A simple and satisfying chair made from one plank of wood.

Step 1: Get a large plank of wood

Picture of Get a large plank of wood
The piece of wood that I used for this chair was 7 feet long, 11 inches wide and 1 3/4 inches thick. I originally used driftwood planks to make these chairs because they look nice and are free. If you choose to use found wood be careful that it has not been pressure treated.
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Sgt.Waffles8 years ago
I believe the vikings also made this kind of chair. I saw it on a norse wood working site. Because you have a seemingly large workshop, it would be cool if you routed the edges, and carved an intricate desigh into it. you also might think about staining it as well. Nice Instructable!! +
I agree! I like the sleek, modern design, but it could appeal to a wider variety of people if you add carvings and stain and seal it to keep off the splinters. I'll bet you can sell a ton of those if you don't already.
jesse.hensel (author)  Very Keri8 years ago
I may add carvings to my next chair (expect plank chair 2.0 shortly) but I no longer believe in staining wood. If the chair is kept reasonably dry it will last a very long time, I dislike the toxins in varnishes and stains (cabinetmakers have a high incidence of nasal cancer), and I like the look of worn wood. Additionally, staining will not guarantee that you wont get splinters.
another way of staining the wood without using actual wood stain or varnish is using motor oil...
i did this to my chair (after sanding it) and it looks amazing!
and no splinters so far

I use good old linseed oil to protect the wood.
cabinet makers have high nasal cancer incidence. im sorry my friend, my dad is a cabinet maker and as long as you wear a respirator while staining or while your in the stain booth my dad (or me for that matter) have never had any nasal problems. if your going in the booth just for a short while i usually hold my breath. Good instructable +
I think the point he meant to make wasn't that stainers get nose cancer, but that wood stain is a dangerous, toxic chemical and that by not buying it he is not contributing to the creation of something that will eventually be a deadly waste product.
additionally to your additionally i agree with the stain-splinter thingy. I believe a nice sanding would help with the splinter problem immensely.
EmmettO made it! Sgt.Waffles5 years ago
I know this is an old comment but I thought I'd throw in some pictures of stargazers I've done.
AWESOME! A Norse Woodworking site???? Post the link?
This is a great place for plans, etc., and has some improvements for the chair in the Mark II and III versions
ummmmm the link?
Mayarao made it!1 month ago
Made it!
But I am 5'2" and my feet dangle when I sit on it. Any recommendations on measurements for short people?
Curtisbhoward2 months ago
What's the best/easiest way to cut the slot in the vertical plank?
Maeglethion3 months ago

what is the issue with using pressure treated wood?

These are erroneously called "Bog Chairs" or refereed to as period Viking or Saxon chairs. The earliest example of these chairs come from a 1934 Boy Scouts of America Handbook. I am not knocking the chairs themselves mind yiou, only the concept that somehow these rudimentary chairs are at the level of craftmeship that ancient woodworkers were able to prodcue. Simply look at the Glastonbury Chair or viking Box Chair as an example of "simple" chairs.

SIRJAMES091 year ago
This is a very cool instructable!! I LOVE IT!
been looking for plans for this chair for what seems like forever! TY for sharing this Sir. now my search is over & I can get to work making some of these to sell. :)
Vinstepula3 years ago
A semi dumb question, but seeing how I never sat in one of these chairs, is it comfortable? I need a chair for a reading corner in my home.
jesse.hensel (author)  Vinstepula3 years ago
I think that they are very comfortable. If you don't like it you can always change the angle.
malsonc made it!4 years ago
When I first joined Instructables I saw this chair. I had to make one for myself. Of course being in Texas I had to do something to make it different. Here is my first attempt at your chair.

Texas Chair.jpg
wobbler5 years ago
Great design and instructible. Any good angle to use? What's the most comfortable?
Foaly75 years ago
I used to have one of these that I made at boyscout camp. Then, three or four years later I tried sitting in it again and it broke and has been in my garage ever since.
ERCCRE1236 years ago
what's bad about being pressure treated?
pressure treated wood is made by infusing wood with an arsenic compound...
they recommend not even touching it with your bare hands:

That is myth thats been around for years . if it was that dangerous it wouldn't be sold to the public .
 Please, please, please tell me this was sarcastic.
RCS82 slaitch5 years ago
 These days, at least in Canada, PT wood is made with a copper compound rather than the old arsenic compound. This has been around for a while as this was the case when I started working for a building supply store back in 2004.
shnixter5 years ago
how do you cut the hole so neatly?
Tgauchsin5 years ago
We used to make these for scout outings! I love them, comfortable!!! Definately heavy enough to only be for campsite camping not backpacking! I am an EMT and after seeing this instructable, made one while on a 24 hour shift! Only really took about 40 minutes...
Thats an awesome chair! My friends and I made one in shop class today.
gtech5 years ago
I found your instructable while searching for dimensions for this kind of plank chair,

So, that made me notice something... how do you get 40" and 51" board from a 7' length of piece of wood? ;-)

7' = 84" and 40"+51"=91"

Good job though.
gtech gtech5 years ago
Oops, I just noticed that it has been mentioned in another post... sorry... I also noticed the link for the Bogchairs ... cool... more measurements ;-) I just love these chairs.
maharg206 years ago

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jesse.hensel (author)  maharg206 years ago
It is possible to make the exterior cuts with a basic handsaw. The hole would be difficult (but not entirely impossible) to make without drilling starter holes.
4daHALIBUT7 years ago
i made it, i varnished it, i love it. Its so simple and so comfy, good job
inca7 years ago
So, if don't use treadted wood but if you paint it using outoor wood paint..will this work? also what kind of wood do you guys recommend for this?
andes7 years ago
This is a great chair. But can someone tell me what the cut are on the ends? Thanks
Lil Bastard9 years ago
Ok you granola-eating hippies. Chill out. Pressure treated wood is still available. When it went on the EPA's blacklist, wood producers wisely ramped up production and, though the supply is almost gone, it is still occasionally available at the less tree-hugging lumber yards, though getting harder to find. Although arsenic is a Very Bad Thing(tm), the health hazard is primarily to infants and small children and it's an issue as to how much contact they have with the material. For a child's playset, pressure-treated wood would be stupid. For a picnic table with small children around, it probably wouldn't be the best idea. But for adult-used furniture, made by an occasional builder, *especially for items that only see occasional use*, it seems to make a lot of sense. Granted, I wouldn't make dinner plates out of the stuff, but if you're only going to be using it for 10-80 hours a year and you aren't licking it, sitting naked on it, or sticking the lumber into your more intimate orifices, then I really don't think it's a big deal.
wow, thanks for the lecture. actually, lumber companies are still making "pressure treated" wood, just not with the arsenic. The new chemicals they're treating it with will cause most nails to corrode quicker, so now we get to pay extra for the right fasteners.
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