How to Build a Simple Wooden Chair With Two Parts

Written by benjamin kibbey
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How to Build a Simple Wooden Chair With Two Parts
(man sawing a piece of wood image by Joann Cooper from

Even with rudimentary woodworking skill, the average person can create a comfortable and portable chair out of a few feet of wood that, with more advanced skill, can become a work of art. The project is so simple yet gratifying in its result that it is likely you will want to make several and add personal touches to each. It is a perfect project for beginning woodworkers.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wood board, 8 feet long, 1 foot wide, 1.5 inches thick.
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Saw
  • Chisel and hammer, jigsaw or reciprocating saw
  • Razor knife
  • Drill

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  1. 1

    Make two marks 3.5 feet along the length of the board. Make a straight line through the points. Cut the board at the line.

  2. 2

    Measure up both sides of the short board, making a mark at 2 feet 4 inches on each side. Draw a line across the flat of the board with your straight edge connecting the two points.

  3. 3

    Mark two points on the line, 2 inches in from each side.

  4. 4

    Go to the end of the board furthest from the line and mark two points near the end, 2 inches in from each side.

  5. 5

    Draw two lines down the length of the board, each starting at a mark made on the line and passing through a mark near the end on the same side, creating a box on each side 2 inches wide and 2 feet 4 inches long.

  6. 6

    Cut out each of the 2-inch wide boxes, leaving the short board looking like a spoon or paddle.

  1. 1

    Lay the short board on top of the long board, with the widest end of the short board flush with the edges of the long board.

  2. 2

    Trace a line on the long board running the width of the narrow edge -- or "handle -- of the short board where the narrow edge of the short board touches the long board.

  3. 3

    Stand the short board up on end at the narrow edge so that the edge of the short board you traced against remains on the line you traced.

  4. 4

    Trace a box on the long board around the narrow end of the short board, leaving approximately 1/8 inch between the line you trace and the short board.

  5. 5

    Set the short board aside. Using the smallest available drill bit, drill holes at the shortest intervals possible along the edge of the box you traced on the long board.

  6. 6

    Cut or punch out the box.

  7. 7

    Insert the narrow end -- the "handle" -- of the short piece through the hole in the long piece. The "paddle" end of the short piece is the seat.

Tips and warnings

  • Plans for a more complex version of this chair are at the Craftsman Space website (see References), but they may also be useful for those who want a general visual of how the finished pieces fit together.
  • If the angle of the seat is too sharp for the intended user, you can alter it by making the hole slightly larger.

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