Denver Observing Chair

A year ago I bought a Starbound observing chair. Aluminum, white, padded chair, good reviews online. In a word, disappointing. It didn’t fold up as conveniently as advertised. The seat doesn’t fold up and has to be removed for the frame to fold flat. When you fold the frame, the folding stabilizing beam gets in the way. And the roller on the back of the seat (I’m not sure what else to call it) that is supposed to hold the seat in place once you sit on it, isn’t sturdy. I can still used it … delicately. I found it at the time on sale for about 66% what it normally retails. IMHO it’s not worth either price … I should have used the money to buy a new eyepiece.

At the same time, I’ve come to realize how much easier a stool is for observing. So I decided for my Thanksgiving project to build a “Denver observing chair.” Here’s a link to the instructions I more or less followed. Not counting stain and varnish, of which I had some leftovers in my workshop, building the chair cost $27 (rounded up to account for sales tax: 12′ 2×4 – $5, hinge and handle – $6, aluminum support beam $4, traction tape – $6, plastic hose – $0.60, hardware – screws/bolt/washers/nuts – $5).

Variations to the instructions: I used 4″ lengths of the 2×4 to make for a taller chair because I’m tall. And I added the hook/eye to stabilize the chair in the closed position.

 

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