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THE BARCELONA CHAIR - BASIC STAGES OF MANUFACTURE

V. Ryan 2011

 

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The Barcelona Chair is comprised mainly of chromed steel or stainless steel flat strips, that are welded together, to form a strong frame.

High grade steel / stainless steel is selected, as this will ensure that the chair survives many years of use.

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, with a minimum of 10.5% chromium. It is resistant to rust and corrosion, making it ideal for the manufacture of high quality Barcelona Chairs.
STAGE ONE:
After the selection of quality steel or stainless steel. The flat strips that will later form the ‘sides’, are put through a set of rollers. This gives each frame its distinctive curve. The diagram below shows a typical set of rollers. The final roller is adjustable and it is offset to form the curve.
 
STAGE TWO:

The curved frames are cut to the correct length, using a machine hacksaw.

Cutting after the curve has been formed, ensures that the remaining flat part of the material is removed.
STAGE THREE:

The ‘cut’ surfaces are finished by hand, removing burrs and rough edges. This ensures that the steel is smooth, ready for further grinding.
   
 
   
STAGE FOUR:

A machine grinder is used to remove rough edges, along the lengths of each curved piece of steel.
   
STAGE FIVE:

The curved pieces of steel, that form the sides of the chair, are set up in a jig and welded together. This is completed very accurately, as a smooth fillet is required at the intersection.

The cross pieces and the two side frames are welded, forming the sturdy completed frame.

The welds are filed by hand, ensuring a perfect surface finish.
   
STAGE 6:

Chrome plating, is a technique, whereby a thin layer of chromium is added to the surface of steel. This protects the steel from corrosion but also gives it a quality, reflective silver finish.

(if stainless steel is used for the frames, they do not require chrome plating).

One chrome techniques uses chromium chloride as the main solution. The chair frame is lowered into the chrome plating bath and allowed to reach the same temperature. An electric current is applied to the solution and after time, chrome is deposited on to the surface of the steel.
   
Barcelona Chair Cushion STAGE SEVEN:

Each cushion is manufactured from forty individual pieces of leather. Each square is individual cut to size. The buttons hold the patch work of leather squares together. The piping between each button is also composed of separate pieces. The buttons are hand stitched in position.
   
 
   
STAGE EIGHT:

After the final assembly and quality check, the Barcelona Chair is ready for distribution to the customer.
 
 
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