How to Build Outdoor Patio Chairs Using Scraps How to Build Outdoor Patio Chairs Using Scraps

What You'll Need
Safety Glasses
Work Gloves
Tape Measure
Circular Saw

Instead of purchasing outdoor patio chairs, you can put your own chairs together using scraps around the house. From simple stick chairs to a pedestal design that allows under-seat storage, building a patio chair from scrap materials only requires a novice experience level and can be done in a single weekend. Use the steps given below as a guide, and substitute the materials you have available in place of the ones specified.

Step 1: Build a Pedestal

To build a pedestal for outdoor patio chairs, make a frame out of 2 x 2 planks, and then cover the frame with plywood or paneling. The frame should be about 2 feet wide, and 3 to 4 feet long. If you plan to make a reclining chair make the base 4 feet long, but a regular upright chair only needs to be about 2 1/2 feet or so. The pedestal should be approximately 1 foot high.

Step 2A: Choosing a Junkyard Seat

One way to make a quick patio chair is to go to the local junkyard and pick out a seat. For outdoor applications, avoid a cloth seat, but for covered uses feel free to pick up any type of seat you want. Avoid seats with electronic controls. Single-piece truck seats make an easy patio bench.

Step 2B: Building a Seat

If you don't want to reuse an auto seat, the seat and back can be built out of 2 x2 covered with any of several materials, including plywood, privacy fence slats, or pieces of sheet metal or aluminum. The width of the seat should be at least 2 feet and the seat depth should be 18 to 30 inches. Unless you want to make a reclining chair, the back and seat can be built as a single piece that fits onto the pedestal.

Step 3: Notes on Balance

The more of an incline you put into the seat back, the more the chair is out of balance. To correct this, fill the pedestal with sand or gravel. This will make the finished chair quite heavy, but it will be weighted enough that it will be safe to use without falling over backwards.  The more incline you put into the back, the longer the pedestal needs to be. A general guideline is to make the pedestal the same length as the horizontal measurement from the top of the seat back to the front of the seat itself.

Step 4: Reclining Patio Chairs

To make a reclining chair back, drill holes on either side of the seat and seat back, and attach the two together using smooth shank bolts. Use the same method to attach 2 pieces of wood to the top of the seat back. Use these legs as the stands which support the seat back as it is tipped, so that the back pivots on the seat, and the legs pivot from the top of the chair. To be safe, install notches in the pedestal for the support legs to fit into.

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