Add a modern touch to your outdoor or indoor living space with this inviting and versatile chair. Many questions came in about the bulkiness of the wood, and why. Although it adds a ton of weight, this is the look I wanted. 2 by 4 lumber just couldn’t deliver this style. In most situations, you will want to use pressure treated wood. I knew I wouldn’t have the flexibility with the color choice if I went that route. With that in mind, I opted for Douglas Fir, I don’t plan to have direct contact with the natural element. Otherwise, I would highly recommend pressure treated wood. Although I used a traditional cherry stain, you can use whatever color that will enhance your exterior aesthetic.
Want to make your own?
Follow the steps below to complete this project.
- (5) 4X4 Douglas Fir
- (1) 7/8” Dowel
- (1) 2X4 Lumber
- (14) 5” Lag Screws
- (24) 3” Weather Rated Scews
- Wood Clue
- Dust Mask http://rzmask.com?afmc=8i
- 7/8 Forstner Bit http://amzn.to/2phMRF7
- Drill/ Driver http://amzn.to/2FI8DsD
- Flush Cut Saw http://amzn.to/2tQ6V70
- Miter Saw – http://amzn.to/2FAKtUW
- Cutech Jointer- https://goo.gl/YQBQaU
- Measuring tape – http://amzn.to/2pdvE0C
- Table Saw http://amzn.to/2FKib6s
- Bessey Clamps http://amzn.to/2HBkJV0
- Jaw Horse http://amzn.to/2phdXgo
- 2 in 1 Jig Saw http://amzn.to/2GtSaJL
- Multitool Oscillation tool http://amzn.to/2HCPLMf
- Square http://amzn.to/2FKd2vc
- Sander http://amzn.to/2FEOFmP
See the Video on Outdoor Modern Chair
I used a miter saw to cut the lumber to the desired lengths (see plans and materials in the taps above). I then used a jointer to remove a few layers from the lumber to cut down on my time sanding later on.
Making Joint Cuts
In order to facilitate the assembly process later, I made all the joint cuts first. I used a table saw to cut rabbets on both ends of 3 of the seat pieces. Although a table saw would be the fastest way to complete these cuts, you can achieve the same cut by using a reciprocating saw, circular saw or hand saw. After making your cuts, you want to test the pieces by dry fitting them into place.
Assembling the Arms
To assemble the arms of the chair, you want to first start by laying the pieces of lumber as shown. Apply wood glue to each joint and use the glue applicator to ensure an even layer. By using the wood glue, you are preventing future squeaks and added strength. Use clamps or ratchet straps to hold pieces together while the glue dries. Next, you will prep your joints for the lag screws. You will start by using a 7/8 bit to drill a 1.5 in. deep hole at the center of each joint. Then, use a small bit to drill in the center of each hole and into the lumber behind it. Finally, drive the lag screw from one lumber into the next. Repeat these steps for the other arm.
Assembling the Body of the Chair
Set up the arms next to each other so you can attach the back and the bottom of the chair. I used some scrap pieces of wood to make sure the seat would be the same height in the front and the back. Use wood glue and clamp the structure together. Then, use the same scrap pieces of wood as a guide for the front of the chair. Next, attach the arms to the back of the chair using the same lag screw method from Step 3. Use the same technique for the remaining joints.
Note: The holes used for the lag screw should be off center a little so it doesn’t intersect with the previous screw.
Plugging the Holes
To conceal the screws, I used the 7/8 dowel to plug the holes. I brushed some wood glue onto the dowels and used a rubber mallet to hammer them in. This should be a tight fit. Then, I wiped away any excess glue from around the dowel and used a flush cut saw to cut down the dowels.
Assembling the Seat
I started to assemble the seat by first adding the 2 outer ends of the seat, as shown in the picture. Then, glue the support piece under the bottom of the chair and screw it into place. Next, use scrap pieces of wood to keep a consistent distance between the remaining seat pieces. Glue and clamp. After that, I turned my attention to the bottom of the chair. I secured the lumber using 2 screws per board. Now it was time to remove the outer ends of the seat and apply glue to them so they can be reattached, clamped, and secured with screws.
Sanding and Applying Finish
I sanded the Outdoor Modern Chair, then applied some wood conditioner that would help reduce any splotches. After the wood conditioner dried, I stained the chair using a traditional cherry stain. Finally, add a couple of layers of polyurethane to ensure durability.
Here are some photos of the finished product. I love this look and I’ve already started designing the matching sofa. If you like to build your own I have a free set of plans down below or in the store. I’d love to hear what you think about this build. Also if you are new here, be sure to subscribe for future posts and updates.