The Viking Chair




Introduction: The Viking Chair

About: Just a man with a beard....and some cats

A really simple project that gives amazing results! You'll only need a few basic tools to make this and it uses Pallets as the raw material. Easily available everywhere they come together to make a very solid and comfortable chair.

The tools needed are fairly simple, a handsaw, hammer, jigsaw and some sandpaper are a minimum, a belt sander and nail gun will make this project a lot quicker.

Cats are optional but are great for distracting you and knocking over your glue.

Step 1: Preparing the Timber

Start smashing! Pallets are free and easy to find around commercial/retail areas. You're going to need at least 8, and i estimate that you'll need a total of 28 individual strips from the top surface. Try and make sure they are clean and free of gunk/paints/poisons.

De nail them and sort them so that they're all clumped together with the same thicknesses. You want pallets that are about 10mm 3/8" as your going to be making a sandwich and the overall thickness will be around 30mm 1 3/8". You can go slightly thicker or thinner and it will still turn out ok.

Using sandpaper or an orbital sander give the boards a light sanding with 80 grit to make sure they are fairly smooth and free from splinters and ridges.

Step 2: Making a Sandwich

Lay 3 boards together, face side down, glue along the inside edges and use clamps to pull them together. Apply a generous ammount of pva glue to the surface and start laying down the slats crosswise, lay one in the center and nail it in place. Continue to lay slats applying more pva to the edges until youve made a second layer. Apply another large ammount of glue to this layer and lay the next 3 slats face side up and nail them down.

I used a air nailer and can highly recommend you buy one and a small compressor to make woodworking a lot easier.

I didnt have enough clamps so it laid the sandwich on a flat floor and piled a large load of 3x3 and 4x4 on top to compress it until the glue dried. I left it a full 3 days in the workshop. Its a cold workshop so i left it as long as i could.

Ive thought about using a vacuum bag to clamp the timber together, if anyones done this id love to hear your results.

Step 3: Trimming the Crusts of Our Chair Sandwich

Take a jigsaw and go all the way around each edge trimming any excess off and making them square.

1st piece, mark out the seat to a depth of about 11 inches or whatever suits your behind. Find the center and then draw a tongue of 7 inches all the way to the base. Mark the sides with a slant of 70 degrees. Cut the boards using a jigsaw or cicular saw and cut in from the side at the angle using a handsaw. Be careful, you dont want to slip or cut too far. You should now have your T piece. Be mindful of the nails that are in the timber if you used nails.

2nd piece, cut the back to your own shape, square round or gothic, go wild. Find the center of the board, mark out a slot approximately 11 inches up and the same width as the other pieces tongue, , youll need a jigsaw with an adjustable base set to 70 degrees, Cut out the slot, use a rasp and some sharp chisels to help make it easier. Keep working the slot until the 1st piece slides through it.

Put the chair together, and sit on the floor. Lay a piece of wood flat alongside it and mark a parallel line along the base of the chair. Use a belt sander and the rasp to flatten the feet of the chair so that it sits on a bigger surface area on the floor.

Step 4: Sanding and Finishing

Congratulations! You should have by this step a viking chair! Hit it with the belt sander and then a palm or orbital sander to finish it off.

At this point its now down to you on the final finish. You could cut out some more designs from the back, add some paint or a stain, maybe just finish with natural oils.

I use a technique called Lichtenberg Figure and then back-fill with glow in the dark Resin which looks fantastic when done. Search youtube for Lichtenberg Figure to find out more and to see a few of my other projects.

Thanks for reading my first instructable, hopefully wont be my last.

All the best

Bongo, thePoultryPeople



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    35 Discussions

    Hi from NYC. LOVE the chair! Love the Cat House with the hearts! Is there a way to make the viking chair with less wood in the back for my crazy grandkids to trip over? Maybe something where the seat can be more extended? (Your house from what I can see looks adorable, like in the movies from BBC!)

    Peace to you and yours. Linda


    1 year ago

    That's impressive! What a great idea!

    Excellent, I think I will call them," Bongo's Viking, Celtic chairs".
    Your chair you name it mate. I am gonna make a set of four. I am a Celt
    and I spend a fair amount of time in the bog, so maybe a bog chair. Naw,
    I had better stick to Viking chair as it would just confusion and I
    might come across as a wee bit pedantic. The glow
    in the dark design is a master stroke.

    This still isn't a viking chair, please stop spreading misinformation!

    so. it does help if you have a high voltage transformer laying around?

    4 replies

    only for the finish, the transformer came out of a microwave that was going to the dump

    thanks for that. makes it easier than finding one from a neon sign.

    and cheaper, i know for a fact that there will be a choice of maybe 3 at my local tip, also ex catalogue stores always have microwaves that are being junked

    I would love to learn more about this "transformer finish"!

    How about an Instructable detailing the principles & steps of rigging up & using this transformer? And the mediums you used to fill the "lightening bolts", I love the glow-in-the-dark feature!

    Cats are never optional. They are essential to any project. Otherwise, who would supervise and let you know when you are not doing it right?

    4 replies

    I concur. Sometimes a project reaches a point where it needs a cat to lie down on it to rest. This resting period justifies stroking the cat; then a trip to the loo, or a cup of coffee or tea. Afterward, you will find the project goes better for the cat caring enough to bestow his attention on it.

    This is beautiful, and looks to be the sturdiest Viking chair I've ever seen! Kudos!

    3 replies

    You DO realize, that not everything the BSA does is original? While, no - not likely a 'Viking' chair - it actually could be from Africa. The point is rather moot, since there is no real 'proof' of the design's origination - also not surprising, considering a chair like this would most likely be used outdoors, and as such, is not likely to survive long enough to be discovered by later generations. I've had similar issues with things like 'snood', which wasn't originally what it is being labeled, these days, but was a form of hair net, worn centuries ago. Then there is the misinformation about using vinegar to dissolve ice on windshield - it freezes, folks, and is useless on your windshields. Even water, at room temperature, will melt a bit of thin ice - the vinegar has nada to do with it.

    I understand your quest for accuracy, however, once a name for something becomes commonplace, such as is the case with this particular item, attempting to change it, by haranguing people in a thread like this, is an attempt in vain.

    it barely moved when i sat on it, and i must be 12 stone...ok....15...right! im 16 stone! maybe 17...ha ha ha thanks for the kind words!

    This is NOT a viking chair. It's a modern design, I think it came from boy scouts.

    1 reply

    It is too a Viking chair. I worked at the natural history museum and they clevis them together just like this!