Wooden Outdoor Folding Chair





Introduction: Wooden Outdoor Folding Chair

Here is a surprisingly comfortable chair that, depending on your method of finish, can be completed rather quickly with basic hand tools.  Depending on your skill level and access to power tools, several of these chairs are capable of being "mass produced" as the measurements are straightforward, so jigs are well worth the effort.

Step 1: Materials / Tools List

The wood is your choice - I would stay away from pressure treated wood as the increased moisture content during the process, typically causes fairly erratic warping and twisting in stock this size as the wood dries.  This could keep the chair from properly folding and / or supporting the weight.  While we are on the subject, premium Yellow Pine (no knots or obvious defects) 1x2 lumber produced a chair capable of supporting more than 350 pounds.  

Each chair will require:
Qty        Desc
5           1 x 2 x 96 inch Lumber Stock 
2           3/16 x 36 inch All-thread
8           Washers / Nuts

Hand saw (preferably with a miter box, or miter saw)
Drill (again, right angles are important here, so a drill press is useful)
Method of Finish (optional)
Wrenches (Sorta optional, mostly everything needs to be hand tightened)
Hacksaw or other method of cutting the All-Thread

Step 2: Cut List / Drill List

For the purpose of clarity, there are 6 specific pieces that will need to be fashioned, varying quantities of each.

Support Brackets - Qty 9
Ends Mitered at approx. 45 degree angle, offset (like the rails or stiles of a picture frame /----\ )
Long length 8 3/4 inches
Sort length 6 inches
Hole spacing 5 1/2 inches centered

Seat Rails - Qty 6
15 inches long
1/4" hole 3 inches from rear
1/4" hole 1 inch from the front

Seat Leg - Qty 2
36 inches long
1/4" hole 1 inch from the front
1/4" hole 12 inches from the front

Back; Short - Qty 2
22 1/2" long
1/4" hole 3 inches from bottom
1/4" hole 1 inch from the top

Back; Long - Qty 4
24 inches long
1/4" hole 4 1/2" inches from bottom
1/4" hole 1 inch from the top

Back Leg - Qty 2
36 inches long 
1/4" hole 16 1/2 inches from rear
1/4" hole 1 inch from the front

All-Thread - Qty 2
16 inches long - to be trimmed at the end

All-Thread - Qty 2
12 inches - to be trimmed at the end

Step 3: Assembly

Once your pieces cut, drilled, sanded and finished to your liking, it's time to assemble

I apologize for not having the foresight to take pictures during this step.  The two short pieces of all thread are for the top of the back and front of the seat.  The two long ones connect the brackets and the back of the seat to the bottom of the back.  Each layer is as described b
The order, starting from either side is:
Back Leg / Seat
Back Short / Seat Leg
Back Long / Seat
Back Long / Seat
Back Long / Seat
Back Long / Seat
Back Short / Seat Leg
Back Leg / Seat

Keep the long All-thread rods loose until the front and top are tight - then tighten them down.  You should be finished once the all thread is trimmed and filed to eliminate any burrs.  Some additional Chamfering may improve comfort, but even without this step the chair is remarkably comfy by the fire!  Enjoy!



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Nice and clever design!


Nice 'ible!! I've been making these for some time and was gonna do an 'ible on 'em but ya beat me to it. I learned from a member of the woodworkingtalk.com website. He has a video and some layout drawings you might find useful. Go to: http://woodworkingtrip.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-to-build-folding-stick-chair.html
I built a jig for drilling as there are many repeated measurements.

I also use a saw sled for the repeated cuts..


ETA.. He uses a wire instead of the all-thread.. I feel the all-thread is much sturdier.
Thanx again for the ible..FN

I like the All Thread - if the wood shrinks a bit you can tighten the chair up. Also I noticed that if you over / under tighten the front or the top, it varies the spread of the sets of legs. So much in fact, that when the chair is folded, the legs don't pass each other cleanly. I was able to loosen one and tighten the other to fix the problem - a nice perk! Thanks for the comments - I would love to see some of the chairs you have put together!