I'm attempting to build a set of reclining beach chairs for my in-laws, but I can't identify the mechanism that's used on the arms to recline the back. Google searching hasn't been very helpful (all I can find are the chairs themselves, no parts).

Looking at the mechanism, it seems like I could fabricate one at home, but it would be pretty tedious. Does anyone know what this thing is called? Or better yet, where I can find them?



  • This page doesn't quite have what you're after, but they identify several types of antique reclining mechanisms that might make suitable replacements.They are called "Back racks". Maybe what you're looking for is an "arm rack"?
    – FreeMan
    Apr 8 '16 at 19:23
  • Interesting. I might need to look into getting some of those for a planned Morris chair. Nothing popping up with "arm rack," unfortunately.
    – grfrazee
    Apr 8 '16 at 20:08
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    Man, I really wanted to answer this. So many variations of searching for the hardware come up with just pictures of chairs. I reversed searched the images: First is boats and rigging and the second is gun stocks. Both make terrible beach chairs.
    – Matt
    Apr 21 '16 at 22:30
  • 1
    Well this might just drive me insane. I see that it is riveted to the chair. Would be a shame if something happened to it in case there are manufacturer markings on the hidden parts....perhaps where it is just screwed on? So many sites market this chair as their own.
    – Matt
    Apr 22 '16 at 0:16
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    @grfrazee - let us know what, if anything, you find on this! Having the link here would be most helpful.
    – FreeMan
    May 4 '16 at 17:24

I have come to the conclusion that the hardware you are looking for is not proprietary but not easily accessible to the general public as of yet. Even if it is it is definitely not widely marketed as someone would have found it by now. My wife told me I have been looking at too many beach chairs so I have at least some credibility when it comes to this hardware availability.

Those pictures appear to be your own as looking them up got me pictures of gun stocks and boats and rigging. So... not helpful there.

So, a lot of Googling

In an attempt to find them I have been using the combinations of the following words:

sliding, arm, chair, beach, lounger, hardware, brass, steel, rivet, positional, 4, four, tray (for a little bit when I though I found something similar), oak, track, channel, lock, locking, hinge. adjustable, folding, bagel

These just brought me round and round. Every corner I thought I was getting close but I was mostly going in different circles. Reverse imaging helped but again the end result was the same.


The start of forward momentum comes that this chair is apparently available through many manufacturers. Likely they are from the same template or root supplier but either way they are out there. These are the ones I found that appear unique enough. There were more but some appeared to be cookie cuttered from others. I chose the "main" ones from these groups based on how often I ran into them. In no particular order:

  • 30agear.com
  • sunrisechairco.com - This was one of the more informative ones as it claims to have sourced the parts in the US. Also it refers to the hardware in question as "rust proof brass hinges and rivets".
  • Wayfair.ca - These are called Frankford Beach Chairs according to Walmart, Amazon and Wayfair.ca

They are all the same picture and therefore the same base product. I am sure there are minor changes between them but I can show you one and you won't be able to link it to one of those suppliers I am sure.

Other pictures of the hardware

If this help you or other I have found several different angles of the hardware in question. I am confident they are all the same mechanism. Some are of a different make up but the design is the same. Namely I have found some that are brass or steel by description:

All of the images have been shrunk as to not take up too much space. Should blow up fine when you click on them. I know I have another one but I need to scour my temp for it.

Hinge Image from sunrisechairco.com

Parts description Image from sunrisechairco.com

Other options to consider

If you are willing to break the one you have I would be curious if there were manufacture marks are the hidden sides of the hinge. The thing comes apart in at least 3 pieces.

If you are willing to contact manufacturers it is possible that one of them could get you the information your are looking for.

  • Bagel? You googled Bagel when looking for beach chair hardware? Either you were getting hungry, or you were testing to see if anyone actually reads your posts.
    – FreeMan
    May 4 '16 at 17:23
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    @FreeMan Ah someone noticed! I thought it would be obvious since it was on the end of the list.
    – Matt
    May 4 '16 at 17:37
  • Having spent a fair bit of time myself Googling on day one, I was curious to see if anyone had found an answer. It appears that "sort of" is the closest we'll get at this point.
    – FreeMan
    May 4 '16 at 17:40
  • @FreeMan It is very elusive. It looks like it is only the one chair style so possibly just the one main manufacturer.
    – Matt
    May 4 '16 at 18:20

At least one manufacturer calls them "rachet steamer chair" fittings.

BRASS FITTING F/STEAMER CHAIR, RATCHET 235MM Credit: Siso Denmark, from the link above.

  • Link doesn't work, but good to know they're called "steamer chair" fittings on that site. Gives me an idea of how to make my own, at least.
    – grfrazee
    May 3 '18 at 20:03
  • I don't think those are quite it right, but they're close. The website was working for me, so I added a picture from it. May 3 '18 at 21:23

It's easier to make a T-slot on the underside that a T slides in. To lock it down you create grooves crosswise so when the armrest is pushed down it'll hold the weight.


Lee Valley sells Ratcheting Folding Brackets that I think do what you are looking for:

Bracket Image

From their site:

These folding brackets lock in place when lifted, and can be used for reclining chairs or folding tables. Lift again, and they release to fold down.

The smaller 175mm (6.9") wide bracket has six stop positions, while the larger 245mm (9.6") wide has eight. The range of motion depends on how close they are to the pivot point, but the maximum operating arc on the small bracket is 95° from horizontal; the large has a maximum of 112°. Both will fold closed to a thickness of just over 2".

  • Unfortunately, I don't think these are quite right. The arm racks in my case slide past each other linearly (no hinge at one end).
    – grfrazee
    Apr 21 '16 at 15:37

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