A quick 2x4 chair

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 07-19-2009 04:04 AM 26826 reads 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

On July 3rd I threw together a chair to bring to the 4th party the following day. I decided to use up some scrap 2×4s. I had no plan, no chair experience, and about 5 hours time in which to make it, so I just sort of winged-it, inventing as I went. Here’s the test-fit of the cut pieces for which I used my miter saw and band saw.

test-fit of 2x4 chair pieces

It looked somewhat chair-like, at least.

Bessey K-Body clamps test fitting chair

I used countersunk deck screws and glue. I banged pieces around in the clamps to get everything exactly on mark, and sighted along the back edges as if they were winding sticks to get them lined up exactly. If not pretty, I wanted it at least stable, and free of rocking.

screwing chair pieces together

The 7 slats of 2×4 used in the seat and back were my last pieces. I have no more 2×4 scraps now, hooray. I notched the back 2 seat pieces with the band saw and a chisel so they’d slip around the verticals, and used it again to cut some rounded back relief in the 2 back pieces.

finished 2x4 chair

finished 2x4 chair, back view

It’s definitely not pretty, but it’s extremely sturdy. It makes sense. It’s basically a miniature deck :) I ran a ROS around it to smooth it up a bit, and decided that with less than a day until the party, I’d better not coat it with anything, unless I wanted to be stuck to it, or colored by it.

finished 2x4 chair

The funny part is that when I went over my local friends’ place to carpool with them, they’re hatchback was entirely jammed with party supplies. I couldn’t fit the chair. Making matters even funnier, they had a tall stack of plastic chairs – sturdy enough even for my bulk – packed in there, too. Good thing, really. The overly-straight back was very uncomfortable. I did my best to angle it back with the band sawed taper, but it wasn’t enough by half.

big man on a big chair

Oh well, it was fun. Next time, a plan will be most helpful. In other news, I’m already sick of this LA summer heat.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

14 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3604 days

#1 posted 07-19-2009 04:30 AM

Cool chair Gary super design for a quickie

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#2 posted 07-19-2009 04:59 AM

looks great for winging it. indeed the back looks very straight -but hey, at least you didn’t have to stand ;) looks really nice!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3702 days

#3 posted 07-19-2009 05:01 AM

Its COOL for a 2×4 project, but not COOL enough to keep him COOL in LA!! :-)) :-)) :-)) :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3782 days

#4 posted 07-19-2009 05:02 AM

Looks like a great shop chair, Gary.

I gotta ask, what are the things that look like juggling pins hanging in the background?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View patron's profile


13608 posts in 3368 days

#5 posted 07-19-2009 05:08 AM

i made a set similar to yours ,
i plan on making them again ,
only this time with a 2×6 for the back legs ,
so i can tilt the back more.
as mine are to straight too .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3408 days

#6 posted 07-19-2009 05:58 AM

Thanks for the kind words, all.

lew – those are in fact juggling clubs. I have been known to juggle on occasion. Those are from a coworker who juggled with his brother. The brother continued on and is fairly pro now. My coworker hasn’t in ages, but has had these clubs for probably 30 years or more now. He decided they were taking up room and gave them to me to clean up and use myself. They were in pretty bad shape when I got them, so I peeled the ancient tape, spent a few hours sanding them down, and then gave them a few coats of plastic paint. Here's that set. This was more than a year ago (has it been that long!?). After the last drying, I never went back to the project, so they’ve moved around the rafters of my garage ever since, finally settling where you see them probably late last year. Now I feel lazy. Here's me juggling them the first day I got them, before peeling off the old tape. Somewhat relatedly, here was me practicing 5-ball cascade around that same time in the office lobby.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View toyguy's profile


1654 posts in 3864 days

#7 posted 07-19-2009 01:00 PM

Man of many talents…

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 3417 days

#8 posted 07-19-2009 02:05 PM

Expected from an inovative LJ like yourself! Nice Job

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3623 days

#9 posted 07-19-2009 03:15 PM

Nice work

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3623 days

#10 posted 07-19-2009 03:16 PM

Nice work

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


475 posts in 3655 days

#11 posted 07-19-2009 03:40 PM

OK? Was the party like BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair),party supplies, beverages, cookies, veggie plates, hotdogs, buns, fireworks, chips, cakes, pies, party favors, funny hats, funeral home fans (see note below), etc.? Gary, you gotta get a better class of friends. Cruise Beverly Hills. I hear they have some classy parties. :^)

I do like your enthusiasm about our country’s birthday. Enough to build a Forth of July chair. Ditto on the 2by6’s for the back. Needs more slant and the seat could be lower in the back.

Note: Funeral home fans preferably with Elvis’ picture on it. You can get some of these at the Tupelo, Mississippi Visitors and Convention Bureau. Our claim to fame!!

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View WoodyWoodWrecker's profile


171 posts in 3278 days

#12 posted 07-19-2009 03:58 PM

Nice chair. You could shorten the back legs until the back is at a more comfortable angle. If it tips backward too easily, put braces on the sides sticking out the back to act as wheelie bars. If you rounded the braces off, you could have a rocking chair.

-- You always have tomorrow to stop procrastinating.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#13 posted 07-21-2009 04:17 PM

great chair. Can’t wait to see your second version! :)

funny funnies. lol

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3408 days

#14 posted 07-24-2009 08:41 AM

Hey Woody – great idea about cutting the back legs. I have a feeling I’m going to try that after determining a comfy and safe angle. Thanks!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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