Introduction: $40 Backyard Chair
In this instructable I will be doing a step by step tutorial on how you can make high quality professional lounge style chairs made from pressure treated wood. This project uses pressure treated wood given that the chairs are designed to be placed outdoors. This will help fight against things such as wood rot that would be present with standard wood. This is a weekend type project that can be done in less than a day. The chairs for this project where built to go along with a recently installed fire pit. Wooden chairs can be very costly, with price tags of $500-$700 depending on the chair and wood. Building the chairs gives the ability to add personal touches such as beveled corners and backboards while saving huge amounts of cash. This chair style might not be for everyone, but with this tutorial on how its done I hope it will serve as inspiration to build your own variation.
Step 1: Materials List
Bellow are the materials you will need to complete the project along with their costs.
1x- 2x6x8- $5.39
3x- 5/4x6x10 premium decking-$6.83 a piece 20.49 total
3x- 2x4x8 3.96 each 11.88 total
1x box of 1 5/8" outdoor screws
1x box of 2" outdoor screws
8x 3"x1/4 lag bolts
Step 2: Tools
These are the tools used to complete this project. While you may not have every tool on this list there are plenty of substitutes that will be able to preform the same role.
- Miter saw
- Drill- with Philips head bit and optional socket driver
- Socket set
- 1 5/8" weather screws
- 3" lag bolts
- speed square
- tape measure
- something to draw with
- bubble level
Things to note before and while building. Be sure to pre-sink all screw holes for a flush clean looking finish. Make sure all materials are outdoor suitable. This means all wood must be pressure treated and all screws weather retardant. Be sure all edges of the final product are sanded and rounded for a cleaner looking and safe overall product.
Step 4: Part 1
For the first part of this chair we will be making the front legs. These legs will be made out of standard 2x4's. We will need two front legs which will consist of two 2x4 lengths cut down to 22".
Step 5: Part 2
Now that the two front legs are made we need to make the two rear legs. These legs will be made out of 2x6 pressure treated wood. The wood will need to be first cut down into two pieces that each have a length of 36". The rear legs are mounted on an angle so they will need to be cut as follows. Measure 3" down from the top corner of the wood and then mark 3/4" over on the top of the wood. Then connect the two marks and cut the angle. Now that this is cut measure down 15 1/4" and mark it and then 1 3/4" inward at the top of the wood. Connect these two marks and then make the cut. After this cut is made use a speed square to mark a 90 degree line from the first initial cut. Refer to the image as reference as to how this should come out. On the opposite side measure and mark down 1 1/2" then make the cut.
Step 6: Part 3
Now that the four legs are done they can be attached. To do this we are going to use 3" lag bolts which have a diameter of 1/4" thick. We will be mounting the rear legs on the inside of the front legs so that the lag bolts are not visible making the chair cleaner looking overall. To mount the two legs measure 14 3/4" up on each front leg and mark it. Now mark 1" inward on the wood. When mounting the rear legs the top of the leg should be at the 14 3/4" mark and parallel with the 1" line. To be sure this is correct you can use a piece of 1x6 decking to make sure its flush with the front of the legs. Once they are both straight sink a minimum of two lag bolts per each side. To see how this is complete view the next step.
Step 7: Part 4
Now that the leg bases are made it is time to connect the two. We are going to do this by connecting a piece of 1x6 decking cut down to 21" to the front. This piece should easily fit flat and flush within the 1" slot from earlier. This can be secured with four screws. After it is attached it should look like the image above.
Step 8: Part 5
At this point we are ready to add the actual seat to the chair. To do this we will need to cut more 1x6 decking into three pieces each measuring 21" in length. The fourth piece is going to be ripped down so that it is 1 1/2" in width and 21" in length. These four pieces can now be mounted with the smallest piece being mounted towards the rear of the chair.
Step 9: Part 6
Now that the seat is on its time to build the back rest. This piece will be made from more 2x4s. We will need two back rest supports so be sure to duplicate this step. To start off the wood will need to be cut down to 35" in length. Now that its the proper length we will need to make two angle cuts, one on each end. For the first angle measure down and mark 1 1/4". From this point connect a line two the corner opposite it, and make the cut. On the other end of the wood measure and mark 2" up and 2" in. Then connect the lines and make the cut. The two supports should now look like the image above. To mount the back rest hold the wood up against the back of the seat and make sure it is flush with the bottom of the rear legs. Then attach both supports with the lag bolts.
Step 10: Part 7
At this point we need to build extra back supports that will also support the chairs arm with another piece in the next step. The supports are cut from a 2x4 measuring 28 5/8" in length. To make the two angles for this piece measure 1 1/4" down and mark it. Then connect this mark to the opposite corner and make the cut. On the other end of the wood much like a previous step measure 2" down and 2" in and connect the lines followed by the cut. The piece should now look like this. Be sure to make two of these, on for each side. Check the fitment of these supports on the outside of the chairs main supports. It should fit snugly in the slot and be flush at the top of the other main support.
Step 11: Step 8
Before attaching these supports we need to make the rear arm brackets. These will support the arms and will make the chair arms level. For these pieces I cut a 7 1/2" 2x4 and then chamfered the edge at a 45 degree cut. Hold the piece up against the chair and use a level to determine the angle in which it will need to be cut so that the chair arm will sit level on the front chair leg. Once both pieces are cut and are level they can be attached to the side supports. These supports are then followed by being attached to the chair.
Step 12: Part 9
At this point we can now make the back rest. The back board is made out of 1x6 decking which is cut into five pieces each measuring 21" in length. These can be secured in with just screws and can be adjusted by lightly pushing the back supports if needed, to ensure they are flush all the way up.
Step 13: Part 10
We are now ready to make the chairs arms. The arms will be made out of another section of 1x6 decking cut down to 33". At the bottom of the wood measure in 2" and measure up on the opposite side 19". Then connect the lines and cut the angle out. Now use a jigsaw to round the edges out so that their are no rough corners. The two arms can then be attached to the chair with the front and rear arm portions being screwed in on an angle for support and to hide the screws.
Step 14: Part 11
For the last part of the chair we will need to make supports for the front portion of the arms. These where made by cutting down a piece of wood into a square measuring 3 1/4"by 3 1/4". This piece of wood was then cut on a 45 degree angle and then secured to the chair.
Step 15: Part 12
At this point the chair is now done and can be finished by sanding all rough edges and adding chamfers where needed. The chair can also be finished off by an additional coat of paint or stain. Be sure to post pictures of your finished chairs I'd love to see them.
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