Doc Chairs

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Project by DannyBoy posted 01-19-2010 07:30 AM 3294 views 15 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made these for Christmas presents this year. I just got done delivering the last of them so I figured I’d finally put the pics up.

These are based off of a design that I have seen in several different magazines. I modified it quite a bit to add some individuality to the design (and I like the longer curves a bit better). They are made of cedar that I cut from construction grade 2×6s. As bad as that sounds, it came out really well. I doubt you can see it in the photos, but they ended up with some great figures in the slats.


I’d post up some dimensions but I can’t remember them off the top of my head and my notes are in the shop. I happen to have the PW article with me, though. It shows the slats at 3” (I know I used 2 1/2”) with 1/8” between (I used a 1/2” spacer). The length of the back (PW) is 40 7/8” and the seat is 33 1/2”. My back and seat are a little different. I think more along the lines of 40” and 36”.

The curves are the hardest. I used the router template method to make the long curves. This was actually my first attempt at printing off a template (thank you Kinkos/FedEx plotter machine) and using it as a guide. I just glued it to some scrap 3/4” material (MDF I had laying around) and cut it on the bandsaw then sanded the curve out a bit more. After that, I attached the template to the piece, cut out the rough design with the bandsaw, and then routed out the final shape with a guide bushing. Since the material was 1 1/2” thick, I had to do a little over half of it with a bushing on the top of the bit and then flip the whole thing over (remove the template) and use another bit with the bushing on the bottom.

Assembly at first was problematic. One of them had to be taken apart (thank God I used screws) and re-assembled because I was off at the bottom of the legs by about a half inch. Eventually, I clamped a board to the end of my tablesaw/assembly table and aligned the legs using that as a foot. This worked well. For the spacing, I cut a scrap piece to 1/2” wide and stuck that between each slat as I progressed towards the center. Once you get the first one square and even, the rest fall into place (although, I double checked as I went).

At the joining point for the back and the seat there weren’t really any problems. I used SketchUp to get a general idea of where the to supports should be. Then, with the first one I built I made a couple of minor adjustments to make it comfortable. As far as the “soft” cedar at that joint, I had no problems. When you first assemble it in “seat mode”, it will give a slight amount where the edges of the boards meet. However, cedar gets really hard when it compresses and you don’t have any more worries after it does. All you end up with are a couple of small notches that actually help guide where the seat comes together.

This was a fun project and I think I’ll make a few more to sell. Everyone that I have given them to (nine in all) has told me that they are uncommonly comfortable. My mom got one and instantly told me she was taking it to work to take orders for me. Thanks, mom!


-- He said wood...

12 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


23346 posts in 5017 days

#1 posted 01-19-2010 08:03 AM

They look really good from here!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4918 days

#2 posted 01-19-2010 08:04 AM

View LesB's profile


3252 posts in 4784 days

#3 posted 01-19-2010 08:21 AM

Those are some of the best I have seen in that general design.

Would you mind posting some drawings with demensions?
Also I have some concern about the “soft” cedar not holding up well where the back and seat cross and put pressure on each other. Did you make any compensation for that possibility?

-- Les B, Oregon

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4931 days

#4 posted 01-19-2010 10:23 AM

Very nice looking chaies.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View mcchairs's profile


52 posts in 4431 days

#5 posted 01-19-2010 01:36 PM

I like them , where can I get dimentions for one ?

-- Do you like it here or would you rather be working ? . [email protected]

View anforte's profile


157 posts in 4685 days

#6 posted 01-19-2010 04:30 PM

Great chairs.
Where can I find plans for them?


-- Anforte NJ

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 5206 days

#7 posted 01-19-2010 04:47 PM

Like I said, I’ve seen a lot of different designs for these. The one that is closest to this one is in Popular Woodworking June 2009 page 64. I had actually followed a plan for a different design before I saw the PW one and liked the curves better. So, I took the best of both designs and made mine.

I updated the description since I posted it kind of late last night and was not thinking clearly. Hopefully, I’ve answered some of your questions.


-- He said wood...

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12854 posts in 4498 days

#8 posted 01-19-2010 09:39 PM

Cool looking chairs.. I have been trying to come up with a simple chair plan for a chair to go with my daughters desk that she wants me to build… Now I have one…. Thanks very much for posting…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5440 days

#9 posted 01-19-2010 09:46 PM

I love this design and I have seen the plans too but I can’t remember where (time to organize my magazines.)

My wife had seen the magazine when I had it laying around and wanted me to build her some of these. “Sure honey, I’ll put it at the top of my list.”

Well, here it is how many years later and still no folding chairs. Yours look great I might just have to commission you to make me some so I can give to the wife.

Nice work!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Peter Knight's profile

Peter Knight

53 posts in 4497 days

#10 posted 01-20-2010 01:50 AM

Thanks for posting, I saw some plans in a FW book, and filed it away under the “got to make someday”.

those looke great! and glad to know about the Cedar working.

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 5206 days

#11 posted 01-20-2010 06:02 PM

I was able to find the original design I had from a magazine for those who are interested. It appeared in “The Family Handy Man: Best Weekend Projects” in October 2008 (I think; can’t read the date) which was published by Readers Digest. The design is on Page 74, “Patio Chair”.

Obviously, I can’t copy in the entire article or pictures. However, I was able to find the FREE plans of this that were also published on Minwax's website.

There is another variation that I think is interesting, but less useful here in the midwest. Might be worth taking a look.

Thanks for all the comments!


-- He said wood...

View anforte's profile


157 posts in 4685 days

#12 posted 01-20-2010 11:42 PM

Thanks for the two websites with those free plans.
Printed both and find them excellent.

You are a champion!

-- Anforte NJ

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