke about 5 drill bits and stripped 3 screws.

The functional goals met everything that I wanted it to, it is a chair and behaves as one. It supports my weight and is comfortable to sit in, it is just a little large as a result of the height and the width of the armrests. I am very satisficed with the function of this.

The artistic goals I met with a little less success. I am not sure I love the overall color of the skis but I do really like the chair seat since I made sure to use the tail end of the skis with all the logos and designs.  I think as far as ski chairs go though it met the requirements and meets the aesthetic of après living. It looks the part and behaves the part, it just needs some finishing touches in the form of paint or stain and maybe some structural adjustments.

What is next?

I plan to refine this design, I may move the seat down lower and then make the back more angled. I have also toyed with the idea of adding an actual pair of skis to the bottom of it since that is somewhat common with the style of these types of chairs. This chair will go up to my cabin and so I need to put a protective coating on it in order for it to last outside. What’s crazy to me is that these chairs will sell for $300-400 and so I may refine this and maybe even sell it if it turns out nice enough.

Video Presentation







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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Josh,
    I really liked your report and how you went through step by step on how you made the project. I think making a chair from old skis was a great idea and shows off a great aesthetic. I think that the project over all turned out great but I do also agree that Adirondack chairs do have more of a slope in the seat but I also think this would make a super cool table chair. Overall great job!

  • Hunter Meissner
    February 28, 2021 11:17 am

    I really enjoyed reading your post and the final artifact you came up with for your upcycled ski chair. It’s impressive how you utilized the different skis and their shapes to make an artifact like this. I don’t know if it was purposeful or not but the color scheme you had with the skis you chose was really cool. I agree with your statement that it sits like a table chair unlike other ski chairs, but I think that’s what makes it unique. Otherwise great job, I enjoyed reading your post and what you came up with.

    • Josh Negrey
      March 4, 2021 1:46 pm

      Thank you for the comment, the way that I laid the skis was intentional but the skis themselves were picked because they “looked cool.”


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