ST-TOS Bridge Chairs

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PhuketAussie

Active Member
Hi there. Late last year I purchased a pair of Chinese made chairs with buckets that closely resemble the chairs used in 1960's Star Trek. They measure out a little smaller, but that's okay with me. My intention is to remount them on office chair bases (they came with four wood legs and a wire frame) so that they can be used practically in a modern situation, but still have them look from the seat up just like the original chairs. I've collected some resources online, but couldn't find much in the way of helpful measurements, so I reached out to Gerald Gurian (Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Authority) for help and he has been so kind with his time to measure out his replica chair and send me loads of photos with those measurements.

Originals had the top lip cut off and stiffened with plywood, I believe, though more recent replicas use MDF. I'm taking a very different route, I'm building up the seat back using EVA foam. I've successfully built a D-1 Droid (Rise of Skywalker) out of EVA foam using plans from James at Rebel Base Build (JC3D - The Rebel Base Build is creating Something From A Galaxy Far Far Away | Patreon), so I'm confident that EVA will work well for this project. I've also obtained self-adhesive vinyl that looks the part.

I've started by pencilling in the shape of the lower back rest, and using waste strips of EVA foam leftover from my workshop floor I'm framing up the lower rear sections. I'm going to have to wait for my wife to come home with a new pot of contact glue this afternoon before I can do much more!

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Starbase101

Sr Member
I really wanted to do a Burke chair for my desk, but castors are a must for me and also I wanted/needed something more comfortable so instead went with gray plush reminiscent of the newer starships. It's still in the box until I get all the construction mess cleaned up in my room. I hope your chair works out for you!
 

PhuketAussie

Active Member
I really wanted to do a Burke chair for my desk, but castors are a must for me and also I wanted/needed something more comfortable so instead went with gray plush reminiscent of the newer starships. It's still in the box until I get all the construction mess cleaned up in my room. I hope your chair works out for you!
Thanks, I hope yours works out for you too. I got these chairs really cheap, and the base is reclaimed from a student desk chair, so not ideal, but good for experimenting with. When I've got the final design sorted I might buy a new replacement base for the chairs, but for now this one works fines. I've actually been using this chair for a few weeks now teaching online during covid closure of all schools, so it has been working well, though the height does drop an inch or two under my weight lol
 

PhuketAussie

Active Member
On Saturday I spent a few hours on one of my chairs. Basically, it was just a matter of cutting and layering EVA foam, gluing together using contact cement, and occasionally using the hot air gun to shape the pieces as required. The bottom edges of the small headrest fill pieces weren't cut to shape, I don't think they need it. Basically, five layers of 10mm EVA at the headrest, one layer of which is 'replaced' by the thickness of the chair, which is about 4mm, so the lower section of layers is a bit thinner than the headrest, which suits the chair well, keeping in mind that the chairs I'm using are not an exact match in size and dimensions to the original Burke's, though they are close. I won't be using normal upholstery padding, I'm just going to go ahead and cover the backrest with self-adhesive vinyl. It was a nice little 'bonus' that when I laid the chair flat on the floor the headrest was pushed 'forward' just enough to be perfect, so when I glued on the 2 final layers that covered and married the front of the chair bucket to the front of the headrest the headrest got locked into this nice angle.

I've been using the chair as it is for a few days now, and it is very comfortable just as it is. Next I'll have to make the seat cushion, in much the same way. I will have to sand up the edges of the backrest to clean it up, and mimic the curvature that happens when covering is pulled tight over foam padding, and I might need to build up the sides a little, I think they'll end up a bit narrow, but I'll see how it all goes. Anyway, Here's some photos below that show it all coming together.

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Aku

Active Member
IMO is shorthand for “in my opinion.”

It's not often you get construction pictures like these. And they've also included a handy scale along with each picture
 

knight1705

New Member
Hi there. Late last year I purchased a pair of Chinese made chairs with buckets that closely resemble the chairs used in 1960's Star Trek. They measure out a little smaller, but that's okay with me. My intention is to remount them on office chair bases (they came with four wood legs and a wire frame) so that they can be used practically in a modern situation, but still have them look from the seat up just like the original chairs. I've collected some resources online, but couldn't find much in the way of helpful measurements, so I reached out to Gerald Gurian (Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Authority) for help and he has been so kind with his time to measure out his replica chair and send me loads of photos with those measurements.

Originals had the top lip cut off and stiffened with plywood, I believe, though more recent replicas use MDF. I'm taking a very different route, I'm building up the seat back using EVA foam. I've successfully built a D-1 Droid (Rise of Skywalker) out of EVA foam using plans from James at Rebel Base Build (JC3D - The Rebel Base Build is creating Something From A Galaxy Far Far Away | Patreon), so I'm confident that EVA will work well for this project. I've also obtained self-adhesive vinyl that looks the part.

I've started by pencilling in the shape of the lower back rest, and using waste strips of EVA foam leftover from my workshop floor I'm framing up the lower rear sections. I'm going to have to wait for my wife to come home with a new pot of contact glue this afternoon before I can do much more!

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Amazing to find this thread. I haven't read all the way through it but I had the same idea for office chair base and from your description I may have the same tulip base too!! I am just getting started, acquired the chair only last weekend. Its in nearly perfect condition but I will still have to paint mine (and tha seat cushion while it looks fine in pictures , it doesn't have nearly enough padding for long-term sitting. ) but I am so excited to see this!!!! thank you for posting!!
 

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knight1705

New Member
And now, the first of the three triangles: Login • Instagram

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So, my "office chair" base looks like a similar mount and I was still trying to decide the best option for attaching it to the new seat.
how did you attach yours?
My chair came with a seat cushion that bolts on from the bottom - I was thinking about re-padding it (heavily) and then just re-attach the way it came.
 

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PhuketAussie

Active Member
So, my "office chair" base looks like a similar mount and I was still trying to decide the best option for attaching it to the new seat.
how did you attach yours?
My chair came with a seat cushion that bolts on from the bottom - I was thinking about re-padding it (heavily) and then just re-attach the way it came.
I attached mine using wood blocks. I need to improve them, the rear block on mine needs to be a little thinner than the fron block, and I haven't rounded the corners yet, but the concept proved itself well, just need to refine it.

I have made videos of the making of this chair, for release on YouTube early next year (I have quite a queue), but to help you out I've changed the publishing settings to unlisted for now so that you can see them early:

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4: yet to be edited

Video response about how I attached the base:
 
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knight1705

New Member
Hello I was following along on your chair build here (i am building one of my own from a similar base but have had some delays) and now the videos are marked as private and no longer visible. Would you be willing to fix that?

Thank you in advance.
David
 

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