Retro Ski Bench: Top 5 Specifications, Top Five Constraints

For my project I am constructing a bench out of steel tubing and recycled retro skis. The bench will follow the aesthetics of Retro Skiing, which draws inspiration from the 80’s freestyle skiing movement, and its interesting patterns and neon colors. Before starting fabrication of the bench, I will lay out five specifications that I want the bench to meet, so I can have goals and standards that the bench must reach upon completion. I will also explain five constraints that I have either encountered, or anticipate to encounter while completing the project.

[1] Full Bench CAD design

I will start by laying out the top five specifications the bench must meet. The first and most important specification is that the bench needs to stand up on its own without anybody sitting on it, or anything supporting it. This may seem like an easy specification but it cannot be overlooked when considering the weight and the balance of the bench. The second and third specification the bench must meet are that it must seat three people comfortably, and there cannot be significant deflection in the skis when sat on. These two specifications should be relatively simple to meet because of the dimensions and strong frame structure of the bench.

[2] Side view of the full bench CAD design; [3] Close-up view of the gaps in between the skis

The fourth specification the bench must meet is that it is comfortable. This is a fairly subjective specification but can be assessed by having multiple people sit on the bench and test its comfortability. I can achieve this specification by making the gaps in between the skis small, and fabricating a good angle for the back rest. The fifth and final specification of the bench is that the skis used to construct the bench fit the retro skiing aesthetic. This means the skis need to have bottom designs with 80s patterns and neon colors. If all of these specifications are met, I will consider this a successful project.

Throughout the project I also anticipate to run into roadblocks and challenges the project will need to overcome. These are both constraints I have already run into and constraints I anticipate will arise once the project moves along. The first major constraint is the transportation of materials. Considering the scale of my project, the only way to transport the large amounts of steel is by car, and I do not own a car, so the only way to pick up materials is to borrow friends cars. The second and third constraint are the poor loading capability of the skis, especially at the center, and the overall weight of the bench. I do not want to bench to be over 60 pounds and the steel will take up a lot of this weight.

[4] Retro Skis from Facebook Market Place

The fourth constraint is the amount of retro looking skis I have at my disposal. I currently have 2 pairs, and have arranged plans to get a third pair, as seen in image [4], but I anticipate I will need 5 pairs. The fifth and final constraint for my project is having a set space to work on my project. I will and try to limit the transport of materials since they will be heavy, so my current plan is to reserve an area in the idea forge to keep the materials.

I am hoping I can overcome these constraints and produce a product that functions, fits my aesthetic, and fulfills my top five specifications.

Image Sources


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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Jadin Zaccagnino
    April 5, 2024 12:10 pm

    Duncan, I think this is a really cool project! Implementing cup holders is a great idea and having skis as the planks will look very cool. I cant tell from the cad model, but is there a horizontal steel bar under the lower skis? In my opinion if you don’t have a piece like that, the bench might sway side to side, and the ski-bench may even deflect. I look forward to seeing the final product!

    • Duncan Laird
      April 7, 2024 3:43 pm

      Hi Jadin, thanks for reading my post. Yes, there are cross beams under the seat part of the bench that add support and prevent deflection.


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