Folding Chair

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Project by yuridichesky posted 04-04-2016 09:51 AM 2643 views 12 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was my very first build by request of a friend who wanted a folding chair for her birthday.

Also I myself consider it the first kind of “real furniture” piece that I produced as the most of the time I build either some shop-related stuff or more or less utilitarian projects.

Before starting the project I spent some time drawing sketches and searching the web for chair designs that I liked. Here’s what I liked the most that corresponded to my own ideas:

After that I made a full-size drawing on the paper (yes, despite being a computer guy by the trade I prefer paper drawings), then transferred all the parts to 1/8” plywood, and then cut the templates:

As usual templates played the key role in the build: curved parts were made equal (to some acceptable degree) and the joinery became accurate and tight – all thanks to the templates.

Anyway, good projects start with a prototype, and this one was no exception:

The prototype was made out of pine, and the prototype seat made it to final chair with some minor improvements.

The wood of choice for the build was 20mm (about 3/4”) thick beech laminated boards that they sell as some stair-building components. I decided to double the thickness of the legs to make sure they won’t break since the legs were cut, not bent, so grain orientation was far from optimal from the strength point of view.

Cutting the legs:

The next picture shows another re-enforcement that I undertook: glued in cross-grain pieces at the ends of front legs to prevent grain splitting under the load:

Gluing one leg up:

One of the most challenging tasks during the build was making curved parts be of the same shape. To achieve that I put number of 1/4” dowels alongside the parts (thanks to the templates once again) so that the parts stay as one during shaping.

Once the legs were done the things moved much faster.

Back stretchers ready for curving:


Cutting mounting slot in the seat:

Couple of latches to secure the seat:

The rest of the hardware was 3/8” shaft to join the legs and 1/4” shaft to mount the seat. The nuts were custom made from some of the stuff I had lying around:

Finished (two coats of BLO) and ready for assembly:

And this one to compare final product against IKEA chair:

Ok, it’s finally done. Took much longer than I wanted, had to build double-curved handplane and the bow saw just for this project. The chair happened to be insanely heavy (at least two times heavier comparing to IKEA chair), but hopefully strong enough. The close look – not shown here :) – reveals numerous flaws. But I like it anyway :)

Thank you for looking!

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

30 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile


12908 posts in 3731 days

#1 posted 04-04-2016 10:48 AM

IKEA no, Yuri yes! Sweet looking chair buddy. I hope your friend makes you a nice dinner for all that work. Brilliant design and execution. Well done.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Redoak49's profile


5416 posts in 3269 days

#2 posted 04-04-2016 10:51 AM

Very nicely done!!

View PAchemist's profile


57 posts in 2354 days

#3 posted 04-04-2016 11:16 AM

A great looking chair. And as always you’ve given us a great write-up!

View bearkatwood's profile


1835 posts in 2292 days

#4 posted 04-04-2016 12:12 PM

Don’t worry about the flaws, I think you did a great job. Very well presented as well. You ended up with two new tools, just like a good build should go! Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work. Nice chair.

-- Brian Noel

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8580 posts in 3262 days

#5 posted 04-04-2016 12:31 PM

Excellent Yuri. Especially for a first project.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 3244 days

#6 posted 04-04-2016 12:36 PM

Kevin, you’re one early bird! Thank you, man!

Redoak, thanks a lot!

PAchemist, I’m glad you liked it, thank you!

Brian, you’re absolutely right about the tools (and about the flaws too!), thank you!

Dan, your good words means a lot to me, thank you!

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View terryR's profile


7677 posts in 3589 days

#7 posted 04-04-2016 12:57 PM

Wow! What a great build, Yuri. From templates to custom nuts, I love it!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View johnstoneb's profile


3183 posts in 3453 days

#8 posted 04-04-2016 01:50 PM

Nice looking chair. I like your comment on equal parts (to some acceptable degree) that’s how I build mine.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View CL810's profile


4195 posts in 4268 days

#9 posted 04-04-2016 02:08 PM

Great things are always going on in Yuri’s shop! Looks really nice – a big improvement over the ikea chair. Are you going to make more?

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 3244 days

#10 posted 04-04-2016 02:31 PM

Terry, thank you! The custom nuts and alike partly come from my laziness: it’s easier to me to get something right next to me and “file it to final shape” than to go to the store and search for some particular item.

Bruce, thank you! I knew I’m not the only one! :)

Andy, thanks a lot! Now I’m thinking about building set of the stools for my own kitchen (currently in “which design to steal” phase of the project).

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View Hammerthumb's profile


3131 posts in 3255 days

#11 posted 04-04-2016 02:46 PM

Great looking chair Yuri!

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4857 days

#12 posted 04-04-2016 02:58 PM

View Woodknack's profile


13585 posts in 3660 days

#13 posted 04-04-2016 02:59 PM

Well done on the chair Yuri.

-- Rick M,

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 3244 days

#14 posted 04-04-2016 02:59 PM

Paul, Jim, Rick – thank you very much!

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3947 days

#15 posted 04-04-2016 03:06 PM

Nicely done Yuri !
I like your approach to the build and how you go about using hardware on hand and make it fit right down to the little nut driver .
Nice to see the saw and curved plane you made in use on this project .


-- Kiefer

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