Children's invention ideas made real
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6 leg chair

Max Age 8

Tamworth, UK

This idea has been made real

London, Greater London, UK

I have training in furniture and product design and so the ingenious inventions that the children have come up with are extremely compelling and I'm super excited to be able to bring some of these marvelous ideas to life!

2 made real2 working on

Max was forever being told not to swing on his chair at school, so he invented the six-leg chair to make it safer!

As you swing back, extra legs pop out to create a stable landing, how clever!

This invention was brought to life by one of our very own Magnificent Makers, Chelsea Vivash.

Chelsea says

I remember swinging back on my chair in my own school days, and even falling off a few times which really hurt! Max's simple solution will help stop those nasty bumps. I really enjoyed working out the mechanics of the 6 leg chair, thinking about the angles and how it would swing out. I can't wait to see what other clever invention ideas Max can come up with!'.

Click on the makers blog above to see how Chelsea made Max's 6 leg chair!

Maker blog entries

Chelsea Vivash has been working on making this idea real.
Making it stand out!
Posted by Chelsea Vivash

The six-leg chair worked really well, however it looked a bit plain. After giving it a clean up I  decided to add some colour. I created a band of yellow on each of the legs, including the two extra ones. This meant that you can really see how the chair works, because the bands of clour line up when the chair is upright.

I chose yellow because Max drawing had a happy child wearing a yellow T-shirt, and yellow is the Little Inventors colour!

Swinging too far
Posted by Chelsea Vivash

Now that the 2 extra legs were attached we almost had a 6 leg chair. However, because of the way they were bolted together, the extra could swivel all the way around 360 degrees. Now, this wasn't suitable at all! I needed to create a way to allow the new legs to swing enough that the supported the chair when tipped back, but nothing more.

I did some research and saw that boxes with lids are often secured with a hinge to stop them from swinging open completely. As well as this I saw that ribbon or tape could be used to do the same thing. Because the extra chair legs needed to sit tightly next the chair I decided that the slimmer ribbon idea would be best. I stapled the ribbon to the back of the chair and the extra leg, and voila! The leg swung enough to support the chair, then when the ribbon was taught it stopped!

Making the mechanism
Posted by Chelsea Vivash

For this chair prototype, I decided to use an existing chair and add the extra swinging legs to the back.  I found a children's chair and table set in IKEA. In the set, there are two chairs and a table. This meant that I had spare legs that I could use to create the two extra legs for the 6 leg chair.

I put together one of the chairs and then I cut off two legs from one of the chairs to the right size. Then I drilled a hole through the extra legs as well as the completed chair frame at the exact same height. This meant I could bolt the extra legs to the chair.

As well as this, I knew that in order for the extra legs to be stable, they needed to be cut at a 45 degree angle, so when they swung out they would be flat to the ground

How do I create a 6 leg chair?
Posted by Chelsea Vivash

I did some research to find out how I might make a 6 leg chair. I came across a funny episode of The Simpsons that show Homer on a chair with 6 legs. Initially, I thought it might work to make a chair that has two extra legs permanently sticking out of the back of the chair at an angle, so that when the person tips over the two extra legs touch the floor and stop them from falling. However Max specified that the two extra legs pop out of the back of the chair so I decided to make two legs that swing out when the person tips back.