How to build a rustic outdoor chair

Yellow! This is small project (roughly 2 afternoons) describing the steps of making a rustic outdoor chair.

Stock materials:

  • for the chair seating I’ve used just a 3,5 cm thick and 150 cm long pine lumber
  • for the legs selected a 4 piece of hornbeam wood (~ 5 cm thick) left over from my rustic swing project

Although this is a small project I’d like to split in two part. First one is dedicated to chair seating construction made of pine wood, while the second part is about the legs, mounting and finishing.

Chair seating

I started off with selecting three 50 cm long, 15cm wide and 3,5  cm thick pine lumber. The chair seating will be a 35cm diameter circle, so I had to glue together three pieced in order to get the right width. To have a tight and strong joint I’ve used the router table to  make the below joint ( I not sure if there is a name for this type of joint,but if you know the name please let me know):


After a couple of hours when the glue dried, I cut the circle on the bandsaw and then used the lathe to round the edge. I’ve also did some sanding while I had this the circle mounted on the lathe, it’s quite easy at this stage and you will get a nice and smooth surface.


Chair legs

The chair will have 3 legs (~ 50 cm) and 3 additional piece which will reinforce the legs. Once the pieces are selected based on thickness, I’ve used the lathe to round down the ends.

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Note: the length of the legs have to be longer than the desired height of the chair. I’ll show you later how to cut them equal size.

Once I’ve finished with the legs I drilled some 25mm holes in the seating and assembled the legs. The angel between the leg and chair seating is 10 degree.

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Now I move to the final part when I cut the legs to have equal size.  The trick here is to manage cut the legs to be perfectly parallel with the seating. In order to achieve this I fixed my hand circular saw in the vice and adjusted to be parallel with some sort of table. This way when I rotate the chair upside down on the ‘table’ the legs will be cut off one by one to the exact size. I saw this technique when I visited a furniture factory a few months ago, so I’ve tried to adapt this idea to my needs.

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And here we go, we have a rustic outdoor chair build in a few steps.

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