Robinson lawn chairs and folding table

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Project by simarilan posted 08-22-2011 02:58 AM 5799 views 33 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a special project. The chairs rock and fold up for transportation or storage. The center slats are roped together and are adjustable for personal leg length and comfort. The original chair design was done in 1969, and has a long story behind it. The chairs had to have one of the cool folding tables to make it a set. I have seen a lot of this type of chair design on the web and in magazines, but as far as I know none of them predate 1969. Any one out there know of one before 1969?

-- Quality is easy to see - but hard to explain

13 comments so far

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 3793 days

#1 posted 08-22-2011 03:11 AM

Thats just a really cool chair


View spamfilterman's profile


149 posts in 3987 days

#2 posted 08-22-2011 03:14 AM

Looks pretty cool.
Could you add more pictures of how they fold up?
Also, how do they rock?

View hasbeen's profile


91 posts in 3651 days

#3 posted 08-22-2011 06:17 AM

Greetings from the socialist capital of America – California.
I Like these a lot. Can you supply plans or link.
Moreno Valley’s local has been.
Servant of the Living God.

-- I may not have a lot of good ideas, but some of them are just incredible.

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 4849 days

#4 posted 08-22-2011 06:57 AM

I would be very interested in the plans for something like these. I’ve been looking for a folding chair plans that fold back. better yet something that is a folding lay back chair that puts your legs up like a lazy boy.


View simarilan's profile


145 posts in 3478 days

#5 posted 08-22-2011 03:22 PM

That set of chairs and table are setting by a pool now and I may not be able to get more photos of them.
They were a commissioned set made from cedar with no finish.
I may can get some additional photos of one that is on display at a local gift shop where I sell my stuff. I will try to get photos today, if it’s still there. It’s made from pine, stained and lacquered.

They are actually very easy to make, I will draw up and post the plans.
I also have one of the original chairs my Dad and I made back in 1969, it was made from oak and had a cloth seat. I have made some changes over the years but the basic design is still the same.

Over the years I have been looking for a way to incorporate a foot rest into the design, I would be very interested in any ideals to do this.

-- Quality is easy to see - but hard to explain

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3953 days

#6 posted 08-22-2011 11:12 PM

Great looking chairs

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View KnotCurser's profile


2038 posts in 4034 days

#7 posted 08-23-2011 12:26 AM

I would also LOVE some plans if you are offering – thanks!

These chairs look very comfy and I have also been looking for something for when we go camping.

I will “Watch” this project so please post a comment about plans – thanks!!!!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View Third Day Woodworking's profile

Third Day Woodworking

11 posts in 3744 days

#8 posted 08-23-2011 03:53 AM

These are great looking chairs. I have searched the web and cant find anything similar. I also would love plans. Fine work, take care.

View LesB's profile


2786 posts in 4409 days

#9 posted 08-23-2011 10:33 PM

I made a number of this type of chair with a canvas cloth seat many years ago but I can’t say is was before 1969. I picked up the idea from a fellow selling them at a high end wine tasting and crafts fair. He said he worked making them all year and sold everything he could make at just a couple of high end craft shows. He wouldn’t share any plans so I had to buy a chair and copy…with modifications.
I too wanted a foot rest but could not fit anything that wasn’t awkward to use so I reverted to folding stools with matching cloth seats. I found I personally did not use the chairs and that they took a lot of storage space so I gave them all away. Besides the foot rest, I never came up with a satisfactory head rest design either.
I do like your idea of the wood seat slats. That must add a lot of assembly time to making them.

-- Les B, Oregon

View simarilan's profile


145 posts in 3478 days

#10 posted 08-24-2011 12:09 AM

I am working on a drawing of the plans will post it tonight or tomorrow.

My dad made these in the early 70’s and sold them at a Flea Market in West Texas, they had denim seats. But I’m sure it wasn’t him, the flea market was definitely not high end, but there probably was some home made wine or moonshine available for sale. And if you would have asked him for the plans, he would have handed you a folding wood ruler he kept in his overalls and said “have at it”.
The chairs with the cloth seats were not that comfortable for me either, they seem to not fit and they hit the back of my knees in the wrong place. I played with the length of the cloth and found if I shortened the length a few inches, it was a lot more comfortable for me. Then I started using slats instead of cloth (which is more effort, but worth it) and made the slat assembly adjustable. You can adjust seat to fit your personal size and leg length. It makes a lot of difference in the way the chair feels and it’s easy to adjust.

-- Quality is easy to see - but hard to explain

View simarilan's profile


145 posts in 3478 days

#11 posted 08-25-2011 04:19 PM

Finally finished the Robinson chair plans.
Sorry about the delay it took a bit longer than I planned.
I typically make the chairs from memory and found while drawing the plans, all my chairs are a little different.
The only things that remain constant are the legs and the glider/rocker bars.
That leaves a lot of room to be creative.
I’m sure I overlooked or left something out of the plans, but here they are.
It’s posted as a new project.

-- Quality is easy to see - but hard to explain

View vanzemaljac's profile


334 posts in 4467 days

#12 posted 08-26-2011 10:06 PM

Serbian to English translation
Excellent solution, a beautiful work and design …

-- Lathe and my imagination will do everything to realize my dreams...Vanzemaljac

View randomray's profile


111 posts in 3990 days

#13 posted 12-24-2011 07:08 AM

This type of chair goes back to the US civil war , it has showed up in photos from the time . They are in some of Matt Brady’s picture and advertisements from the time .They had high backs and cloth seats . I believe I’ve even seen similar deck chairs on steam ships in old black and white movies . Again with cloth seats . I don’t know that the construction details are the same . Someone came out with a book for civil war reenactors . ” Civil War Woodworking ” is the name I believe . I had it checked out from our library .

-- Anybody can break something it takes skill to make or repair stuff .

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