Step 1: Wood and Tools You Need
Wood needed- I used one tall, fairly straight, Birch tree about 25 feet of wood from 1-1/2 inches wide to 4-1/2 inches wide.You could use two or three small trees of any kind about the same width.
Ten- 14 inch long by 1 -1/2 inch or so wide
Two- 2 foot long by 2 to 3 inches or so wide
Two- 4 foot long by 3 to 4 inches or so wide
all widths and lengths are approximate
Drill ,battery power shown but a hand cranked Brace will work
1 inch Forstner style drill bit- [any 1 inch drill bit will work but a Forstner works best]
1 inch Tenon Cutter- [ Veritus 1 inch Tenon Cutter is what I have]
Glue - [the wood glue has less fumes but I find Original Gorilla Glue on damp wood holds best over time]
Sponge -slightly damp if using Original Gorilla Glue
Sanding block - my sanding block is made from a belt sander belt [package of 8 pieces] then cut a board so the sanding belt fit around a 1/2 inch wide block of wood .
20 screws ,3 inch long Wood Screws are best but any length, as long as, or longer than 2 inches should work. [if you haven't tried the square head screws try them now they work great].
If you use screws you need a pilot hole drill bit [it keeps the wood from splitting] a counter sinking pilot hole drill bit is shown here [meaning when finished the screws head is countersunk or deep in the wood where you don't see it].
Drive bit [try the square headed driver bit it holds screws on the bit better and wont strip out the head as easy].
Step 2: Cutting the Tenon Ends
The 2 medium lengths are the front legs,we want Tenons on both of the smaller ends to form the seat area [I quick clamp them to a bench then carve the tenon with the drill and Tenon cutter] as shown.
-all Tenon cuts are about 1 inch to 1 -1/2 inches long.
The thicker ends will be towards the ground.
All but one of the smaller sticks,again ALL but ONE of the short pieces need both ends Tenon cut.One piece with no Tenons becomes the piece on the front of the seat and it will hold both front legs, it needs no pointy ends.
Step 3: Drilling the Mortise Holes
For this chair right here, we need 4 holes on each long peice.Place the long pieces side by side and drill all the holes across from each other.You can drill the top with them side by side then later they will be turned to fit the pieces in between them.
NOTE-All Mortise holes are about 3/4 to 1 inch deep.
The top holes on each side will hold the top of the backrest.Place them where you would like, I put mine about 4 inches from the top of the skinny ends and 12 inches lower for the 2 middle holes.
Those two middle peices the center holes tenons [not too deep it will weaken the final chair] ,around the center are where the final webbing or string will go[not shown]both to the bottom of the backrest and the back of the seat.I want my finished chair to show as much webbing or rope whatever I choose to finish it with as possible.That is why both holes are close here, one is the backrest bottom,one is the seat bottoms back.I shaved the gap in between to make sure my seagrass rope webbing will fit through that gap.Then hid the shaved part so they face each other.
The bottom holes we will fill later but drill them now.The bottom holes are a brace in the bottom near the back.About 5-6 inches from the bottom or wide end works well.You may end up later cutting the legs shorter and dont want them too close to the bottom.
Step 4: Lets Get It Together
Take the two sides and place three sticks in one side NO GLUE YET then place the other side onto the three ends forming the chairs back.You will have two empty holes used later.Wood from a tree is bent and warped sometimes so this step is to fit those three pieces into the long ones.You can sand off the tenon end or use a saw to remove some wood so they fit. Also you can drill holes deeper just get them to fit together tight forming the back legs and backrest part of the chair.
It is easy to remove wood a small bit at a time but you cant really make them longer [a small circle plug can be hidden to fill space if needed].
If using screws drill your pilot holes now ,counter sink them 1/2 inch.
Now I dampen the ends and holes with a watery sponge and apply glue to all 12 pieces , both the mortise and tenons,otherwise just glue to both ends.Place one long sides three sticks in, then align the other long side and press them together [long ones are back legs/chairback].
If you choose to use screws ,drill the pilot holes and install screws carefully.I put them in with the drill not quite tight then tighten them by hand so I do not strip them out.If you strip out a screw in the wood it spins and no longer holds as strong.
.If using just glue put this together then wait over-night for it to dry.
Step 5: Front Legs Then Seat Sides
If using screws drill two pilot holes into the legtops.
Use glue and wait overnight or dampen then apply glue followed by screws .
With the assembled upside down U flat in front of you ,drill mortise holes for the sticks that will connect the front seat and legs to the back legs and backrest they will be the sides of the seat [drilled into seat front small piece with no tenons].
Apply glue and wait or dampen and screw front legs to seat front.
Now the side of the seat parts, they hold the front leg U to the back legs/backrest.Drill the four mortise holes,two on the U and two on the back for forming the seat sides.Glue the U to the side peices or drill pilot holes then dampen glue and finaly screw the U to the sides of the seat pieces.
Attach the front legs to the back legs/backrest with glue and or screws in damp Gorilla Glued pilot holes.You now have a chair with four legs standing.It is wobbly untill we do the next steps.
Step 6: At Last Steps
Step 7: Ideas
You can use local foliage or bark strips for the seat and also this can be done using Palm tree fronds weaved.
Fiber rush shakers weave also shown.
Finish used was Watco oil not varnish. From a local hardware store.
All my tools were purchased through the mail from 'Rockler' or 'Rockler Woodworking and Hardware' online. They ship International.So all tools shown are from Rockler USA.