Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How to build a Folding Stick Chair

This chair is a fairly simple build, although it does take a fair amount of time to cut the parts and drill the holes in all of them, but after that's done it's pretty simple.  The design sparked my interest and I figured I would make one or two of them, I'm glad I did, they turned out great!

IMG of Chair

There are plans for this chair in a few places online, some will cost you some will be free but are difficult to understand or navigate through due to ads and whatnot.  I hope to provide you with a straight forward and easy to follow how to guide!

Have a look at my short video to get the what all the project entails and understand how everything works.  You will find the details and dimensions of the pieces below the video.

All of the pieces are cut out of 2x4 stock, they are all 1 1/4" x 1 1/2".
All holes are drilled on the wider 1 1/2" side of each piece and also centered across the piece.


Kyle said...

In your video you said that all the pieces were made from 2x4s but they look much smaller. Then your directions said that the holes were cut on the 1 1/2" (Wider) side. Would you please clearly state the lumber dimensions in the directions? Thank you.

Trip said...

Kyle, sorry I didn't make it clearer I will add that to the text in the blog. I know sometimes things get missed in videos but I believe I mentioned the size of the pieces at about 0:45 in the video. I hope you chair turns out well if you decide to built one!

The Freediver said...

Very good tutorial. i will follow for my folding chair I think though the text is missing the picture of the chair, and you left in the text the word "draft";) in the beginning (I'm not yet a perfectionist but I am guided by one). Good luck with your projects and tutorials.

Edward Kaipo Wright said...

Sweet! This was a fun build for this first-time woodworker. Can't wait to do more projects. I also found out from this build that 2x4s are NOT "2x4"!!! Lol.

So I was happy to not have to cut down to 1 1/2" but surprised when the 3rd 1 1/4" strip looked smaller than the other two. Hah hah.

I'll go back to the drawing board and probably use a 2x6 next time.

Thanks again for sharing =P

Edward Kaipo Wright said...

Just FYI for others ...
here's what I ended up using:

(7')- 1/8" plastic covered WIRE ROPE
(16)- 5/8" insulated staples
(2)- 2x4x8
(1)- 2x4x4
(1)- 2x4x3

Like I said previously, I didn't realize I'd only be able to get (2) 1 1/4" strips from the 2x4s. Luckily I had some scraps at home.

I think (1) 2x6x12 will get you everything needed for this build with a couple feet extra.

And I'd rather the staples be longer if I were to use them again. They were only $1.30 for a 20 pack. But the fasteners shown in the video were $5 for 2 at my Home Depot.

I think next time I'll try to use nuts and bolts. There's enough space in the drilled hole for the Wire Rope and a bolt. The tighter the fit the better I think.

I'll try to recess the nut into the wood on the inside. Then I'll use a washer on the outside to hold the Wire Rope.

We'll see if it works. I experimented with a metal screw and washer but I can see how it can prematurely loosen because of the plastic. Whether it degrades or just tears and shreds from the screw digging into it.

Anyways =P

SS Hadi said...

Thank you for sharing. This is useful for me. I will follow your update. So interesting. http://coolwoodworkingprojects.4useful.com/

Sean said...

Excellent job!
Very clear and I liked the pictures showing the layout of the boards and wires.

To the commenter who asked that you "clearly state the lumber dimensions" I'd say, listen more carefully. The dimensions are very clearly stated in the video. He says they're 2x4 stock cut down to 1.5x1.25. If you can't take the time to listen or read, don't be critical.

Riya Evelin said...

You have given us clear video which can be understand by anyone..surely i will try it by own and give you comments after trying it..

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bilal belo said...

Hello I am from Algeria
We use the "Centimeter" meter as a unit of measurement
And does not use an inch
Please 1 inch with you how much equal in centimeters
I tried the chair but it was not well

mastaleriu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mastaleriu said...

I made it today... it s great...confortable. Thanks a lot...

Ioannis Marangos said...

@ bilal belo - try this for converting inch to cm.


Billy S said...

How about a close up pic of the wire and clamps you used. Great project thanks!

mrunge340 said...

Great tutorial. You explained everything concisely, but not too much. 1/8" galvanized wire is perfectly clear, as is the 1/8" wire clamp instruction. Not sure what everyone is so confused about, except maybe that a 2x4 is actually 1.5"x3.5". If I'm not mistaken, you should be able to cut the parts all from three 8' 2x4s, right? That's how I figured it at least. What a great, simple explanation of how to build this awesome-looking chair. Will definitely be building (selling?) some of these with some of my spare 2x4s.

mrunge340 said...

By the way, to convert to metric, go to www.google.com and type, "1.5 inches to cm" or "1.25 inches to cm" to get the dimensions. I think it's something like 3.8 cm and 3.2 cm. For other measurements, you can do the same thing, but substitute the other number for 1.5 or 1.25. Good luck!

Trip said...

mrunge, Thank you for the wonderful comment. I'm truly glad you enjoy how I explain things. I cut out enough pieces to make 10 chairs about a year ago and put 4 other them together. I was thinking they would sell but I never had any luck although I didn't try extremely hard. Good luck with yours!

Jhereg said...

Has anyone tried using wooden dowels and only gluing the ends?

Trip said...

Jherege - I haven't heard of anyone doing so, it would probably be pretty cool though. Why don't you give it a shot? If you do send me a photo!

John Lundberg said...

Really enjoyed making this chair. Thanks for sharing this with us. However now all my friends and family want 2 each :-)
I used 1/4 inch (I am in Ireland so it was 6mm)threaded rod rather than wire and I I was able to sink the nuts into the timber so that there is nothing protruding at the sides. Also I thought that because the seat slats are much shorter than the back they were making a sharp angle when pulled together by the rod/wire at the front. I felt this was getting in the way when folding the chair so I put 1/2 inch spacers between all the slats on the seat part. This makes the chair fold much more freely and looks quite good. I happened to have a bit of wood already in the lathe left over from a previous project so I turned it down to the size of the thickness of the slats. I then cut off 7 rings from this each 1/2" thick. Drilled a hole in the centre of each disk and they now look like they belong on the chair.

John Lundberg said...

I didn't mention in my earlier comment but I thought your video and explanations were perfectly clear and concise. I had no problem following the instructions at all. I just had to convert all the measurements to mm. Thats easy to do. There are 25.64 mm to the inch so 1 1/4" is 1.25 times 25.64 equals 31.7936mm. I think its safe to say 32mm. likewise 1 1/2" is 1.5 times 25.64 equals 38.46. It would be very hard to measure or cut to a tolerance of .46 of a millimeter so its safe to say 38mm.

Trip said...

John, I'm sending you a message on Google+ instead of commenting back here! Thank you for the comment though!

Al Kaufmann said...

Wow! What a cool project! I saw it yesterday and built it today. I used threaded rods (be sure to drill the holes a little bigger-the rods don't slide through well otherwise). When I was finished, I took it apart to stain it. I can't wait until it dries so I can use it! Thanks again!

Trip said...

Thanks for your comment Al! Glad you liked the chair. I haven't seen on stained yet, I bet it will look excellent when you get it back together.

Susan Vasquez said...

Forget US 2x4 and how it converts. Look for UK standard lumber. C16 or C24, 47mm by 100mm. Cut it in half and you get 2 pieces approximately 47x50mm or so. Or go for 47x150 to make sure you get the right look (as far as the thick/thin edges go). Just make sure it is oriented correctly (holes in the wider side) and don't worry too much about precise measurements.

Andres Salas said...

Great plans. Quick question. Did you miter the ends of the legs to sit flush? If so, what is the degree of the angle on the front and the back legs? Thanks for sharing this info!! Can't wait to build a couple of these.

Charles Massey said...

Awesome project and Video, I look forward to making a few of these for my BBQ Area.

zahir campbell said...

tremendous i LoVED exactly what I need for my porch
i jus need to know if ican use 2x2 s because i dont have a table saw, i wold tell them to cut the length with a hand saw thanks

Allie Small said...

Thanks... Have just started woodworking as a hobby and this was a great project. You were right... first one was a lil confusing to put together but the second was easy. Thanks again.

Allie Small said...

Wanted to find a better way to fasten them... to avoid the unsightly clamps... tried a thin gauge mouton climbing cord but that didn't work... saw this chair online and they used some type of Alan Wrench tightening ends. anybody know where i can find those?


peachmelomel said...

I don't have the tools to rip down a 2x4 for this, is there any chance that this could be built with 2x2 stock instead?

Bobby Gorden said...

I built this today for the first time. I used 1/8" wire rope. 1) to use this you have to tape the ends to feed through all of the slats otherwise the rope frays and is difficult to feed through. 2)Using the 1/8" cable clamps. the torque motion when tightening can pull the wire through the opposite side clamp. I will be using the 1/8" wire instead. I am also wondering about spacers.John Lundberg mentioned this in his post. I don't have a lathe and wondering if anyone has any suggestions. The spacers will allow the chair to fold flat with everything tightened up. In the original design, I could not get the chair to fold flat. Great project and easy for anyone to do. By the way, I find the chair very comfortable. I am thinking about making the back longer on the next one and adding some type of carrying handle/ hanger. Maybe using rope or wire rope.

Johnathon Palomares said...

My daughter and I are making several to donate to the local Ronald McDonald House for their outdoor patio area. Great video! I was able to get all 25 pieces cut from 2, 2" x 6"x 8' boards. AND... I've got enough scrap to use for a new chicken coop frame! Great channel, and thank you!

Unknown said...

Ok super novice here ...wondering about the cable, rope. ...your video looks as if it's a rod. Is this the stuff found on a roll?? Also why plastic costed....does it have to be coated .
Thanks for any assistance.

jowdjbrown said...

I've been using this drill bit a lot, which is basically a cross between a forstner bit and a center bit. Henry

Claudia Goffe said...

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Jim FrankliFranklin said...

i tried using an old dog run cable,which is a steel plastic covered cable. when i stand the chair up it opens to almost flat. is it the cable that i used? i have gone over plans a hundred times, and i most definitely have all the dimensions correct. can anyone tell me why my doesn't stand up like the one in the video?

Jim FrankliFranklin said...

Will the type of wire or rope you use to string the pieces together effect the functionality of the chair? I used steel dog run cable on mine, but when I open the chair up it opens to almost flat. I've gone over the plans and the video about 100 tomes, so I'm positive everything is correct. Has anyone else had this issue?

Jim FrankliFranklin said...

Will the type of wire or rope you use to string the pieces together effect the functionality of the chair? I used steel dog run cable on mine, but when I open the chair up it opens to almost flat. I've gone over the plans and the video about 100 tomes, so I'm positive everything is correct. Has anyone else had this issue?

Tom Bradly said...

This is the DIY woodworking project I have been looking for since seeing the idea on the Internet (and it retailed at $250!). What kind of

Rose Maria said...

Are the Lakers quickly folding like a cheap lawn chair?
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thefuturefarm said...

Three suggestions, the first is use 1/4 inch threaded metal rod with lock nuts...it is cheaper. One 6 foot section will do the trick if you use it correctly, ie connect the two longest middle sections first then do the top and end of seat. Second with the left over thinner ripped wood, you can make a kids chair just cut all lengths by a third except the back piece that hits the leg, c or d, needs to be an extra inch shorter, but watch out the chair can tip when they first sit in it. Or you can rip 1 1/8 inches and get three chairs for every six pieces of 2 by 4. Doing three chairs this way makes the cost about 11 dollars per chair.

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Kavya Singh said...

Fantastic post about "How to build a Folding Stick Chair"

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julie said...

Love this chair. I have made 4 of them so far and everyone loves them. I was wondering if there is a way to make a "Kentucky Stick Table " to match the chairs. I have had sewveral people ask me about a matching table but I haven't seen any plans for one anywhere.

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I just love the design. Also it seems very comfortable.
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