I wanted a pair of aluminum bomber-style seats for my latest project and decided that I would have a go at making them myself. Most of the bomber seat magazine articles I found were on the complicated side, and involved hundreds of rivets. But reading the articles did give me some idea of how they were made and their dimensions. Each builder seemed to have his own ideas about sloping the back and making the mounting points tip. In the end, it seemed to be down to trial and error and individual taste.
I needed to have a set of very low runners and an adjustable system to tilt the seat back to get comfortable and give some support to the backs of the thighs (very important if you're driving long distances). The car I was building didn't have very much width. I found a runner system at DAX Cobras that was ideal.
I consulted Steve Jest, a good friend who works at Competition Fabrications, owned by Nick Parravani, on how to make the back all in one piece and how to form the base.
My wife, June, and I bought some large flexible card stock from an art warehouse to build a prototype seat; if we liked it we would then use these as patterns for cutting out the aluminum. We looked at a few designs and then tried to interpret them onto paper. We worked out the seat length and width based on the space we had in the car and the maximum height we had. It would be a disaster to build seats that would not fit in the car, or that you couldn't get your bottom into.
Thanks to some help from Steve Jest and the use of Nick Parravani's heavy punching and rolling gear. I now have a couple of aluminum seats that should provide miles of comfortable cruising.
I started by making a card pattern. The sides and back were one-piece and the base was sha
I then transferred the pattern for the base of the seat to some MDF board to make the buck
After I had knocked over the front edge I moved a couple of the clamps and worked my way a
Once I had worked my way around the aluminum and was happy with it, I released the clamps
Here's the basic seat bottom; more work with a hammer and dolly will come when bringing th
Next I laid out the card pattern on the aluminum sheet that Steve had roughly cut out for