In an effort to save money and continue to learn useful skills, I’m looking for ways to depend more on myself (for problems small and large) and rely less on buying something pre-made. My self-sufficient summer continues!
PROBLEM: Every time I sit in my chair, it sinks
It is no secret that I spend A LOT of time in my desk chair. It has been with me since my first year of graduate school (2006). After I finished my thesis, the computer desk chair became a sewing chair as well. Most recently, I’ve been spending more time in it for the job application process, and over the past week I’ve noticed that the seat has been gradually sinking every time I sit on it.
As of Monday it wouldn’t even rise back up.
This proved ergonomically problematic and I started daydreaming about buying a new desk chair. But swivel desk chairs are expensive, and I am not in a place where I feel comfortable buying non-essentials.
SOLUTION: Take matters into my own hands
Eventually I remembered that I was supposed to be making responsible (economically and environmentally) decisions and I should just REPAIR the chair.
Based on a Google search, a sinking swivel chair is caused by a problem with the gas cylinder. It is replaceable, but gas cylinders can run between 20 and 80. I could buy a new chair for that cost. Environmentally Sustainable? YES. Economically feasible? NO.
Then, after a bit more Google searching, I found this tip:
I can do that, and more importantly, I can afford that. So I headed off to Home Depot to pick up 1.5-inch diameter PVC pipe, and some heavy duty metal zip ties for hoses. It cost me $6.00 (plus gas). [Word of caution, when asking the Home Depot staff about the materials you have just picked up, make sure to mention you are working on a NON-plumbing project. Otherwise, they will freak out that you are buying things that will not be water tight.]
IMPLEMENTATION: Rosie the Riveter rises again
In less than an hour:
I cut the pipe (4.75 inch long and then in half lengthwise);
Sandwiched some craft foam inside the pipe to ensure a tight fit around the chair shaft; and
Secured the pipe in place with the metal bands.
Success! *Runs around house making happy noises*