Benjamin Franklin library chair

  • Advertise with us
Project by buck_cpa posted 03-14-2015 09:03 PM 6280 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally completed this chair after telling the wife id do it over a year ago. Made from poplar and painted with a black chalk paint – black paint, plaster of Paris, and water. We wanted a rough finish as this will be utility furniture.

For anyone wanting to make this chair, draw it out first then use the full size drawings. With the moving parts and to prevent wobbling in either position, this helps a lot. Regardless, popular mechanics suggests this is an “easy” project. While it was my first chair, it was quite complex.

Below are the free plans I followed. Also there are several jocks that have completed this project with a lot more success.

5 comments so far

View R_Stad's profile


451 posts in 3338 days

#1 posted 03-15-2015 02:49 AM

Good work Buck. Nice looking and functional. I like it. Ben had “many irons in the fire” as they say.

-- Rod - Oregon

View EEngineer's profile


1151 posts in 5109 days

#2 posted 03-15-2015 08:41 PM

Damn! Benjamin Franklin was smart! As I have grown older I keep running into things that he invented/designed.

I like this design and want to try one at some point. I have all the tools I need – I just need more time!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Elm55's profile


38 posts in 2596 days

#3 posted 05-13-2017 02:34 AM

The Ben Franklin chair originally looked a bit different than what it has morphed into.

My version was based on an 1811 design of Morgan and Sanders. Key steps are shown here:

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4362 days

#4 posted 05-13-2017 03:04 PM

That is a great reproduction and you have done a fine job on it. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View EricTwice's profile


248 posts in 2029 days

#5 posted 05-13-2017 04:14 PM

great job, I’ve always wanted to try one, but didn’t have the time yet.

I like the paint.
It is similar to one of my favorite finishes. Directions included just for fun

(this works with milk paint and might work with chalk) Give it a coat of linseed oil and a little rub down It will have a mild shine and a smoother feel. (I like the smoother feel but it will be a couple of shades darker) After the oil, give it a quick coat of van dyke brown glaze and take as much off as you can. (you won’t get it all, don’t worry) rub it back with steel wool or 3m pad so you get different colors. It should have no major color change. It just looks old and and has a dirty patina. give it a coat of paste wax and everyone will say it’s 200 years old. Only you will know the truth. This kind of finish only gets better with age and wear.

the old glazes are getting harder to come by. to make your own, thin artist’s oil paint with mineral spirits.
work it into the deep area’s with a black bristle brush and wipe off the high areas. (you have to have a sealed surface for this to work.)

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics