Finished Product

Below is an image of the finished product in action.

Documentation

Why

Every time I sit down to use the PS4, I wish that I could put my phone somewhere other than my pocket. The TV remote constantly gets lost, and the PS4 controllers are always on the floor. Having a stool or a coffee table nearby sort of solved these problems, but it wasn't very elegant.

I figured the most elegant solution would be an armrest capable of holding things, so I set out to make one.

Process

My dad has a workshop in his office basement, so I went to visit him for a weekend and make an armrest.

The first step was figuring out what kind of wood would work well. I decided on a nice piece of baltic birch because it was a good match for the original wood on the chair.

I used a TV remote, a cup, a PS4 controller and my phone to figure out how wide and long I should make it. I drew out a basic shape on the wood, using little circular plastic containers to draw the curves.

In order to cut out the "tray" section, I used a router bit in a drill press. I had to be quite careful as I was cutting the lines and the curves freehand.

Using this method allowed me to easily cut out a shape at the exact same depth all the way around. Unfortunately, I tilted the wood too much at one point and got a created a bit of a gash in the tray. I fixed it by redoing the entire tray at the maximum depth of the gash, which ended up being a nicer depth anyway.

Finally, I cut out the outside lines with a jigsaw, and then spent a few hours cleaning all the edges and surfaces up with sandpaper. After it was nice and soft, I applied varnish and let it dry overnight.

Installing it was fairly easy: I measured the height of the existing armrest, glued a piece of the same height along the bottom of my armrest, one armrest's width away from the edge, and then screwed a second piece of wood into both the old and new armrest.

I fastened it this way for two reasons: the screw holes would have been ugly in the top of the armrest, and I didn't want to leave screw holes in the top of the chair's armrest.

Overall, I'm quite happy with the result. Every time we sit in front of the TV now, it's a fight for the chair with the armrest.