Introduction: Pool Side Chair

Picture of Pool Side Chair

My wife wanted some pool side chairs but the ones she saw were over $1000 each so I built my own (to be honest next time i'll stop being such a cheapskate and buy them!!)

I had all the wood lying around so have estimated costs (in NZ$) for pounds divide by 2


2m 4x4 ($15)

5m 4x2 ($20)

2m 2x2 ($2)

1 sheet (8'x4') 10mm ply ($60)

10kg Tile Cement ($35)

5kg Black Grout ($40)

25kg pebbles ($75)

20 x 4"nails (45)

30 x 1" screws ($5)

PVA Adhesive ($5) from the $2 shop!

Seat squabs $48 each from TradeMe (NZ version of Ebay)

Total per chair approx $356

Tools used

Chop saw

Skill saw







Spatula (for tile cement)

Sponges/squeegee for grout

Old tooth brush (grout)

when complete the chairs are very heavy (60kg+) so assistance is helpful in moving, I was on my own and used a sack truck!

Step 1: Cut the Legs

Picture of Cut the Legs

Most of the measurements are completely arbitary, as they depend how high you want the chair and what size your seat squabs are (mine were 600mmx460mmx 60mm thick)

So first cut 4 legs from 4x4 mine were 600mm long

Step 2: Recess Legs

Picture of Recess Legs

Cut 2" wide slots on two sides of each leg 1' deep, I used the chop saw for this but you can use a skill saw (circular saw) or chisel out as you want

Step 3: Cut Bottom Rails

Picture of Cut Bottom Rails

Side and back rail are 4x2, front is 2x2, lengths to suit squab size (ie backrail on mine was 670mm (600 squab + 2x 25mm recess + 10mm each side for tiling)

Step 4: Assemble Bottom Rail

Picture of Assemble Bottom Rail

I nailed it in both directions with 4" nails, make sure it is square (measure diagonals)

Step 5: Cut Top Rails

Picture of Cut Top Rails

Made from 4x2 to fit, half lap joints at rear (again done with chop saw)

Step 6: Fit Seat Base

Picture of Fit Seat Base

As you can see hereiI had already put top rails on, it is much easier to put the base in first - my bad!

base is made from 10mm ply as fits

Step 7: Fit Top Rails

Picture of Fit Top Rails

Again all nailed down with 4" nails (fine carpentry skills at work!)

Step 8: Panel Out

Picture of Panel Out

Panel all surfaces with ply I used 1" screws to put them on, you can use ceramic floor tiles to panel if you want at this point and have a nice tiled chair - your choice but cutting them is a b#######

Step 9: Paint and Seal

Picture of Paint and Seal

I painted the exposed legs, base and back with black enamel (as I had some loafing around), all the other surfaces had a wash of watered down PVA to seal and aid adhesion of tile cement. I also eased all the corners with a plane as it will make sticking stuff on easier!

Step 10: Tile

Picture of Tile

This is tedious with small pebbles it took hours, fortunately we had a 15 hour power cut and I had nothing else to do (it was finished by torch light) do a small area at a time and grout on completion. If you mix a bit of the coloured grout in with the cement then grouting is easier as you dont have to cover every little exposed bit of white cement--wish I'd thought of that earlier!

I used a tooth brush to get the grout in, give it a good wash down before the cement sets, and another after grouting and polish up on completion ( a spray of silicon gives a nice shine) then fit squabs

These could be made from pallet timber if wanted, I used old ply that had previously been a floor cover at work and was in a skip, all the other stuff was offcuts that I had from other projects, you could also save some dosh by doing a sneaky collection of beach pebbles)

Each chair took about 2 days from start to finish (the second one was a bit quicker as I had thought some of the bits through)

Step 11: Sit Back and Enjoy

Picture of Sit Back and Enjoy

Beer O'clock I think


Didemx made it! (author)2014-11-25

Buck2217, I finally made it! Check out my entry;

I gave you a special mention!

Didemx (author)2014-09-20

I absolutely love these! I'm always looking for new projects as my family have alot of unused timber laying around! definitely trying this! Awesome, awesome, awesome!

buck2217 (author)Didemx2014-09-20

Thanks, they are pretty simple to make just a bit time consuming, and very heavy. Look forward to seeing your pictures if you make some

Didemx (author)buck22172014-10-26

So my mother decided to get rid of some couches and I thought 'Perfect', I have my frame already! :P Gotta nail in few pieces of wood and then onto painting and pebbling it up! Going with white pebbles with dark gray and white upholstery! So excited! I shall come back and bother you with photos! Thank you again for the idea!!! :P

buck2217 (author)Didemx2014-10-27

Terrific, I have thought of using one of the "cast off" couches tht get dumped at the side of the road here for inorganic collection, but have too many other projects on the go at present (Hobby Shed and Rocking Bike)

I advise you to build it where it is going to end up as it will be very heavy, Good Luck

Didemx (author)buck22172014-10-27

Oh that sounds awesome! I hope you upload them! I can't wait to see them! Best of luck! P.s; thanks for the tip! :)

brgt40 (author)2014-08-09

Great photos (well lit, in focus and from angles that inform and show details) + informative text = Excellent 'ible. Way to go! Hope to see more

wilgubeast (author)2014-08-05

Wow. In the main image, I thought you'd simply upholstered the wooden arms/back. You tiled stones! That is amazing. Was it worth $2000/hours worked? It looks that way, but we weren't worrying about the grout drying.

buck2217 (author)wilgubeast2014-08-05

Thanks for the comment, They too about 12-15 hours of work each all told ( the second one was quicker as I had ironed out a few "issues") The trick is to put the tile cement on quite thickly as it is them easier and firmer to stick, if you also mix some of the colouring from the grout in (or poster paint in the cement) then grouting is less arduous as less "white cement" shows

Lindie (author)2014-08-04

They came out nice!

Ricardo Furioso (author)2014-08-04

You got the proportions right.

Great work.

Thanks for sharing.

dvivster (author)2014-08-03

Wow! These are very cool, funky and modern looking. I love them! Tell me, are they comfortable to sit in? How about the armrests? Maybe you can also build matching foot rests as well. Great job! Put

buck2217 (author)dvivster2014-08-03

They are surprisingly comfortable, the texture gives the sort of feel of "Dr Scholl" sandals --just make sure you don't use sharp stones. as I said in the text you could use cut tiles or the pebbles pre mounted on mats for a smoother finish

thesnowtheriver (author)2014-08-03

these are wonderful! very good design! you need better photos of them tho. these photos don't do the finished chairs justice........

i hope i can find someone to make a couple of these for me......... : )

grapenut (author)2014-08-03

squabs = cushions

buck2217 (author)grapenut2014-08-03

Yes (they are the cushions that are used as Yacht seats--big yachting/boating community here) I have been a sailor for all my working life and sometimes forget that some of the terms we use aren't in common useage. Still splice the mainbrace and Shiver me timbers!

grapenut (author)2014-08-03

Polyvinyl alcohol or acetate?

Nice ible, they look great!

buck2217 (author)grapenut2014-08-03

If you sre referring to PVA, it is the white craft glue that I used for sealing the wood (poly vinyl Adhesive?)

victorvector (author)2014-08-03

Looks ok !

A little heavy though I think.

buck2217 (author)victorvector2014-08-03

yes as stated about 60 kg each, or slightly heavier than one of Jupiters moons, However being at the bottom of the world (NZ) and thus upside down the extra gravity developed by them prevents us from floating off into space

dogloverlaura (author)2014-08-03

very nice and perfect for windy areas.

IamTheMomo (author)2014-08-03

Great job! I think they are just marvelous, and they'd be great in hurricane heaven/tornado alley, or as park benches or anywhere public seating is used. They have wonderful aesthetic appeal. Bravo!

CementTruck (author)2014-08-01

Poolside? This would be awesome almost anywhere (i.e. Man-Cave)!

If I ever copy this idea, and I most probably will, I would round off all the corners with a sander and then paint the whole thing with paintable bedliner or tool dip.

In paraphrasing the great Jimmy Buffet - "It's Beer O'Clock somewhere". Great 'ible; Cheers!.

buck2217 (author)CementTruck2014-08-01

Thanks for the comments --but step 9 I said I eased all the corners.

as a by the by you could cover all the surfaces in tiles (I actually got a bunch free in the ends bin at a local tile warehouse (600x600s) but used them on something else -- possibly pics to come, however was a bit rubbish in taking staged pics for it)

Mind you this was my first "ible" and v v pleased to get a featured!!

ekiessling (author)2014-07-31

wow..1000 a chair...that is way too much money.

buck2217 (author)ekiessling2014-07-31

That's NZ$ so about $800USD, and that was from a posh boutique type shop, they are quite labour intensive sticking on the pebbles, you can buy sheets of pebbles stuck on a backing that would make it quicker, they had some on offer at the place I bought the loose ones but were quite expensive (about $300 for enough tho cover the chair)

Greenman2 (author)2014-07-31

Look great!

watchmeflyy (author)2014-07-30

Awesome; love the addition of the pebbles.

jcavell (author)2014-07-30

This is pretty cool project

HeWantsRevenge (author)2014-07-29

those are gorgeous all weather chairs. love the mod design. killer job, thanx for sharing

livichris (author)2014-07-29

look great, bet they're heavy though

buck2217 (author)livichris2014-07-29

About 60kgs each, we live in a high wind zone so at least they won't blow away!!

smilemar (author)2014-07-29

Very nice!

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (39 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more ... More »
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