Viking Chair From 4, 2x4s





Introduction: Viking Chair From 4, 2x4s


I've seen a few instructables on creating Viking Chairs from a single piece of wood, but wanted to look at building them from easier to manage 2x4s. Each chair is built from 4, 2"x4"x96" pine and cost around $10 each. When building these chairs if you want the chair to appear to be a single piece of wood, then you will need to cut off all rounded edges on any face that joins another face using a table saw.

Another options is to use pressure treated wood, then you do not have to finish the wood in the end if using outdoors.

Step 1: Cut Wood

Optional: Cut off corners (about 1/4") from all joining faces.

Take 2, 2"x4"x96" and cut according to the cut list. The angle cuts are more for decoration so those can be any size and any angle.

Step 2: Glue Together

Once all wood is cut, align the pieces and as shown in the layout. Run a bead of glue on all faces that are being joined together, and hold together with clamps until the glue is dried.

Layout and Dimensions


  • End Pieces- Width of 4 pieces (width varies depending if corners were cut) x 48"
  • Center Pieces- 11" long. Leave gap equal to the thickness of the boards plus 1/16" so the seat can slide into the back. The remaining boards are about 35" long. The best thing to do is put 11" boards in place, then put some scrap wood where slot is, then add the longer boards and mark length then cut.


  • End Pieces- 12" long.
  • Center Pieces- 44" long, but can be cut shorter if you'd like the chair to have more of a recline.


  • If chairs will be used outside, you should use glue made for outdoors, not basic wood glue.
  • After chair was built I decided to attach some scrap wood (should have plenty left over from boards) around the opening on the back to prevent the boards from separating under strain.
  • Some other options would to be to use long screws to attach the wood, or run wooden dowels threw the wood prior to gluing, or use biscuits/biscuit joiner to attach boards. Anything to help reduce the shear on the wood will help.

Step 3: Sand

Once the glue is dry, sand all of the faces of the boards. Using a power sander makes things go much quicker. I sanded with 100 then 220 grit. If you are trying for a very smooth finish you might want to go as high as 400.

Step 4: Check Assembly

Put your chair, or chairs, together and check to make sure the seat slides smoothly into the back. If it is tight, then sand any area that is causing interference.

Step 5: Paint, Stain, and or Clearcoat

Now you can paint, or stain your chair the color of your choice. I chose to use outdoor spray paint. After painted or stained, then apply a clear coat to avoid water from getting into the wood. You can use spray on or apply using a brush.

Step 6: Enjoy

Enjoy your chairs!

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I have made these before. Will try to dig mine out and show some picts. Recommendation. Think portability. How can you redesign to flatten the two pieces together and carry? Handle on the top for carrying would be nice too.

They are not viking related at all - they are African - but for sure not viking.

1 reply

French toast is Belgian... It is just a name. It is entirely possible that many nomadic peoples from many parts of the world had their version of portable plank chairs. Enjoy the project, don't get wrapped around the axle about nomenclature.

Would it be better to design the shorter pieces of 2X4s used in the front support so that the front support would have two contacts points with the ground? That way no matter how uneven the ground the chair is resting upon, there would always be three (3) resting points for the chair to rest upon, which would always make a plane {as in Euclidian geometry}!

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3 legged chairs don't rock! If you search for "viking chairs" on the internet there are a lot of variations and a lot do have an arc or some sort of cut at the legs which would give you 3 contact points. It's a good idea if you're putting these onto a hard surface. I was building them for around the campfire in grass/dirt so I the rocking wasn't a big concern.

Just went to the top of my build list. I would do one thing differently....I would build the back first and then two center boards for the test fit and sand of cut to fit the slot in the back then add the two smaller pieces to the seat.

Oh and thanks now I can get that biscuit joiner I wanted :-)

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Sounds good. I went out and bought one right after I finished these..for the next project!

Nice and simple! Great Job! i have to agree with mbrown1979 on this one! they're just gonna show up!

Thanks for the Idea.

I will be making this for sure. Not even going to ask the wife if she likes them.

Thanks for the great instructions.

I like the idea of using 2 X 4's. Sturdier, and easy to work with.

These are fantastic! A very nice, simple, and approachable project. Great instructable.