This is a project that will reward you with comfort! It will last outdoors for years and years with no upkeep, weathering gracefully as the years roll on. It has a natural rugged utilitarian style, and making one of these chairs is an easy weekend project.
The inspiration for this chair came from the bench that the Wisconsin naturalist Aldo Leopold designed and made back in the 1940's. The following are among many good sites depicting his benches:
Not needing to seat more than one naturalist at a time, I narrowed and modified the design into the chair described here. It has an ample seat, wider back rest, dimensional changes to the legs, and added arm rests. It turned out to be quite comfortable !
Step 1: Materials and equipment
The chair is made entirely from U.S. standard construction lumber sizes: 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, and 2x12.
For one chair you will need the following:
2 X 6 - 10’ length for the Legs
2 X 8 - 2’ length for the Back
2 X 12 - 2’ length for the Seat
2 X 4 - 3’ length for the Arms
28 - 3” long Deck Screws to hold it all together
This is a minimal bill of materials with a little allowance for cutting to exact size and shape. It would be much more economical to purchase longer standard board lengths and make several of these chairs - which you will very much appreciate having around in various spots for relaxation and contemplation in the freshness and beauty of nature.
For a strong chair, the parts have to mate up solidly when drawn up by the screws. Therefore cuts have to be straight and square. If you are fortunate enough to have a sliding miter saw, the job will be a piece of cake. Otherwise, a handheld circular saw is necessary along with some sort of commercial or improvised guide. I had to resort to the latter as shown in photos in steps below. For the 90° cuts the guide took the form of a basic tee-square for; another guide was made 30° off the perpendicular for making the cuts for the legs.
You'll also want a drill and driver for putting in the deck screws.