Crafting Teak Patio Chairs Crafting Teak Patio Chairs

What You'll Need
Pattern or design for your chairs
Teak Wood
Lag Screws
Carriage bolts
Wood screws
Woodworking tools
Stain or linseed oil
Safety goggles
Measuring tape

Making your own teak patio chairs is an excellent project that will make your patio even more enjoyable. Teak is a natural choice for woodworking, as it is naturally resistant to bugs and decay, is not prone to warping, and is easy to work with.

Step 1—Decide What You Want

Decide the pieces and style of chairs that you want to make.

Step 2—Find a Pattern

You can find pattern books for furniture at a DIY store, library, or online. Patterns are available in every conceivable style, from Adirondack to Art Deco.

Step 3—Gather the Materials and Tools

Once you have decided on the style and gotten a pattern, make a materials list. The pattern will tell you how much teak wood you will need. This can be purchased from a lumber yard. Check with an architectural recycler—they sometimes have reclaimed teak.

If you do not have a woodworking shop, review the plans to see what tools you will need to borrow or rent. Often, you will need a planer, a belt sander, a joiner, and a table saw.

Step 4—Assemble the seat

Follow the pattern to assemble your chairs. If you don’t have a pattern, here are the basics.

Cut a 20 inch length from one 1x4 teak piece. This is the seat front. Cut two 19-inch lengths for seat sides from a 2x4. Lay the two seat sides on edge parallel to one another and 17 inches apart. Put the front abutting the ends of the sides. Glue and screw in place. Drill pilot holes to prevent splitting.  

Cut five 1x4 seat slats, each 20 inches long. Place the attached seat front and sides down on a flat surface and position the five slats down on the assembly, with the first slat ½ inch in from the seat front. Place the first slat in place and pre-drill two holes on each end. Assemble the slats.

Step 5—Make the Seat Back

Cut two back supports 14 ½ inches long from 2x4s. Make five back slats 20 inches long from 1x4s. Space the back supports 13 inches apart. Put the slats in place with a 1-inch overhang, glue and screw in place.

Step 6—Make the sides

Cut two 21-inch arms from 1x4 teak. Lay them on a flat surface and measure up from the bottom 1½ inches and measure from the bottom edge inward 1½ inches. Draw a diagonal line between each point and cut them off. This will create a bevelled look. Sand the arms smooth.

Step 7—Make Arm Supports

Cut four 24-inch arm supports from 2x4 teak. Put two arm supports face down on a flat surface parallel to each other and 12 inches apart. Put one of your arms with the bevel side up in the air and place it over the ends of the two arm supports, inset 1 inch. Glue and screw in place.

Step 8—Assemble

Get someone to help hold everything as you screw and glue all the pieces together. Draw a line 18 inches up from the arm supports to create an attachment line. Make a mark on the seat sides 2 inches in from the seat front. Screw carriage bolts through the arm supports into the seat sides. Attach the back support to the arm support using lag screws.

All of the weight-supporting joints should be reinforced with metal hardware. Make sure to use stainless steel or aluminum, so they will not rust in the elements.

Step 9—Finishing

Since teak wood is impregnated with natural oils, you do not have to finish it. If you want to preserve the look (without graying), then finishing with linseed oil is recommended. You may want to fill holes with putty.

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