After I completed making my desk, it became clear that my beloved little h-base Eames shell chair just wasn’t working as a desk chair. Thanks to the modern miracle of Ebay, it is now.
For about $45, including shipping, I bought this fancy vintage swiveling aluminum star base. It makes the chair a bit more comfortable and the swivel factor adds hours of fun to otherwise inactive periods of work.
This is how it was shipped to me. I just thought that was funny.
Of course (it’s me we’re talking about), the change was a little more involved than a quick switcheroo; I also took the opportunity to give the shell itself some love. The Brick House and Chairfag already have wonderfully detailed tutorials on how to restore a shell chair, so I won’t rehash the process here. A good cleaning, a little wet sanding, and a slick coat of Penetrol restore the luster and add a bit of protection, so I’m glad I took the time to do it. It’s like when somebody you haven’t seen in a while has gotten plastic surgery and you can’t quite pinpoint what they had done. Not super shiny like it’s trying (and failing) to look brand new, which I was worried about, but tastefully refreshed. Analogies, they’re fun.
Luckily, both the original h-base and the new swivel base are narrow mount, so I didn’t have to mess around with prying off the shockmounts and resetting them with new epoxy. Really sticky things can be hazardous for the accident-prone.
I also gave the aluminum part a good scrubbing with Ajax, the rough side of a sponge, and a toothbrush (this is the before shot, you can see how much better it looks in the first picture).
I considered just buying a replacement glide for the old h-base– it was missing one– but I’m so glad I just went for a new base altogether. I think it looks better with the desk anyway. Less leggy.