How to Build a Plank Chair


This design for a plank chair dates back to the medieval period and is used in renaissance fairs and with medieval re-enactment groups. A plank chair is a simple chair great for camping or outdoor activities. Read on to learn how to build a plank chair.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 11-by-1-3/4 inches by 7 foot long piece of wood
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Sealant
  • Paint brush
  • Buy or find the wood. The wood you use must not be pressure treated.

  • Cut one piece of wood to 51 inches in length and the other piece to 41 inches in length.

  • Measure 15 inches from the end of the 51-inch board and mark a line. Measure 2 inches in from each side of the board at the marked line. Cut down the 2-inch line. At this point, the board needs to resemble the letter "T."

  • Draw a 45-degree angle on the bottom edge of the narrow part of the board. Trim the board at the angle line to make it fit correctly.

  • Cut a hole into the 40-inch board 15 1/4 inches from the bottom that is big enough for the tapered board to fit. The hole must be centered between the sides of the board. Hold the tapered end up to the 15 1/4 inch mark on the board. Trace the tapered board onto the 40-inch board. Drill the hole.

  • Slide the tapered board into the hole and test it out. The end of the tapered board may need to be angled to set it correctly. If this is necessary, take the board out and angle the end slightly until the chair feels sturdy.

  • Paint the sealant over the wood to prevent warping from water and sun damage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Paint or decorate your plank chair in any style. Another option is to cover and cushion the seat of the chair.
  • Change the lengths of the board to meet your needs.

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