Plank Chair




About: Perhaps I am the heretical harbinger of the New Archaic, perhaps I just like wood.

A simple and satisfying chair made from one plank of wood.

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Step 1: Get a Large Plank of Wood

The piece of wood that I used for this chair was 7 feet long, 11 inches wide and 1 3/4 inches thick. I originally used driftwood planks to make these chairs because they look nice and are free. If you choose to use found wood be careful that it has not been pressure treated.

Step 2: Cut the Plank in Two

Cut the plank into two pieces. For this chair I made one piece 40 inches long and the other 51. The dimensions can be varied to fit your preferences.

Step 3: Make the Back Leg

Cut two inches of wood off of the sides of the board starting 15 inches from one end of the plank.

Step 4: Cut a Hole in the Second Plank

Place the tapered end of the first board 15 1/2 inches from the bottom of the second board and trace around the edge. Remove enough wood to slide the first board through the hole in the second at an angle.

Step 5: Try It Out

Fit the two pieces together and try it out. If you are not satisfied with something here is your chance to fix it.

Step 6: Fine Tune the Angles

The planks will not intersect at right angles, so some wood will need to be trimmed. This picture shows the marking process for this step.

Step 7: Fine Tune Part 2

Use a saw to redefine the angles.

Step 8: Finish & Relax

I wanted to remove the glitter on the boards so I resurfaced the plank with a chisel. However the only necessary step here is to relax in your new chair.

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83 Discussions


Question 1 year ago on Introduction

Just curious, why can't the planks be pressure treated


Question 1 year ago on Step 2

How do you get planks 40 inches long and 51 inches long from a board that is 7 feet long? Did you mean 8 feet long?


3 years ago

How unique! Beautiful!


3 years ago

I have never made one of these before. I have been asked to make 3 of them for my niece and 2 for my sister. I think I can get these made by her Christmas gathering so they can show them off. THANK YOU FOR THIS WONDERFUL PLAN.


9 years ago on Introduction

I used to have one of these that I made at boyscout camp. Then, three or four years later I tried sitting in it again and it broke and has been in my garage ever since.

1 reply

9 years ago on Step 4

Great design and instructible. Any good angle to use? What's the most comfortable?

1 reply

4 years ago

What's the best/easiest way to cut the slot in the vertical plank?

These are erroneously called "Bog Chairs" or refereed to as period Viking or Saxon chairs. The earliest example of these chairs come from a 1934 Boy Scouts of America Handbook. I am not knocking the chairs themselves mind yiou, only the concept that somehow these rudimentary chairs are at the level of craftmeship that ancient woodworkers were able to prodcue. Simply look at the Glastonbury Chair or viking Box Chair as an example of "simple" chairs.


6 years ago on Introduction

This is a very cool instructable!! I LOVE IT!
been looking for plans for this chair for what seems like forever! TY for sharing this Sir. now my search is over & I can get to work making some of these to sell. :)


7 years ago on Introduction

A semi dumb question, but seeing how I never sat in one of these chairs, is it comfortable? I need a chair for a reading corner in my home.

1 reply
Charlie Horsemrthumbtack

Reply 10 years ago on Step 1

That is myth thats been around for years . if it was that dangerous it wouldn't be sold to the public .


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

 These days, at least in Canada, PT wood is made with a copper compound rather than the old arsenic compound. This has been around for a while as this was the case when I started working for a building supply store back in 2004.