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What can you do with a 10' 2x6 and a 3/8" dowel?



Saw this design in an Amish woodworking shop. Can you beat the simplicity of the design? I suppose you could sit on a rock, but that wouldn't be nearly as portable as this chair. Comfort might be up for debate, but at least it gets you off your feet.


Simple Chair


You can further develop the idea by using a 12' 2x6 and add a flare to the seat portion if you need to accomodate a bit wider space between your two back pockets.


Simple Chair 2.jpg


To further embellish this work, talk to shecandoit. Christine can help you out with using a rotary tool, like a Dremel, to add some carving work to the face of the top of the seat back...

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Posted 2011-10-19T21:41:07+0000  by Paul Paul

Hey Paul,


Thanks for the shout out. That would be a really fun project to do. It has endless opportunities. You could cut a design out at the top with a jig saw and then carve out a design around it. You could make it go with just about any decor.:smileywink:


 It's a great idea for extra seating when you're having a get together. You would be able to take them down and throw them up on rafters in the garage to store them. I love it!


Thanks once again for the fun project idea Paul.


I look forward to the next one.. :smileyvery-happy: 

Posted 2011-10-19T22:26:15+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

Going to try this, not sure how it's going to work out...


Here is a video sequence of the drawing of the chair. I had to work quick, as the trial version of Bandicam only does 10 minutes at a time.

Posted 2011-10-22T17:42:39+0000  by Paul

Hi Paul,


Do you have more details?  Where the cuts/dowel holes should be?





Posted 2012-07-17T15:58:38+0000  by WayneFeller

Sure... The details are also in the video, but I'll spell them out here so do don't have to watch me draw it.


The seat back/leg is 48". You'd measure up 9" and make your notch to accept the seat.


Your holes for all the dowels (I showed 3/8" doewls) in the flares are 2" and 6" from the ends.


The seat itself is 40" long and the notch is cut at the 12" mark. You might watch the video to help clarify any of this.


You can use a wider board and make your notches that much deeper. Notch width is the thickness of your 2x material, or 1.5 inches. The depth of the notch is half the width of at boards. For a 2x6, which is 5.5" wide, your notch would be 2.75 inches deep. For a 2x8 it would be 3-5/8 inches and so on.


Have fun.

Posted 2012-07-17T20:02:39+0000  by Paul



thank you so much!!  I don't have a lot of tools, nor much experience, so I really do appreciate all the help I can get!



Posted 2012-07-18T19:45:54+0000  by WayneFeller

Ok Wayne, I apologize if you already know this, but if not or there are others that might not know reading this, here's how to make the cuts.


The easiest way is going to be with a jigsaw. They can be purchased pretty inexpensively, but you do get what you pay for. So my advice is buy the best you can afford, even if it means only buying one piece at a time over a longer period. Otherwise, you end up buying throw away tools.


One way to make straight cuts with any powered hand saw is to use a straight edge. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is using a speed square or rafter square. They come in metal or plastic. Opt for the metal version. It will look something like this, depending on the brand:

speed square.jpg


Now make your measurements. In the case of the 2x6 above, for the seat back, you'd measure 12" from one end. Make a mark and then use your speed square to draw a straight line all the way across the board. Now, measure 13-1/2" from the same end of the board. Make your mark and draw another line across the board. Now measure in from one of the long sides along one of your lines, 2-3/4". Do the same on the other line and connect them. This is going to be your notch. In the resulting rectangle, draw a big X. This will mark your waste area, what you're cutting out.


Now set your jigsaw up so that the right side of the blade is on the right line and the left side of the blade is toward the X or in the waste area. Place your speed square right up to the shoe of the jigsaw. You're going to make the first cut to the line in front of you, holding your jigsaw shoe against your speed square. You don't have to force the saw along, it will cut at the blade's pace.

Notching out 1.jpg

Repeat the same for the other line, but this time, the left side of the blade will be at the line and the right side will be inside the waste area.


Once you have this accomplished, move the blade into the second cut. Turn on the saw and slowly make a nice arc cut to the first corner.

Notching out 2.jpg

Now you should be able to place the saw into that channel and make your fourth and final cut to square up your notch.

Notching out 3.jpg

Hope this helps get your project going.

Posted 2012-07-18T21:14:20+0000  by Paul

Once again, Great tutorial Paul.


Since we are talking about jigsaws, I feel the need to add my 2¢.

For many power tools, the difference between consumer level products and professional ones has more to do with durability than anything else.  With jigsaws though, the better models run absolutely smoothly with no hint of reciprocating blade vibration.  Lower end models tend to buzz like crazy and make high quality work much harder to accomplish.


While I often recommend less expensive power tools to best suit the needs of the new owner, for jigsaws I always point out the big difference those extra dollars provide every time the tool is used.


Anyway, I also wanted to add that whenever I use a straight edge to serve as a saw guide I try to clamp it down so I don't have to depend on holding it.




For longer guides, 2 clamps work even better.





Posted 2012-07-20T18:02:50+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

Hi Paul and Newf,


OK I bought a decent Jig saw from Ryobi, and I am picking up the lumber tonight after work!  I am really excited to get started.  I know my local Home Depot has some cull 2X8, so I thought I would use that instead, to give a slightly wider back support.  Thank you!

Posted 2012-07-20T21:49:29+0000  by WayneFeller

How exciting WayneFeller.


I can't wait to see the pictures of your project once your done. Please post them so all of us can see what a great job you did. I'm sure Paul would love to see his plans come to life.


The 2 x 8 will work great. I think it will be more comfortable with a wider back. Plus you get to save some money. More comfortable and save money. That's a win / win situation. Now you'll have some money left over for a nice cold lemonade to enjoy while you sit and relax on your nice newly self build chair.


Be safe and enjoy your weekend project.


I look forward to your updates.



Posted 2012-07-20T22:03:40+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

Hi all,


OK, I am almost done, but I have a question about finishing it.  I want to use an old-school process to finish, and was thinking of using either linseed oil, or tung oil.  Linseed is cheaper, and I am very familiar with applying it, but this chair is going to be outside.  Any suggestions or experience to share about tung oil?  Also, any other funky finish suggestions?


Mille Grazie,



Posted 2012-08-02T21:33:19+0000  by WayneFeller
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