(If the question is not 'woodworky' enough, apologies.)

We have an old couch. Springs are supported on webbing. I've re-webbed a couple of times over the years (as best I could). Now, it needs it again.

My question is, why webbing? ISTM, I could just as well screw plywood under there, and save a lot of work. The plywood would go under the old webbing, so the springs would remain tied in.

(Just to clarify the vocabulary, here it is after re-webbing: )

enter image description here

  • I think the webbing is quite simply there to add a little extra spring. It's not like traditionally they couldn't have used solid bases on seating but where webbing was used no matter how tightly it was done it still has some give, just enough to make a difference. – Graphus Apr 23 '17 at 21:14
  • @Graphus - I was thinking/hoping (a) back in the really old days, no plywood, so maybe webbing was cheaper/lighter/lower profile. And (b) I have seen (economy) furniture with metal rails under the springs. Not to mention, box springs. – George Apr 24 '17 at 1:23
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    It seems like it wouldn't hurt to try it out and see what you think of it. It doesn't look like it would be too hard to change it back to webbing if the plywood didn't work out. – Katie Kilian Apr 24 '17 at 13:55
  • You could try cutting your plywood slightly undersized so it doesn't show (much) when the couch is right side up, then just screw it on the bottom, over the existing webbing. It looks like there may be some stringers running from the front to back, so you could screw it in there, too, for some extra support. If you don't like it, as @CharlieKilian said, you can then remove it and re-web. – FreeMan Apr 25 '17 at 19:53
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    To follow up on Charlie Kilian's comment, you can try the experiment without even attaching the plywood. Simply support the plywood from the floor with lumber (or whatever is handy (bricks?)) so the plywood is resting at the height of the webbing while it is under the couch and gingerly have a test sit. You feel the difference and can tell if it worth converting fully at that point, all with a very limited investment of time and effort. To me this is similar to "box springs for beds vs. a mattress on the floor" experiments of my youth. :) – ewm Apr 29 '17 at 18:29

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