How to Build the Easiest Dining Room Chair Ever

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Introduction: How to Build the Easiest Dining Room Chair Ever

This is a step by step “how to” on a super easy chair build. It doesn’t take expensive tools, and many of the cuts are the same so you can build a lot of them very quickly. If you have issues during the build, be sure to check out my video below to help you throughout the build!





Supplies

Materials:
1x2” 8ft. 2 pcs
2x2” 8ft. 2 pcs
2x4” 8ft 1 pc
1x10” 36in. 1 pc
3/8” dowel rod 1 pcs
2” pocket screws 16 pcs
1 1/4” pocket screws 3 pcs
2 1/2” sheet rock screws 10 pcs

Step 1: Cut Up Your 2x4 Into 3 Pieces

Cut 2 at 35.75”
Cut 1 at 17”

Then:
Use a table saw to cut the 17” board in half (lengthways)
(These will be your front two legs)

Step 2: Draw the Rear Chair Leg Design Onto the Two 35.75” 2x4s

Mark the middle (lengthways) of the 2x4 near the bottom, middle, and top.
Then make a line across the width of the board 17.75” up from the bottom.
Draw a line down the middle lengthways from the bottom up to that line.
Then from that middle 17.75” point make a line to the top right corner.
Then draw a line from the left side of the 17.75” mark to the top middle mark.

(The video makes this easier to see what is going on)

Step 3: Cut Those Pieces Out With a Circular Saw

This middle section may be easier to cut out with a jigsaw.

Step 4: Let’s Cut Some 1x2s and 2x2s.

We need:
8 1x2s at 14”
5 2x2s at 14”

Step 5: Drill Pocket Holes in 4 of the 1x2s

We need 2 on each side and one in the center.

The center pocket holes will be used to attach the seat top later.

Step 6: Sand All Your Pieces Down

The rear chair legs may require a little additional sanding

Step 7: Mark the Chair Legs

Put a mark 3” up from the bottom on the front of the rear chair legs
Put another mark 17” up from the bottom on the front of the rear chair legs
Put a mark 3” up from the bottom on the back of the front chair legs

Step 8: Attach the 1x2s to the Legs

Attach two of the 1x2s with pocket holes to the top of the 17” chair leg.
Then attach the other side of those 1x2s flush with the bottom of your 17” mark on the rear chair leg.
I use a 1/4” piece of plywood to offset these 1x2s 1/4” from the outside edge of the chair.

Step 9: Attach One of the 2x2s

Attach one of the 2x2s flush with the top of the 3” marks between the front and rear chair legs.
To attach these, I use my “screw and dowel method”
1. Pre-drill 3/8” hole using a pocket hole drill bit (normal 3/8” bit will work)
2. Attach using 2 1/2” screws
3. Fill holes with 3/8” dowel rod and wood glue
(be sure to watch the video if you need help)

Step 10: Put the Other Side Together

Make sure you build this side the opposite direction as the other side

Step 11: Attach the Two Sides

Attach the 2 sides together using the last two 1x2s with the pocket holes.
These should be attached 17” up from the bottom of the chair legs, just like the other two.
I also offset the The front and back 1x2s 1/4” front the outside edges of the legs.

Step 12: Attach a 2x2 Between the Two 2x2s on the Bottom

Center a 2x2 between the two side 2x2s and attach both sides using wood glue and my screw and dowel method.

1. Pre-drill 3/8” hole using a pocket hole drill bit (normal 3/8” bit will work)
2. Attach using 2 1/2” screws
3. Fill holes with 3/8” dowel rod and wood glue
(be sure to watch the video if you need help)

Step 13: Cut Two 1x10s to 18”

ALSO: trim 1” off of ONE of the long edges on only ONE of these boards

Step 14: Attach the Long Ends of These Two Boards

Use 3 pocket screws and wood glue to attach these two boards on the long edges to make the seat.

Step 15: Cut Notches Out of the Seat Top

Set the seat top so it overhangs a 1/2” on each side.
Then make a rectangle on the back two corners that matches the chair back in width and length.
(Should be 2” wide x 1.75” deep)
Cut these 2 notches out

Step 16: Attach the Seat Top With Wood Glue and 4 Pocket Screws From the Bottom

Step 17: Assemble the Chair Back

Evenly space the last four 1x2s between the last two 2x2s and attach them with wood glue and finishing nails. The gaps should be somewhere around 1.75”.

Step 18: Attach the Chair Back to the Chair

Attach the chair back to the sides of the chair using my screw and dowel method. The top of the chair back (2x2) should be about 1/2” from the top of the two sides

For the screw and dowel
1. Pre-drill 3/8” hole using a pocket hole drill bit (normal 3/8” bit will work)
2. Attach using 2 1/2” screws
3. Fill holes with 3/8” dowel rod and wood glue
(be sure to watch the video if you need help)

Step 19: Fill All the 3/8” Holes With a 3/8” Dowel Rod and Trim Them Off

Also, fill all your nail holes with wood filler and sand it down.

Step 20: Your Chair Is Ready to Be Finished the Way You Want It!

Be sure to check out the video if you have issues and follow me on YouTube for more great ideas!

3 People Made This Project!

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25 Comments

0
jsorof
jsorof

2 months ago on Step 1

Cool plan, doable for a hobbyist like me. One small suggestion. I think you made a mistake on the material list. It says two 2"x2"'s and one 1"x2". I think it is the other way around, which is atcuaklly what is shown in yiur photo. I had to cut down the extra 2"x2" into 1"x2" sizes to get the number of cut pieces to match the project plan.

0
DIYMANcreations
DIYMANcreations

Reply 2 months ago

Thanks for the heads up! I will get that fixed.

0
tercero
tercero

10 months ago

Simpatico. This is the exact chair set I purchased 35 years ago when I bought my first table and chair set at Ikea. The exact chair. And. They were great chairs. I gave them to my son when he moved into his own place years ago, we had the set so long. I think he might still have them somewhere.
Thanks for posting this.

0
UkeDog
UkeDog

Reply 10 months ago

Simpatico, this chair may look identical (exact) to your Ikea ones, but I'd wager they don't use pocket hole construction, but likely mortise and tenon instead. Others have already commented here about the weakness of this method, so I won't belabor it any more.

0
tercero
tercero

Reply 9 months ago

True, it's mortise and tenon, not pocket hole. I meant "look" as in asthetic look, not design. Sorry for the word confusion.

0
DIYMANcreations
DIYMANcreations

Reply 10 months ago

That’s awesome! Happy to do it! Thanks!

0
Canadaguy1959
Canadaguy1959

10 months ago on Step 20

If this is "simple" I'd hate to see "difficult" :(

0
Gastonone
Gastonone

10 months ago

Hey, it was a pleasure to watch your istruction video. Very easy and thorough and you are obviously a very friendly person. I may even make one or more some time, because you were inspiring!

0
DIYMANcreations
DIYMANcreations

Reply 10 months ago

Thanks! I appreciate that!

0
Kalev60
Kalev60

Question 10 months ago

Hi, nice tutorial. Do you think it would be possible to construct these chairs with the back wood pieces running horizontally instead of vertically?

0
DIYMANcreations
DIYMANcreations

Answer 10 months ago

Definitely! If you end up making a set like that, you should share some pics on my “Handmade DIY Projects” Facebook page

0
KB3BYT
KB3BYT

10 months ago

What is the maximum weight you would suggest this chair is good for? I am a really big guy.

0
DIYMANcreations
DIYMANcreations

Reply 10 months ago

I’m really not sure. I would say around 300-350

0
JohnW26
JohnW26

10 months ago

Great project with a minimum of tools .I do have a suggestion on a future project video a work bench/assembly table that would roll away

0
DIYMANcreations
DIYMANcreations

Reply 10 months ago

I hope to build one very soon! Thanks!

0
tailsnz
tailsnz

10 months ago

as a retired furniture maker i can assure you these chairs will loosen and break very quickly using pocket holes for construction. don't waste your time and money only to be disappointed.

0
PhantasticOne
PhantasticOne

10 months ago

Great post! I fully intend to make some of these. Just one suggestion: Use some of those two by fours to make yourself a workbench. My knees are still hurting after viewing your build photos.

0
DIYMANcreations
DIYMANcreations

Reply 10 months ago

I definitely need a bench. I’m building a shop now for future projects, and I hope to have many great benches in there. Lol

0
FlorinJ
FlorinJ

10 months ago

I'm not so sure. Chairs need to be very sturdy to last. People lean on two legs, jump up and let themselves fall on chairs, climb onto the seat with their feet, and all this puts significant stress on the joints.

Pocket holes are notoriously weak, when not used for joints where they just need to pull the material together, rather than for withstanding bending, twisting or shearing. Wood expands differently along the grain (almost not at all) than across the grain (some wood - especially softwood - even 10%, depending on the variation of humidity). The seat being rigidly attached to the frame, without any wiggle place across the grain, is likely to get it moving after a few humid summers and dry winters.

The traditional joining method for chair frames is mortise and tenon. That kind of joint is more difficult to make, but a lot more rigid. To avoid the joints between the legs and the seat frame to become loose after many people will have tilted the chair backwards and leaned on the two back legs only for a long while, you can attach some steel cable connecting the the joints between the front legs and the stretchers and the joints between the back legs and the seat frame and tension them well. This should take care of the most stringent source of failure.

0
DIYMANcreations
DIYMANcreations

Reply 10 months ago

I appreciate the feedback. These chairs are a simplified design of several other sets of chairs I’ve built over the years. I’ve got kids, and we’ve never had any issues. They may not outlast traditional joinery, but they are a great start for folks new to woodworking and with minimal tools.