Picture of Instant Furniture
Furniture that's quick and easy to build out of stuff you find on your island.

I'll be adding to this collection as time goes on.

There are also a few furniture tricks scattered among my Fifty Handy Tricks

Furniture that interests me is usually what Wade Tarzia would call Nomad Furniture

Step 1: African Two-Board Folding Chair

Picture of African Two-Board Folding Chair
These chairs are found all over Africa, at least wherever tourists go.
They're really comfortable, look great, and last forever.
This one is unusually small for the type, but is plenty comfortable.

As you can see from the drawing (picture 4) both boards are 12" wide and 3 feet long.
The slot is 11" from the bottom of the backboard.
The narrow part of the seat board is 4.25" wide.

For more details of construction, check out Jesse's Plank Chair
1-40 of 61Next »
RbotJ9 months ago

That's great! Rumor has it Benjamin Franklin used one of these.

shazni made it!11 months ago

I made a chair like the ladder chair. The links below in the comments helped me get the plan

pdub774 years ago
What is this type of chair called? I would really like to research it a bit.
fretted pdub772 years ago

Bog Chairs
chuckr443 years ago
About the 2 piece chair. Is 3/4 inch pine really going to hold my big fat, 180lb butt? Or should I use 1 inch thick oak instead? I'd love to make one of these.
I weigh 290 lbs i made some of these of 3/4 plywood they won't hold up under my weight i'm making some out of solid 1" walnut this time should hold up very well the plywood ones will hold up 160# or less kids love them around the campfire

But if you do make some out of plywood don't leave them out in the weather as it makes them weak and they bend and break after a few rains .....
EmmettO3 years ago
I didn't know these were also made in Africa. I've always heard of them called "Stargazers" because when you sit back in one you're looking up at the stars. I have also heard of them called "Bog Chairs" because there was one found in a bog up north in europe and that it was made by Vikings.

I make these.
shazni EmmettO2 years ago
I think these are gorgeous! Mind if I copy them?
LOL video for the cardboard box chair "is that comfortable?... Hell yea" LOL
Exocetid4 years ago
liruke gave perfect directions and measurement specs.

A few comments:

The wire is just to hold the initial assembly together to verify everything was cut and drilled correctly. The chair is held together with threaded rod, but might be done with rope or even wire. The stresses are shear except at the ends, but a good knot would do with rope. Rope or wire would give the chair more "give".

The chair is made from 9--1 1/2 x 1 1/8 "sticks" if you go the 2x4 route. Any stick lumber near those dimensions will work. I have an unlimited supply of bamboo, which i plan to make one of these chairs with.
dmarsh554 years ago
This is a similar construction to a 'Holy Book' stand I got back in the '70's.
d_oliver6 years ago
Do you have a list of materials? measurements?
liruke d_oliver6 years ago
You start with three six foot 2x4s ( I used pressure treated pine), ripped into nine equal 1 1/2 x 1 1/8 pieces. By judicious measuring, this should yield the following: Seat: (A) 6 pieces 15" long ) each piece has two 1/4" holes (B) 2 pieces 35" long ) drilled in the center of the wider side.Measure from the same end: 1st hole 1 1/2"; 2nd hole 12". (C) 9 pieces 9 5/8" long: Two holes, 1 1/2" from each end. Back: (D) 4 pieces 31 1/2" long) Each piece has two holes, at (E) 2 pieces 29" long ) 1 1/2" and 25" measured (F) 2 pieces 42" long ) from the same end. All held together with 9 gauge galvanized wire.. Align seat pieces as : A-A-B-A-A-B-A-A and hold together loosely at top with a length of wire through the upper (1 1/2" holes); At the lower (12")holes, intersperse each piece with a length of C. That is: C-A-C-A-C-B-C-A-C-A-C-B-C-A-C-A-C. Wire and set aside. Align back pieces in the order F-D-E-D-D-E-D-F, and again hold together loosely with a wire through the holes which are 1 1/2 from the end. Now marry the two parts by threading wire through the remaining holes, with the C pieces acting as the connectors. The new joint should have the configuration: C-F-C-D-C-E-C-D-C-D-C-E-C-D-C-F-C. Draw all wires tight, cut off and secure ends somehow (I threaded them and used cap nuts). Now take it all apart, sand as appropriate, finish as desired and reassemble. Note that this darn things folds too!
zanne101 liruke4 years ago
Great project.
Could you explain further, or give a photo, of what you used and how to finish off the wires?
It's probably a "DUH!", but right now I don't know how to do this.
I thought I should expand on my confusion -it's with your statement "It's held together with four threaded rods with nuts and washers on the ends', but later on you say it's all held together with 9 gauge wire.
I must be missing something. :-}
clarei liruke6 years ago
Thank you so much for sharing. It is a beautiful chair. Where could I find the specs for this chair? I would like to know how high off the floor the seat is and the instructions can be revised to make it a little taller. Although very comfortable, the pictures seem to show an extgremely low chair. Thank you! cr
joshfromga4 years ago
Mr. Anderson, your Instructables are awe-inspiring. i always look forward to seeing new projects from you. i love the instant cardboard chair! i finally know of someone else who does that. i will certainly be putting some of your ideas to use next time i build up enough motivation to rearrange and downsize my belongings.
ronnocoman5 years ago
You can simplify construction. Instead of the hole, cut a slot the thickness of the wood in each piece so they slide together like the seperaters in a cardboard wine case.
It will not be near as strong as the authors chair. You may end up with a broken tailbone or more or less.
wachi5 years ago
My first laugh as well. Thanks!
pinecone895 years ago
i've been doing this in my dorm room and a really easy way to make them stay together and stable is zip ties. those little plastic ties that are really cheap and readily available at hardware stores will hold them together even if you load them with books. just put about two to each side through the holes in the sides of the crates
sprockette5 years ago
my family created campfire seating out of an old staircase we took off of the cottage...
just sawed it into 3-stair pieces and attached thick planks to the backs and sides to hold it up. it works great.
baneat5 years ago
You say they're sturdy. If they're set up, will a fairly well made one withstand a 70kg man crashing onto it? serious question, because it looks like it would snap at the join
ashnman2 baneat5 years ago
I made one of these a test piece also out of cheap 1/2 inch plywood. It held my weight no problem. Im close to 200 lbs. I would not use plywood but I had some scrap wood laying around. I am going to make a nice one now with real wood and do some nice wood carving on it,.
shnixter baneat5 years ago
i just made one from acrappy woodworm infested plank (prototype version) and it takes my weight just fine - i weigh 16.5 stone , i think thats about 220 pounds? they are suprisingly strong and  again suprisingly comfortable!
baneat baneat5 years ago
I mean the african chieftain chair
eulaliaaaa!5 years ago
I saw this in National Treasure! 

Just saying.
Turnpike7a6 years ago
measurements for the base pieces?
TimAnderson (author)  Turnpike7a6 years ago
the third photo is a side view. scale the photo so the seat is as high as you want it to be. Then measure the other sides. they will be properly proportioned! this process is called "photogrammetry" which is faux greek for "measuring photographs". It's a big deal in europe because they destroy all their buildings every fifty years or so in big wars and then try to rebuild them from photos and paintings.
Turnpike7a6 years ago
i have one of these chairs, everyone in my family fights over who gets to sit in it
Turnpike7a6 years ago
There is a debate weather or not vikings used this style of chair as well
RHeimpel6 years ago

This style is a benjamin franklin library chair, plans at the link above
ellendxyz6 years ago
My first laugh of the day. Thanks!
pea_jay6 years ago
For everyone looking for plans for the ladder chair: There's a plan on the Popular Mechanics site for the ladder chair (Step 10). I saw it a couple months ago.

link: http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/workshop/4226197.html?series=20 (or look for the 3D workshop).
hxh103 pea_jay6 years ago
awesome, thanks for the link Also, for anyone building the two-board chair, make sure to get hardwood
hxh1036 years ago
I want that ladder - chair sooooo bad. I can kinda guess what I will need to make it, but are there arny plans/measurement to work with? That would be awesome if it's out there somewhere...
Is there a picture of the chair folded up?
freakmarks6 years ago
do you know if this would work with masonite boards?
i made this video on mid-century modern design (Eames Era)
spanky626 years ago
I think I found acpl, of those chairs by drunken mistake 1 time after moving , very comfy .LOL, good job . I needed a laugh , thanks
1-40 of 61Next »