This traditional Queensland squatter’s chair is an ideal way to relax. We made
ours from Western Red Cedar because of its durability and light-weight, but
there’s a variety of timbers that could be used. You’ll need a weekend to make
Step 1: Read the plan. You’ll need to decide whether you want turned front legs,
as it shows in the plan, or square ones (for a chunky look), or shaped legs like
Kevin made. Then get your timber. Don’t worry if the sizes vary from the plan,
as you can make adjustments as you go.
Step 2: Make a full-size set out on a scrap sheet of plywood or MDF. The
MitrePlan has a grid, which can be transferred to your full-size set out. You’ll
need this to cut all your parts exactly the same, and to make sure everything
will actually fit together. Use the set out to make templates of the shaped
Kev’s tip is to place a piece of 3mm MDF under the set out, drill through with a
fine drill, join the holes (dots) with a pencil and then cut out your template.
Step 3: Use your template(s) to mark out the chair parts on your timber, then
cut them out with a bandsaw or jigsaw. Smooth all the curves with a belt sander.
Step 4: Mark out all the joints. Use your set out to transfer the positions of
mortices (slots) onto your back and front legs – being very careful to make
right and left ones! Mark out the tenons (tongues) onto the ends of all the
rails. Drill out the bulk of the mortices (a drill press is ideal) then trim the
mortices square with a sharp chisel. Cut your tenons with a tenon saw (what
else?) or a sliding mitre saw if you have one with a depth stop.
Step 5: Assemble the back and front frames first, and allow the glue to set
before assembling the whole chair. When the glue is set you can oil it or stain
it and fit the canvas seat. Kev cheated with this bit, and had the seat made at
the local tent and annex factory.
There’s a bit more to making
chairs than meets the eye, so take your time to make sure your joints are as
accurate as possible, and try to stick to the dimensions in the plan as closely
as you can.
The plan for this project is available here.