Monday, 9 September 2013

I Broke My Chair

I broke my chair, my Ikea Phoang chair! I love this chair. It is so comfortable to sit in that I continue to accept the struggles of getting in and out just so I can enjoy the "in" time. It's a deeply curled bentwood kind of frame with a leather cushion, all in black. It has become the centerpiece of my living room life, with both the TV and the sound system aimed and tuned to maximum effect for that chair.

For those of you who have seen me struggle with getting in and out of it, you may think this is a good thing. For those of you who have seen my stomach lately, you may think of this as payback. But for those who know me and understand how important having a "normal" chair is to me, you will almost certainly urge me to replace it.

It was the bolt in the left arm that broke, snapped cleanly off where it entered the wood of the side frame. It's an incredibly precise and clean break, as if someone had gone through it with a fine toothed saw, neatly snipping it off exactly where the bolt melded with the wood rail. I was simply sitting in it and it let go. Down I went, still firmly resting in the seat portion as it slumped to the ground.

Fortunately Ricky was here to come help me out. He held the chair in position while I transferred to my wheelchair. Ricky thinks it is the way I use the chair, the transferring in and out that puts extra strain on that bolt. He wants me to give up on it; he is very ready to encourage me to give up on things, as if I should just go down without a fight. After all, I am going to lose this one eventually so perhaps I should accept it now.

I refuse to take that approach. The chair is engineered to last for 20 years, not 20 months. On close examination, it looks to me like the bolt was weak. It may be true that I put extra strain on the chair when I get in and out of it, but surely that would not cause a steel bolt to snap right off. The other alternative is that the bolt was loose, just loose enough for there to be a shear point, a pressure point where there was just enough lateral motion to allow for the bolt to bend. Yet it does not look like it bent. It is a straight, clean break.

I am going to Ikea today. I am taking the chair with me. I am going to ask them what they think about it. Who knows? They may replace it. If not, then I am destined to purchase another chair. At least I don't have to buy another cushion. That survived.

1 comment:

  1. Unless you're dropping into or jumping on that chair regularly, I don't see how you're placing too much of a load on the frame. You're not THAT heavy, my friend. It looks to me like that bolt was the weakest link, so -- goodbye!