La-Z-Boy Reclaimed

Stephen Taylor
by Stephen Taylor
7 Hours
I saw an old dirty La-Z-Boy chair at the side of the road and thought "well what can I make from that"

Everything used in this project was rescued from skips with the exception of the screws which were in an "end of line" basket at Mitre10 ($5 instead of $26:50) and the Macrocarpia used on the arms which was from an old garden Table and Benches I bought for $80 from a facebook "recycle" post (I still have over 90% of the wood left)

Get into the car, Chair!!!!!!

Fortunately La-Z-Boys separate into 2 pieces and it fits nicely in the back of the car.

The mechanism is seized and the handle has snapped off but home it goes.

Although very dirty, it isn't in really bad condition, however as it was free it doesn't really matter what I do with it.

I was tempted to just clean it and use it in my workshop shed, but nooooooooooooooooo

Free up the mechanism

I gave the pivoting mechanism a good spray with CRC (NZ's equivalent of WD40 (interestingly Australia's version is quaintly known as "Start Ya B@$***d!))

Let it soak for a couple of minutes and it all worked nicely

The Frame

I found this pic on the internet and it gave me the idea of what to do.

Originally La-Z-Boy chairs were garden furniture, so lets turn it back into that.

So all the leather needs to go

Stripping for fun!

I thought it would take about half an hour to get the leather off --- boy was I wrong!!

Many hours later it was done, I don't know exactly how long but I recall counting to infinity.---TWICE. (actually it took about 5 hours)

There were about 2000 staples holding the leather on, and each had to be eased out with a screwdriver and pliers. I also removed the seat springs and webbing (I have a neat upcycle idea for that too!)

Blood was spilled during this as the chair fought back from being naked!!

I have kept some of the leather as with a bit of a clean, I am sure I can use it for something!

We can rebuild it!

I used some left over offcuts of cedar tongue and groove to panel out the 2 sides, these were pieces that were too short after I had panelled my shed ceiling.

I also gave all the wood a coat of oil stain in order to give some preservation against the elements. This was put on with a piece of sponge (recycled from the upholstery)

The Back

I cut a bunch of 50mm wide slats from some 12mm plywood (marine ply) and attached them to the back frame.

Once again the ply was a skip find

Seat Base

Did similar to the seat base, this time with 18mm flooring ply - also a skip find


More of the same with 12mm ply


I figured that the arms needed a bit of beefing up, so I used some Macrocarpia from an old garden bench.

The underside was routed out to fit over the ply arms and then screwed in place from underneath.

I am considering whether to cut a "beer can" hole in the arm.

I also had to reshape one of the back slats to allow the recline action to work

Now it all needs some more stain

And there it is -- Job Done

Time to enjoy it, Total Cost less than $12 BARGAIN

Frequently asked questions
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  • Nancy Heiss Woods Nancy Heiss Woods on Jun 09, 2017
    What is Macrocarpia? I'm not familiar with this. The chair is beautiful. It makes me want to take my husbands chair from the living room!

  • Cher Kalil Cher Kalil on Jun 14, 2017
    Just wow! Thats some fine upcycling!!! Dig'n the blurb about the broken lever extension! Shoulda included a pic of THAT! My only question is how did you protect the footrest mechanism from moisture to prevent rust and seizing?

  • Sto20095252 Sto20095252 on Jun 15, 2017
    Can I use an old recliner from home that's not lazy boy or do I have to use Lazy Boy

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