Why Cut a Couch in Half
by Roy Mackey
Well one of the main reasons for cutting a couch in half is mostly because it is there. Sure you could do something else like say climb Mount Everest but in the end what have you got to show for that? Maybe a pile of pictures but nothing really solid. When you cut a couch in half you not only have the pictures but you still have the couch!! You can take more pictures of it, show your friends, help instruct other people on how to cut a couch in half or even give courses on cutting a couch in half. If you were half smart you could even write a book on it. Sure you could write a book on climbing Mount Everest but hey as if that hasn't been done before!! When was the last time you saw a book on cutting a couch in half?
Anyway here is a pic of the one I cut in half. It was a lot bigger job than one would imagine. Due to the multitude of materials in a couch it got complicated fast. One of the first things I had to do was flip the couch onto its back. Then I pulled the bottom material off to see what I was up against. Once that was done I could determine the location of the steel springs etc. Of course the wood was all nailed glued and screwed so it was also a real challenge.
After pulling off all the cushions I took an olfa knife and cut the material all the way around. Of course I tried to avoid going too deep and damaging the blade of the knife on the steel springs under the material. This took a lot longer than I had expected at first. There was some woven plastic fiber material under the styrofoam that was quite tough to cut. Over all the cutting part likely took twenty minutes.
Next I decided to take on the springs and steel parts. I figured by keeping the wood framework solid it make the removal of the metal parts a lot easier. The metal did turn out to be a bit of a challenge but luckily I had the tools here. For the springs I had to cut I opted for the small bolt cutters. They worked great. Of course using any kind of a grinder was out of the question due to sparks. I did not want to touch off a bit of a blaze in our studio during the process. Once couches get burning they are hard to get out and can smolder for a long time undetected before hours later bursting into flames. The trick to doing this is to take your time and think out each separate move carefully.
After all the metal was cut I then proceeded to cut the wooden framework. Part of it was quite easy since I was able to use my electric jig saw. Other parts were too hard to reach and so I turned to my multi cutter precision saw from Canadian tire… a useless bit of a tool that works good for nothing but was on sale. It turned out to the the one time I ever needed to use that saw. It took forever since I am sure it is only designed for cutting balsa wood. I like it when I get absolutely useless tools that I will never use on sale. That way I am not out that much money.
Anyway after gently easing the blade in and out of the wood for an hour or so I eventually got through each piece of wood. A reciprocating saw would have been real handy but I did not have one. Not something I need for the metal work I do. After the wood was all cut there was just a little more fabric trimming to do and it was in two pieces.
Now that I look back it was quite challenging. A lot more than I had expected at first. Just the same I feel stronger for doing it. A lot of people would not have bothered saying whats the use. My response was always the same to them. I would tell them what if the Wright brothers had said “whats the use” Or what if Columbus had said “whats the use” Where would we be today. Since this I have always told people to never pay attention to anyone telling you “whats the use” If they don’t have the vision after you explain it to them they will likely never get it. You just have to push forward and do it anyway. If I would have listened to them I would not have this couch sitting in my living room here today. Who else can say they have that in their living room? Not many I bet. If you want to stand out in the crowd you have got to be willing to do what other people are afraid to. That my friend is why I became an artist!
Anyway just something to think about next time you feel like doing something fun and challenging.
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