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The Woodcrafter Page - Copyright © 2004 - Keith Davies. All rights reserved.
The Woodcrafter Page - Copyright © 2004 - Keith Davies. All rights reserved.
Side view of completed chair. View of folded chair. Front view of completed chair.

Here is a really nice, easy to make, folding director's chair.

Folding Director's Chair.

Detailed Instructions
*********** WARNING***********
Read my page on safety before building this item.
*********** N O T E ***********
Some of the hardware for these chairs is difficult to come by.
Your best bet is a local hardware store or simply search the internet.
I no longer have a source for the hardware so please do not bother to email me for help in locating it.
It is possible to modify some strap hinges but they are not as stable as the offset hinges called for.

Materials needed:
While any choice of woods will work, I recommend 3 types of wood for the project: a light maple, oak, or hickory.
Six foot of 2" x 3" lumber.
Five board-foot of 1" thick (actual finished size) lumber (at least 2-1/2' long).
Two 3/4" dowels (3' long).
Four 1/4" lagbolts (2" long), 8 flat washers, and self-locking nuts.
Two 3/8" lagbolts (3" long), 2 flat washers, and self-locking nuts.
Four heavy offset hinges.
Two 9" locking supports. Available at Rockler.com by clicking here.
Assorted sandpaper.
Exterior wood finish.
1/2 yard of heavy canvas material & heavy duty thread.

Construction:
* * * * * N O T E * * * * *
The dowels in most pieces can be replaced by turning the peices on a wood lathe after allowing the extra length in the respective ends of the pieces being turned. This results in a stronger and better looking final piece.
  1. First, cut out the four legs. They measure 1" thick by 2" wide by 24-3/4" long.
  2. Locate the center of the top end of each leg and drill a 3/4" hole, 1-1/2" deep for a 3/4" dowel.
  3. Locate the hole for the foot rest of each leg 5" from the bottom and drill a 3/4" hole 1" deep for the foot rest.
  4. Locate the hole for pivot pin of each leg 13" from the bottom and drill a 3/8" hole through the leg.
  5. Locate the hole for the knife hing of two legs 5" from the top and drill a 1/4" hole through the leg. These legs will be the outer legs.
  6. Taper each leg from a 2" width to 1-3/8 at the ends. The taper on each end should be 8" long.
  7. Cut the small bevel on the bottom of each leg as shown in the drawings.
  8. Sand all long edges to a rounded shape.
  9. Cut out the two seat sides. They measure 2-1/4" wide by 1-5/8" thick by 14-5/8" long. (2" x 3" lumber)
  10. On the bottom of one seat side, locate the holes for the dowels that secure the legs 3-1/4" from the ends and drill a 3/4" hole, 1" deep for a 3/4" dowel.
  11. On the bottom of the other seat side, locate the holes for the dowels that secure the legs 1-3/4" from the ends and drill a 3/4" hole, 1" deep for a 3/4" dowel.
  12. Cut the bevel along each side piece to create the top edge as indicated in the drawings.
  13. Cut the notch 5/16" by 3/4" as indicated. Use a router (making multiple passes) if you do not have a table saw or circular saw with appropriate accessories.
  14. Cut two 3/4" dowels (one 13-3/4" long & one 16-1/4" long) for the foot rests.
  15. Now cut two 3/4" dowels 7" long for the arm rest supports.
  16. Cut out two arm rest bases. They measure 1-1/4" thick by 1-11/16" wide by 15-5/8" long. (2" x 3" lumber)
  17. Locate the holes for the dowels that secure the arm rest 1-5/8" from each end and drill a 3/4" hole, 1" deep for a 3/4" dowel.
  18. Sand only the upper edges to a rounded shape as shown in the end view of the drawings.
  19. Cut out the two arm rest. They measure 1" thick by 2-1/4" wide by 15" long.
  20. Locate the center of the back of each arm rest and drill a 3/4" hole, 1" deep for a 3/4" dowel.
  21. Locate and drill a 1/2" deep - 3/4" hole in the bottom of the arm rest 2-1/4" from the front edge for a 3/4" dowel.
  22. Cut the curves and tapers as indicated in the drawings.
  23. Sand all long edges to a rounded shape.
  24. Cut out the two back supports. They measure 1" thick by 1-3/8" wide by 15-1/4" long.
  25. Locate the center of bottom of each back support and drill a 3/4" hole, 1" deep for a 3/4" dowel.
  26. Locate and drill a 1/2" deep - 3/4" hole in the front of each back support 6-7/16" from the bottom for a 3/4" dowel.
  27. Sand all long edges to a rounded shape or turn them on a wood lathe. Shape the tops of the backs on a lathe, if desired but do not turn them smaller than 1".
  28. Cut two 7/16" long pieces from the 3/4 dowel and drill a 3/8" hole through the center of each. These will be the pivot pin spacers.
  29. Cut two fabric supports. They measure 1/4" thick by 5/8" wide by 14-1/2" long.
  1. Make a canvas chair back. The finshed back measures 7" by 21-1/2" with 2-1/4 sleeves (to slide over the back supports) on both ends.
  2. Make a canvas chair seat. The finshed seat measures 15" by 22" with 1" sleeves (to slide over the fabric supports) on both ends.
View of fabric components.
Assembly:
  1. Cut two 1-1/2" lengths of 3/4" dowel then glue and dowel each arm rest to each back support.
  2. Cut two 2" lengths of 3/4" dowel then glue and dowel each back support to each arm rest base.
  3. Glue each 7" long arm rest support (step 15) between each arm rest & each arm rest base.
  4. Cut four 2-1/2" lengths of 3/4" dowel then glue and dowel the legs to each seat side.
  5. Glue each foot rest (step 14) between each set of legs.
  6. Clamp all assemblies tightly and allow to dry overnight.
  7. Insert the 3/8" lag bolts through each outer leg (head to the outer side), add a washer and tighten the nut to 'set' the head into the wood.
  8. Remove the lag bolt then position the inner leg set inside the outer legs.
  9. Insert the lag bolt, adding the spacer (step 28) between the outer & inner leg, then the flat washer and the nut.
View of seat fabric installed.
  1. Install the locking knife support to the inner side of the outer leg with a flat washer between the support and the wood. It should fold up, not down.
  2. Locate and install the other end of the locking knife support to the outer side of the inner leg with a flat washer between the support and the wood so that the distance from the OUTER edges of the two arm rest base is exactly 21-1/4".
  3. Cut off all bolts even with the locking nut then file or grind it smooth and flush with the nut.
  4. Apply a thin dab of clear silicone caulk over the nut & bolt.
  5. Insert the fabric supports into the sleeves of the seat.
  6. Mount the offset hinges 2-1/2" from the end of the arm rest base as indicated in the drawings.
  1. Install the seat by sliding the ends into the notch between the hinge and the arm rest base.
  1. Secure the arm rests to the offset hinges. Allow them to swing slightly open while installing to result in a tight fit later.
  2. Slip the back over the top of the back supports.
  3. Remove the fabric back and seat and all hardware, then sand and finsh the surface as desired.
  4. Email me a picture of your finshed project.
    Click here for a larger copy of drawing #1. Click here for a larger copy of drawing #2. Click here for a larger copy of drawing #3.
    Click on the drawings, above, for hi-res vesions.
View of seat locking knife installed.


View of seat hinge location.
View of seat installation.
View of seat arm rest alignment.