Wooden Children's Chair

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Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embedded in a matrix of lignin that resists compression.

Child: Biologically, a child (plural: children) is a human being between the stages of birth and puberty.

Chair: One of the basic pieces of furniture, a chair is a type of seat. Its primary features are two pieces of a durable material, attached as back and seat to one another at a 90° or slightly greater angle, with usually the four corners of the horizontal seat attached in turn to four legs

Kids love sitting in chairs, but they are short statured. For that reason, I started to make miniature chairs which children seem to love. They work great as chairs and stools to stand on in order to wash hands or steal things from the fridge.

Step 1: Measure Your Spawn

This helps to determine proportions for accurate chair sizing. I would recommend aiming on the side of making the chair slightly large under the assumption that your child will eventually grow.

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

Fancy hardwood will get you a nicer product, but if this is your first project, it is perfectly fine to use cheap pine from Home Depot.

Using a Kreg jig and a self-centering dowelling jig makes this project much easier.

Tools used:

Jigsaw

Chop saw

Router

Self-centering doweling jig

Kreg Jig

Orbital Sander

Laser cutter (optional)

Step 3: Cut Your Stock Down to Size

Use the dimensioned pictures to cut your stock correctly. It helps to set up a stop on your chop saw to ensure precise, repeatable cuts.

Step 4: Make the Seat

Use the measurements from the first step to cut out the seat using a bandsaw or jigsaw. I chose to round the edges using a belt sander for a more consistent radius. Make sure to use the router to get rid of sharp edges. If you are making multiple chairs, use one cutout as a template for the rest of your stock.u

Step 5: Drill Dowel Holes

Use a self centering doweling jig to properly align dowel holes. If your stock and the jig are both on a table like is shown in the pictures, you will always have the dowel holes at consistent heights. Simply flip the jig over to get the second hole.

Step 6: Advanced Dowel Drilling

Aligning the holes on the taller chair legs with limited reference geometry is difficult. I tried using a T-square to mark where the holes should be drilled, but as you can see in the pictures, I was still off by a small amount. You can correct for this by drilling another hole just barely offset from the first one and count on the glue to hold the chair together.

Step 7: Even More Doweling

When drilling the dowel holes for the top slats, use a 1/2" piece of plywood to offset the holes slightly. Use dowel centering pins to correctly place the dowel holes for the top slat. You basically put the little metal piece in the slat and use the other dowel to ensure correct spacing.

Step 8: Round the Edges

Tabletop routers are excellent for getting rid of those sharp edges all over the wood. Be sure not to route the edges of the 7.75" pieces that will be in contact with the seat.

Step 9: Drill Kreg Holes

These are also known as pocket holes and they allow the seat to be attached to the chair in a manner than cannot be seen easily. You need a special jig to drill them. Alternatively you could use dowels or just glue to attach the seat. Be sure to use 1 1/4" kreg screws to prevent the ends from poking through the seat.

Step 10: Assemble the Parts

Add a small amount of wood glue to all edges to be joined. Insert dowels and clamp together. Ideally clamp for 24 hours before use.

Use kreg screws to attach the seat to the chair.

Step 11: Finishing

In retrospect, it would have been easier to sand all the parts before assembly. I did this the hard way by progressively sanding with 120, 150, 220, 400, and 800 grit sandpaper. Finally I rubbed the finished chairs with Danish oil for protection and aesthetics.

Step 12: Bonus Step: Laser Etching!

This could be a completely separate instructable on its own. I experimented with mixing up a filler material with epoxy and subsequently sanding it down. I would not do this again because the result was filled with air pockets and it lacked depth. It the future, I might just pour clear epoxy directly into the etching voids.

Step 13: Check for Fit

Let your small person enjoy your creation! Children love furniture that they fit in.

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