Folding chair from One Piece of Plywood

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Project by Michael Murphy posted 03-23-2010 06:05 PM 10690 views 26 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was reminded of this project by that Puzzle Chair project that was entered yesterday. The object of this was to design a chair that would fold flat and was able to be cut out of a single piece of plywood. It’s a bit hard to tell with the different colors on the pieces but it is cut from one piece.

I built this at least 25 years ago. It still gets used when we have company over and run out of chairs.

This is made of 3/4” Baltic Birch Plywood, the hinges in that first picture are from Hafele (I think) and were meant to be used in a drop front tray. The only other hardware besides the hinges (two tray hinges and two piano hinges) are 3 of those Bullet Catches to hold it closed.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

22 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4217 days

#1 posted 03-23-2010 06:09 PM

Cool! Was this your own design? It’s brilliant!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3114 days

#2 posted 03-23-2010 06:12 PM

I have seen something simular before
but it´s also a very clever way of doing it
thank´s for sharing it


View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3004 days

#3 posted 03-23-2010 06:23 PM

Yes it is my own design. I used to be kinda clever. It was actually a challenge put out by one of my design professors.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View Tom8021's profile


73 posts in 3237 days

#4 posted 03-23-2010 06:27 PM

Really cool! I like the angles on the swing out legs. Looks solid.

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3881 days

#5 posted 03-23-2010 06:45 PM

Down right clever. I hope you didn’t loose all of your creative juices.

Good job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3035 days

#6 posted 03-23-2010 09:19 PM

You know I am gonna steal this idea and use it at the hunting camp this year don’t cha?

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3004 days

#7 posted 03-23-2010 09:27 PM

Let me know how it turns out.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View Achiko's profile


38 posts in 3674 days

#8 posted 03-23-2010 09:43 PM

I love this project. Thanks for sharing it.

Any maker’s tips to prevent the destruction of an innocent piece of plywood? I just happen to have some 3/4” BB in my stash.

-- Chuck, Cottage Grove, Oregon --

View JohnnyW's profile


83 posts in 3029 days

#9 posted 03-23-2010 10:01 PM

That’s awesome. It’s practical, simple and stylish. Every house needs some of these…mine will be on the patios for BBQs in the summer.

-- John

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3679 days

#10 posted 03-23-2010 10:30 PM

nice job, I’ve tried making a chair from one piece of wood (cheap pine so as not to waste good stuff if it didn’t work), and it’s not as easy as some might think it is.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3432 days

#11 posted 03-23-2010 10:57 PM

Michael, I don’t see any locks or catches….what keeps it closed when not in use?

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3004 days

#12 posted 03-23-2010 11:11 PM

Look close, there is a “Bullet” type friction catch at the front edge of the seat that holds it in the up position, one at the bottom of the seat to hold the Red gate type leg in, and one at the top of the smaller gate leg (natural color) to hold the two legs together before the mortise in the seat bottom comes down to steady it all.

I sent this PM to Achiko, might as well share it with all.

I remember making several mockups from cheaper thinner stuff first, making them about 1/3 size to get the shapes right out of 1/4 thick ply or 1/2 scale out of 3/8 thick.

I just looked up the hinges, and they were Hafele and still available in their catalog. Page 308. I am sure other types would work as well.


I will see if I can trace the parts on a larger sheet of Grid paper and then reduce it and post a link that could then be blown up or I could fax out for folks that might want it.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3083 days

#13 posted 03-23-2010 11:13 PM

Very fun, I’ll add this th the other one I’ve been trying to get around to building.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View JoeinDE's profile


444 posts in 3322 days

#14 posted 03-24-2010 01:37 AM

What are dimensions of the chair when folded flat?


View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3004 days

#15 posted 03-24-2010 02:41 AM

24” wide 35” tall folded up.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

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