Woodworking How to Build a Chair

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The beauty of woodworking lies in the opportunity to make furniture, fixtures and even entire structures from a few materials (i.e., wood, nails and glue) using a few pieces of equipment (i.e., saw, hammer and measuring tape), all of which embody the best in form and function. With such simplicity, beginners will find it easy to follow these steps on how to build a basic chair.

Gather the Materials and Tools

The materials for the basic chair are simple – 2 pieces of 2×4 at 10 feet long and 1 piece of 2×4 at 8 feet long, which will then be cut into the following pieces:

  • 2 pcs. 37 ¾” (back legs)
  • 4 pcs. 10½” (back/front boards)
  • 2 pcs. 16½” (front legs)
  • 2 pcs. 15″ (side boards)
  • 1 pc. 13½” (supports)
  • 3 pcs. 18½” (seat)
  • 2 pcs. 17″ (seat sides)

The tools for this woodworking project on how to build a basic chair with dimensions of 17½” x 37 ¼” x 18 ½” are:

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • 2 ½-inch screws
  • 4-inch screws
  • Wood glue and wood filler

Build the Back

Start with the back section. Get the 2 pieces of the back legs and 3 pieces of the back/front boards and assemble these parts. The back/front boards should run between the back legs such that the top board is flush with the legs’ top, the middle board is spaced 3 inches down from the top board, and the bottom board is placed 10¾ inches down from the middle board. Use the screws and glue to attach these parts.

Build the Front

The next step in this woodworking project on how to build a basic chair is to assemble the front legs and attach the front back piece. The latter should be flush with the legs’ top as well. Use screws and glue, too, for the job.

Connect the Parts

Using the side boards, connect the back and front sections. Keep in mind that the side boards should be flush with the front section’s top but these must line up with the bottom back board’s top. Measure the chair so that it is now approximately 16½ inches from the top of the side boards to the floor.

Add the Supports

Adding the supports is a must for the simple reason that a woodworking project, even something as simple as how to build a basic chair, should be sufficiently stable, durable, and strong to withstand years of use. Install the supports across the seat opening’s back portion by using screws and glue.

Place the Seat

Start putting on the seat. Place the seat boards, which should reach into the chair’s back opening while also being flush with its back side. Tip: Drill down through the seats and then into the front/back boards before attaching with screws and glue.

The attachment of the seat side boards comes next. Make sure that these boards are flush against both the chair’s back legs and its center seat boards and voila! Most of the manual work involved in this woodworking project on how to build a basic chair is done.

Add Finishing Touches

But don’t forget to add the finishing touches to the chair, said touches of which will enhance its form and function.

  • Fill in the screw holes using wood filler. Wait for 24      hours and then sand the area until the wood surface and wood filler are      even.
  • Sand the surfaces of the chair to achieve an even      surface for it.
  • Apply paint or stain for a finished look.

This is truly a simple yet satisfying woodworking project on how to build a basic chair that even beginners can accomplish with little to no supervision.


How to Build a Chair Recommended Resources (be sure and check the below link for more information)






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