This garden chair is very simple to construct. Even with a minimum of tools it should take no more than a few hours to build. And you can make several of them.
1) Electric circular saw. (Skilsaw) (However if you have access to a power compound miter saw, the project will be quicker, easier and more accurate.) 2) A drill and 2 bits. 8mm or 5/16″ and a flat speedbore of 20mm 3/4″ for countersinking. 3) Jigsaw or a band saw 4) Hammer. 5) Tape measure. Nail punch. Small hand plane. Adjustable square. Pencil. 6) Socket set with 8mm (5/16) socket. 7) 2 clamps
There are two sizes of lumber required. Frame & Legs The frame and legs are made from ex 2*3″ (75*50mm) which when dressed finishes up as 1 3/4*2 3/4″ (70*45mm). Slats The other size required is ex 1″* 3″ (75*25mm) which when dressed finishes at 3/4″* 2 3/4″ (70*20). This is used for the seat slats.
The lumber needs to be treated to prevent it rotting when exposed to ground and weather elements. It also needs to be dry otherwise it will shrink as it dries. Pine is probably the best option however redwood, cedar, kwila or other exotic lumber can be used.
These sizes are readily available however if you wish to vary the lumber you just have to adjust some of your measurements.
a) 50 galvanized 2″ flathead (50mm) nails b) 20 galvanized 4″ flathead (100mm) nails c) 16′ (6.5m) Pine Lumber 1*3 (20*70-mm) dressed and treated. d) 20′ (5m) Pine Lumber 2*3 (45*70mm) dressed and treated. e) 8 (90*8mm) 3 1/2″ *5/16″ coach bolts with nuts and washers
This is the actual material that goes into the table. You will need a little more to cover waste although waste is minimal because there are many short pieces used in the construction. You will need some 3*1 as temporary bracing as well. And some plywood to hold the leg template.
2*3 (70*45) Seat supports… 4@ 19 3/4″ (500mm)…Front legs…2@ 24 1/4″ (615mm)… Back legs…2@ 26 3/4″.(680mm)… Arms… 2@ 23 3/4″ (605mm)
1*3 (70*20mm)… Short slats …20@ 20 1/2″ (520mm)
Step by step construction
It is advisable to do each step in logical order and only cut the pieces required for the next stage rather than cutting the whole table out all at once. Everyone’s measurements are slightly different. It is extremely easy to get an angle slightly out even on a miter saw. If you want your project to look professional, take your time and aim for an accurate fit.
Before fixing each board, use the small hand plane to put a slight bevel on the showing edge. This takes the furriness off the saw cut and improves the look.
Step 1 Seat Supports Cut 4 pieces of 2*3″ (90*45) to 19 3/4″ (502mm). Now set the saw or miter box to 31 degrees and cut one end of the 4 pieces at this angle. (This is cutting an angle of 59 degrees.) Now leaving the saw at the same setting cut off half the end of each board on the same side as the acute angle. Nail each of the supports together as in diagram A. Put them on top of each other to make sure that they are the same.
Step 2 Legs This is quite a critical part and getting the angles accurate on most saws will be difficult. However there is an way of getting it perfect.
Cut the 2 back legs from 2*3 (70*45) at approx 30″ (760mm) Cut the two front legs at 26″ (670mm)
Jig Method Set up a jig. On a sheet of 1/2″ plywood approx 3′ * 3′ (or some other flat board) screw two 1*3 pieces of lumber approx 2’6″ long parallel to each other at exactly 2′ (610mm) apart. These are guide boards.
Now close to the left had side draw a line between the two 1*3 boards making sure that it is at exactly right angles to the 2 parallel boards. From this line at the top board measure in 3 1/2″ or 90mm in. Place a mark.
Take a front leg approx 25″ (640mm) and put in place going from the mark at the top which is 3 1/2 in, down to the bottom board mark on the perpendicular line.
Measure 3 1/4″ (82mm) from the top of the inside leg along the guide board and place a mark. Now from the bottom inside of the front leg measure 19 1/4″ (490mm) and place another mark.
Line up the back leg (28″) on the top and bottom marks. When it is correct draw a line underneath the leg against the guide boards. These are the angles you need to cut to get the top and bottom parallel.
Do the same with the other set of legs just making sure that they are both identical. You can use the jig also for setting up the leg attachment to the frames.
The jig can be used many times if you are making many chairs of course.
Step 3 Arms Cut 2 pieces of 2*3″ (70*45) at 23 3/4″ (605mm) Scribe an arc around the front end as a guide for cutting. At the other end measure in 1″ (25mm) and along 6″ (150mm). Now scribe another arc for a cutting guide. Cut these out with a band saw or jigsaw. (See diagram D.) saw a 60 degree angle off the back end of the arms.
Step 4 Attaching legs to seat support Arrange each front and back leg pair on a flat surface. You will require 2 temporary boards to tack onto the legs to keep them in the correct position while you bolt them to the seat frame.
Set the bottom 19 1/4″ (490mm) apart and the top 3 1/4″ apart. Tack in place. Now the distance between the top and bottom should be 23 3/4″ (605mm) and it must be parallel. Use your jig. Adjust it until you get this correct. Tack so that it doesn’t move. Now do the same with the other set of legs. If you now put them on top of each other they should be the same.
Take an outside seat support and place it on the seat frame. Position it carefully 3/4″ in and 15″ up. Rotate the leg until the seat support join is in the middle of the back leg. Clamp in place. Do the other leg the same and then position one on top of the other to see if they match.
If they match and everything looks right, bore the 3 holes,one for the front and 2 at the back. This puts one bolt one each side of the join. Counter sink and bolt in place.
Step 5 Attaching the arms The arm should fit neatly parallel to the ground. Position it 3 1/2″ (90mm) in from the front and level with the outside of the legs. Nail when in place. Bore the hole for the bolt to attach arm to the seat back support. Repeat with the other arm.
Step 6 Frames Cut the 3 horizontal frames, 1 @ 2′ (610mm) which joins the outside legs under the front seat support and 1 @ 20 1/2″ (520mm) under the back support and one at 17 1/8″ (435mm) on the back between the seat supports. The back one is positioned 8 3/4″ (225mm) up from the join in the seat support. Keep checking measurements to see that it is all square. If all is square, tack and then fix in place.
Step 7 Attaching slats The front slat should overhang the front by 1/2″ (10mm) and the top slats should overhang the supports by the same amount. Check that the distance is 20″ (520mm). There are 12 slats, 6 for the seat part and 6 for the back of the seat. Space them out so they fit neatly and tack in place. If all is correct and square, fix the nails.
You have a Garden Chair of which you can be very proud.
This garden seat is a shortened version of the very successful Garden Seat/Table plan which you can see a video clip of.
Garden seat/table plan