Introduction: Wooden Kneeling Chair

Picture of Wooden Kneeling Chair

A kneeling chair is what you need if you have to pass a lot of time in your office.
Unfortunately this type of chairs is quite expensive and not very common. This is one reason to make your own kneeling chair, which will also make you very proud.

Step 1: References

Picture of References

If you surf the web looking for "kneeling chair" you will find a lot of references. There are different chair types and I chose the one which inspired me.

Step 2: Parts and Dimensions

Picture of Parts and Dimensions

The making of this chair is quite simple. Just look at the image to have right dimensions of every part. Cut wood bars and panels. You will need also two more thin panels with same shape and dimensions of these ones, since I updated the cushion making.

Step 3: 3D Views

Picture of 3D Views

Here you can see some views of the 3D model, with no cushion and wheels. This will help you to place parts together.

Step 4: Building Process

Picture of Building Process

After cutting all parts with right lengths and angles and drilling holes, place parts one adjacent to the other, in the right sequence. Then insert two long dowels in the holes to check assembly. I also added some temporary wood bars to fill empty areas.
If everything fits you can glue some bars together. Look at the previous drawings to well understand which ones.

Step 5: Set Up for Dowels

Picture of Set Up for Dowels

The most important connections, the ones between diagonal bars and horizontal wheel supports, are made with two dowels and a screw each one, as you can see in second picture. To connect wood plates to structure you can also use only screws, which will be hide by the cushion.
Drill all holes for dowels, add glue, insert dowels, place parts together and tight them with screws.

Step 6: Kneel Cushion Board

Picture of Kneel Cushion Board

I used glue and screws to connect the kneel cushion support to the diagonal bars.

Step 7: Seat Cushion Board

Picture of Seat Cushion Board

Here is the seat wood boards. Use the same technique as for the other plate.
Screws here are quite useful since surfaces are not parallel and using clamps is not simple.

Step 8: Connect Parts

Picture of Connect Parts

While glue is drying you can connect parts together with a big dowel or metal bolt.

Step 9: Check and Finish Structure

Picture of Check and Finish Structure

Now use sand paper to finish surfaces and as some finishing paint as shellac or impregnating agent.

Step 10: Set Up Cushions

Picture of Set Up Cushions

Here you can see that I was going to glue foam rubber to structure boards. Actually I then decided to glue rubber to additional plates so to hide fabric between two surfaces.

Step 11: Foam Rubber

Picture of Foam Rubber

As you can see I used different foam types. The black one is harder, and will avoid that kneels touch the board. Other two types are softer and they will keep fabric tense.
Remember that I glued foam rubber to additional plates, these pictures are not updated.

Step 12: Cushions Ready

Picture of Cushions Ready

Add an elastic fabric over the foam and pull it below the plate, them fast it with a staple gun. Then glue the new plates on the structure boards.

Step 13: Wheels

Picture of Wheels

I had these wheels but you can use different types. I suggest swinging wheels because they will help you moving on the chair. Wheel brakes are not useful.
Mark horizontal surfaces with a long rod when chair is open in extended or middle position. Then cut away those four pieces and screw wheels in place.

Step 14: Ready to Sit

Picture of Ready to Sit

Well done, kneeling chair is now ready. Time to test it at your desk. You also can close it and hanging it on the wall when unused.


JimQ8 (author)2017-10-08

This looks to be a fantastic design, please could somebody help me with the dimensions? I can't read them, no matter how hard I try.

If somebody could post the sizes/dimensions to cut that would be very much appreciated.

Thank you.

andrea biffi (author)JimQ82017-10-09

In the app I can click over the pictures and see highres images...

Hi, I am trying to find a better picture as well, but I am not sure which app you are talking about... (I am new to this btw :)

In the Instructables app for Android just click on images to see high res version. In Chrome it should do the same...

JimQ8 (author)andrea biffi2017-10-09

Got it, many thanks! Off to the timber yard just now...

andrea biffi (author)JimQ82017-10-10


deluges made it! (author)2017-08-09

Hey, thanks for the very detailed pictures, plans and steps. I made one :)

SJW84 (author)2017-03-22

I'm curious what hight is your desk at and how tall are you? I'm wanting to build a standing desk ankored to my wall that i can use this with and then stand if I want to stretch my legs... the standing hight would be about 42 inches.

andrea biffi (author)SJW842017-03-23

I'm 190cm tall, maybe you can drill more holes in the chair so to change pivots and then geometry according to your needs...

sarikivela made it! (author)2017-02-19

Here is my chair. Thanks for great tutorial!

andrea biffi (author)sarikivela2017-03-23

it's beautiful!

T0BY (author)2016-11-28


250GTO made it! (author)2016-11-08

Ciao Andrea,

I realized too your chair. I still have to add the cushion, but the structure is complete.

I used some economic wood for the legs and it was a bit smaller than the one of your project so when sitting on it the chair is a bit twisty.

I made some arrangements as you can see: I changed the shape of the knees pad and I added a central wood piece directly under the seat to make the chair a bit less twisty (you can see the little creek near the join becuse I decided to detach the seat pad after the glue was dry).

It is my first woodworking project so I am glad I was able to make it.

I want to do it better in the future: can you suggest me the right kind of wood?


andrea biffi (author)250GTO2016-11-09

very very nice! the harder the wood will be, the better will probably be, and probably a bit more expensive.

JulienB14 made it! (author)2016-05-30

this is my version of this chair!
It's my first woodworking project so there are some defects but I'm happy with the result.
I followed your plans but at the end I noticed that the part where to put the knees has not the same dimensions on your photos.
I am motivated to do more woodworking projects and buy good tools.
Thanks Andrea.



andrea biffi (author)JulienB142016-05-30

Hey Julien your chair is so nice,i love it! I don't remember if I made some change but I don't think. anyway measured can vary a bit depending of our height or preferences. good work!

250GTO (author)andrea biffi2016-10-18

JulienB14 is right you changed the plan's measure for the knees pad: in the project is more C shaped while in your realization is more rectangular with a little part removed for the interference with the legs of the chair.

andrea biffi (author)250GTO2016-10-18

yes, length actually is the same, the hole between legs changes but it doesn't affect the use, only a different appearance

SamuelG72 (author)2016-10-15

These are supposed to be instructions or plans, but this doesn't really elaborate on the actual build.
"find plans, follow them, don't bother with the rest of this instructable." Three steps. Much simpler way to do what the author stretched to 14 steps somehow. What a waste.

SamuelG72 (author)SamuelG722016-10-15

Nvm I'm sorry. It does reference the important info. The measurements and plans are listed in some of the pictures. Really should be step one or two though, not an image that doesn't even show up in the instructions unless you seek it out. Next time you post shop plans include a "parts/tools needed" list and a "cut" list right at the beginning. No one is getting a box of prefab parts, so that's an important step to do before you start assembly...

andrea biffi (author)SamuelG722016-10-16

there are other websites which post plans, dimensions, tools, and nothing else... but you are on Instructables! what I share are also mind process, ideas, pictures about how it works, mistakes, and I try to motivate readers to make better.

CharlesD91 (author)2016-08-05

Meus parabéns amigo. Conheci esta cadeira a algum tempo atrás devido a um problema que tive de coluna e é realmente funcional o produto. Com esta cadeira a posição do corpo ao sentar-se, obriga-nos a ter uma melhor postura. E com relação ao projeto, gostei tanto que vou fazer uma pra mim. Muito obrigado por dividir seus conhecimentos. Saúde e sucesso!

warriorethos2 (author)2016-01-30

andrea biffi, your instructions and diagrams are well made and in detail. Do you plan on staining or painting the wood?

not for now, maybe next project!

instriz (author)2016-05-10

someone did un pvc?

andrea biffi (author)instriz2016-05-30

nope, wood is much better! ;)

ashleyjlong (author)2016-02-02

Well done! I like how comfortable the upholstery looks in the final piece. What are the specific benefits of a kneeling chair? My boyfriend and I both have computer heavy jobs and he's always looking for solutions to improve health and posture. Neither of us could tolerate the standing desks!

andrea biffi (author)ashleyjlong2016-02-02

it's great, you should try one.
benefits are not for everybody but change position is always good, and you can make this as second chair

k24tea (author)2016-01-15

Good project! I made one very similar to this about 25 years ago, and it's still my favorite desk chair. Add a materials list and bigger diagram text in Step 2, and then you'll get my vote.

jeanniel1 (author)2015-12-08

Did you enter this in the Furniture contest? Not many entries there

andrea biffi (author)jeanniel12016-01-12

nope... since it's not a proper hack :-(

KevinA5 (author)2016-01-07

I was super excited to make one of in my shop, but I can't read the graphics with the parts. The dimensions are not visible. Can you add a list of parts with dimensions? Or a larger image of the parts would be nice

andrea biffi (author)KevinA52016-01-11

You are right, dimensions on thumbnails are not visible, please click on the images and click again to see the original format of the pictures.

I will try to use a larger font for next project.

manuelmasc (author)2015-12-08

Great!! voted ;)

ithica2012 (author)2015-12-07

The one thing I find missing is a list of supplies. How much wood and what sizes what size screws and how many. It is hard to tell just from what you posted.

Other than that great project

rqtballatc (author)2015-12-07

Could you elaborate more on the plates and cushions, please with photos? I really want to make two.

ROCKRUSHMORE (author)2015-12-07

How much weight can it safely hold

tinydancer (author)2015-12-06

I bought two of these chairs when I was still working. They are so comfortable. They help you keep your back straight in a natural position. Look for these in thrift stores and at garage sales.

DejayRezme (author)2015-12-06

Nice! Thank you.

Main suggestion would be to add a bit more info about the cushioning - what strength rubber foam thingies did you use? What should I search for?

bruce.desertrat (author)2015-12-06

Really nice.

I only have one suggestion: having used these chairs for years (I'm sitting in my best swap meet find ever, a real Balans Variable in nearly new condition for $25!) I'd suggest finding a way to let the seat pivot back and forth a little; it encourages moving around a lot more.

It will be more comfortable for long hours at the desk. The rockers on the Balans chair do that. Cheap copies of it have flat bottoms which aren't nearly as comfortable. Being able to change the angle of the seat through about 15-20 degrees really works.

macdeaf (author)2015-12-06

What kind of wood do you recommend that will last longer? Thanks and great jobs! :)

myamiphil (author)2015-12-06

I was just thinking about a kneeling chair the other day. I had a stationary one. When I get my workbench back together, Ill be making one for my computer/radio room! Great panoramas by the way! (on your website)

Nikaoj (author)2015-12-04

Great! I love this instructable!

Junophor (author)2015-12-03

Hi andrea biffi

Congrats and take a bow!!!

Deeply impressed about your creativity

Yours Aeon Junophor

evajagd (author)2015-12-03

Very impressive!

andrea biffi (author)evajagd2015-12-03

thanks man

evajagd (author)2015-12-03

Very impressive!

Kreat0r (author)2015-12-03

great project :), good work!

Thevenot (author)2015-12-01

We had one of these at the school I worked at, everyone was always looking to use it. I like yours as it folds up! Great design and well done! Thanks

andrea biffi (author)Thevenot2015-12-01

Glad you like it!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an Italian freelance structural engineer, graphic designer and photographer, and I'm teaching physics in Waldorf schools. I always investigate electronics, robotics and ... More »
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