Making, hacking, breaking, and (sometimes) fixing. Replaced by newer, better, faster nerds.

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Tags: Hardware

Due to permanent disability, my leg basically needs to stay elevated for 90% of the day, and every single recliner and leg-rest-type furniture I’ve found/tried has been designed to support your mid-calf-muscle area and have the rest of your leg sticking off the edge, which hurts for me. I’ve bought and abandoned more chairs/recliners/leg-rests/etc than I can count, and finally just decided to build my own.

First I mocked up the position and made sure the height cleared the speaker under my desk, and that the top height/angle suited my leg when I’m sitting at the desk.

Leg Support - mockup

After that I came up with a design in Fusion 360 that matched the mocked up lengths and angles, which lets me print off a cut sheet with more accurate details to take to the shed. I’ve gone to CAD’ing up any/all projects no matter how small, if only so that I have an easy reference to double-check details or compare to my progress and catch mistakes earlier. The “Drawing” mode in Fusion 360 is one of my favourite things lately, letting you auto-generate nice flat pictures from each angle with measurements and angles labelled clearly.

Leg Support - design

Then I threw a bunch of scrap MGP10 (2x4s for you right-side-up countries) through the thicknesser to clean it up and make it look a bit less… crap. Any project that uses scrap materials is a huge win in my books.

Leg Support - thicknessing some scrap

I assembled all the parts using a pocket hole jig so that the exterior could be as smooth/minimal as possible, and every joint is glued + screwed for extra rigidity/longevity.

Leg Support - fabricating

Leg Support - more fabricating

Leg Support - still fabricating

Finally I gave it a heavy sanding using the orbital sander to get it all smooth and hide all my mistakes (so so many mistakes, I need to work on calibrating my tools better), and put on a few thick coats of some white wall paint I had lying around.

Leg Support - painting

Leg Support - painted

This is it, my “custom-made artisan leg support”, aka some scrap wood that’s been screwed together and hidden by generous amounts of paint and a pillow.

It’s ridiculously comfortable, gives me full leg support down to the ankle, and the slight angle in it means I don’t get blood flow issues or pins & needles from using it for too long. I’ve bought some furniture foam to make a custom cushion that fits better, but for now this pillow is working fine.

Leg Support - finished