This step by step article is about how to build a simple chair. If you want to build a chair by yourself, you could get the job done in a weekend, using just common tools and materials. There are many designs and shapes you could choose from, therefore you have to plan everything from the very beginning, as to fit your needs and tastes. A simple chair with a back support and a straight-forward seat is a great choice for beginners, as you need just basic woodworking skills.
Buy quality lumber if you want to obtain a durable result and to keep the expenditures under control. Buy cedar or redwood, making sure all the boards are perfectly straight and in a perfect condition. The slats should have a smooth surface from bottom to top, if you want to get a nice appearance. Work with good judgement and attention, in order to prevent costly mistakes.
In order to obtain a professional result, you should align the boards at both ends. In addition, drill pilot holes in the wooden components before inserting the screws, to prevent the wood from splitting. Ensure the corners are right-angled after each step, by using a carpentry square. Moreover, don’t forget to plumb the sides of the desk, as well to make sure the top of the desk is horizontal.
In order to build a simple chair, you need the following:
- 2×2 lumber – Front Legs
- 2×4 lumber – Back Legs
- 1×4 lumber - Aprons
- 1×3 lumber - Back Support
- 1/2” plywood - Seat
- 1 1/4” wood screws - Screws
- Wood glue
- Safety gloves, glasses
- Miter saw saw, jigsaw
- Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
- Drill machinery and drill bits
- Router, 1/4” round bit
- Pocket hole jig
- Pre-drill holes in the wooden components, before driving in the screws
- Smooth the exterior edges of the components, by using a router with a 1/4” bit
- One weekend
Building a wooden chair
Building a wooden chair is easier than you could imagine, provided the right tools and materials are used. Any inexperienced do-it-yourself-er could get the job done in a professional manner in just a weekend, if you follow our step by step instructions.
Smart tip: Cut the components accurately, making sure you double-check all the measurements. Add wood glue to the components, in order to enhance the bond of the joints.
How to build a simple chair
First of all, you need to build the legs of the chair. While the construction of the front legs is a straightforward task, building the back legs is a little more complicated, as you need to cut out them from a 2×4 beams. In order to obtain a professional result, we recommend you to follow the pattern illustrated in the image.
Use a jigsaw to cut the legs, from the 2×4 slat. Smooth their edges, using a router or a sand-block.
Afterwards, continue the woodworking project by building the front legs and securing them to the back legs. Cut the side aprons from 1×4 lumber and install them into place with screws and wood glue.
Smart tip: Drill pocket holes at both hands of the aprons, using a plastic jig. Place the components on the ground, making sure they are properly aligned. Secure the aprons about 1/4” inside the legs, by inserting 1 1/4” screws and glue.
After building both sides of the chair, you should lock them together with the front and the back aprons. Apply a significant quantity of wood glue on the edges of the components, in order to enhance the bond of the joints.
Adjust the size of the chair, as to fit your needs, but use the same techniques described above. Plumb the sides of the chair, before driving in the 1 1/4” screws trough the pilot holes.
Afterwards, build the seat support of the wooden chair. In order to get the job done in a professional manner, you could use slats of different sizes, such as 1×3, 1×4 or even 1×6 lumber. Cut the slats at the right size, using a miter saw and align it into place properly.
Smart tip: Use a spirit level, to make sure the slats are level. Drill pilot holes at both ends of the slats, to prevent the wood from splitting, before inserting the wood screws.
Before attaching the seat of the wooden chair, you have to reinforce the for corners with 2×2 braces. As you can see in the image, you have to cut both ends of the braces at 45º, using a miter saw. Place the braces into place, drill pilot holes and insert the 2” wood screws.
Smart tip: Use a carpentry square, to make sure the corners are right-angled. Add little wood glue to enhance the bond of the joints.
Work with good judgement and attention, if you want to obtain a nice appearance. Build the seat of the chair from 1/2” plywood, making sure you natch the back corners, to fit around the legs. Apply wood glue on the top edges of the aprons and clamp the plywood piece into place.
Smart tip: Secure the seat either with 2” finish nails trough the top, or inserting 1 1/4” trough the aprons, at angle. Make the chair rigid, by installing the bottom braces.
Last but not least, you should take care of the finishing touches. Therefore, fill the holes with a good wood putty and let it dry out for at least several hours. Afterwards, sand the surface with 120 grit sandpaper.
Smart tip: Clean the residues with a dry cloth or a vacuum. Next, you have to apply a good primer or conditioner to the desk, before covering it with several coats of wood stain.
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