My wife and I decided it was time to update out backyard and patio. Part of that is changing out the patio furniture. We had an old set that was functional, but just did not have the look and feel we wanted for the space. So, I decided to make my own. The chair is the first part on the set. I wanted them to be sleek, but not too thin. At the same time, it needed to have a little bit of a thicker ruggedness to it. I know, that’s a little all over the place, but my mind just works that way sometimes. As for the lumber, I went with kiln dried (C and better) Douglas fir. This wasn’t my first choice, but after seeing the crazy prices of some of the more weather resistant lumber, it was a good compromise. Also, the furniture will be under a covered patio, so it will be sheltered from the elements.
With all of that in mind, I came up with this design. The legs are thick and sturdy, but I decided to put a bevel on the to add some design intrigue while also cutting down on the boxy size and overall weight. To do this, I needed to make some miter joints. Since I do not have access to a domino, the beadlock jig was a good alternative for me. Of course, this isn’t the only other choice, doing dowels would have worked out great too. Either option helps strengthen the joint. I made some cauls to help with gluing up the joints, and they made that process so much easier. To further stabilize the joints, I made some extra points of contact with supports and the seat frame. This helps keep the leg joints from being stressed.
The next important design detail was the floating back of the seat. I was initially concerned about the strength of the joint, so I ended up using a fair amount of glue and screws to keep it strong. So far it has held up well. We have had me, the wife, and Bob Barker (our dog and my shop supervisor) all sitting on one chair at the same time and it felt rock solid.
Having the back end floating also made it easy to have a comfortable recline in the seat. I made the dimensions to fit some cushions my wife had her eye one.
In the end, we are ecstatic with how it turned out. I feel like the chair is a great blend of attractive design, comfort, and remains simple enough that my fellow DIYers can make it in their garage workshops.