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xy mosian

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Chisel can be difficult - if you press too hard you can get a break out.
I just use DT saw held clear of the surface by as little as possible, then a couple of strokes with a sharp fine set block plane. Dowels and tenons the same.
I can see that Jacob, to be avoided if posisible of course.
I use a sliding cut, side to side, with gradual movement forwards. The, bevel edge, chisel which is most often to hand is my 3/4", about 19mm to youngsters, I find that works well. With a block plane the cutting edge protrudes from the reference surface, sole of the plane, whereas with a chisel, used bevel up, the edge is part of the reference surface. No marking of the surrounding surface. That last bit you know of course but others may not have twigged it.
Each to their own favourite method of course.
xy
 

Brill88

Tom Brill general woodworker and woodsman
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Sorry, bit of a rant at myself.

So I needed some cheap chairs for the garden, spent a while searching google and came across a lot of “2x4 make great cheap chairs/benches)
Thought great, 2x4 are cheap cough, and jumped in with both feet, only got a small car so ordered it from Wickes,
Wood didn’t look too bad when it arrived, let it sit for a few weeks in the garage.
Cut the wood using my mitre saw, made sure of angles and length.
Spent days trying to plane it smooth as it’s cheap 2x4, they are rough.
Where I could, I clamped up blocks to make jigs for holding wood while I glued/screwed/lined up the bits.
I knew things were as straight as I can get this.
Put it all together and I am gutted by the final build. Looks exactly like the build document except mine looks thicker. I double check for the fifth time that the plan is for 2x4 and and I haven’t messed up.
Really wish I never bothered with this now.
For a first time piece it’s rubbish, for a chair that will never be stolen it’s brilliant. Now while I am unhappy with how it came out, there are some little wins, like the fact I was able to do this in a space that was maybe 3ft larger than the finished chair (spent a lot of time squeezing past things and standing on lengths of wood)
I finally got a sharp blade on my plane and chisels.
My plan to fill all screw holes with dowels worked (need to practise cutting them smooth as my flat cutting saw would occasionally catch the surrounding wood)
I still need to work out wood grain...
And get my measuring tape checked as it’s not flat.

Does anyone have any simple plans for garden chairs? Say 2x1 wood.
Cheers
With many things I’ve made over the years and especially wood turning well let’s just say there was some well crafted fire wood at the ready so don’t beat yourself up
 

HOJ

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for a chair that will never be stolen it’s brilliant.
10 out 10 for your efforts, A pub I "used" to use had all their garden chairs and tables made just like this, didn't need bolting down.

May be a market for them!
 

KT -andy

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That looks fine , a coat of stain and it'll look different again .
Don't be to hard on yourself , when I make stuff all I can see is the bits I'm not happy with but look again after a week of so and all's good . Some times I'm might even think I've done a good job !
 

TominDales

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Its ok, well made and seem to work.
All wood work is a learning experience, you will have learnt a lot. Making mistakes is part of the learning process. Design is the hardest part of any project. I find I need to re-draw the project for myself and all the joints, its takes time, but I make more mistakes on paper than in wood that way, Its usually the design I have the biggest issues with. Having said that your chair looks functional and well made. Chairs are one of the hardest things to make so you have started ambitious.

There is quite a bit you can do. Firstly as as Inspector said, check if its comfortable, if it is then its your chair. If not, then refine to get the comfort ok.

There are a couple of things you can do to make it more elegant. Most chairs have tapered legs, you can take the inside leg down by 1/2 inch or so.
As someone has said the side rails could be made thinner, if not glued then reduce the thickness. Same with the back, if that is unsightly.

I would hesitate before painting it, as paint doesn't always wear that well outside. A good stain or colored stain may be more practical.

This is the first chair, so you don't have to continue this way.
Key thing is not to be put off. The famous motto of the several highly successful entrepreneurs is: Its doesn't matter if you try and fail and try again, these are practice shots. It does matter if try and fail and fail to try again.

Good luck with your next project.
 

Jake

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Similar thing posh version here made from standard pallet boards (of the era) Gerrit Rietveld Cassina crate chair Friso Kramer Alvar | Etsy
Enzo Mari took it a bit further in Autoprogettazione. I don't know if you've read it but I think you would like it, Jacob. Massive socialist maybe communist. The book/long pamphlet is kind of a mix-up between a brilliant designer democratising cheap furniture in a this is what you can diy with no real crafts with basic pine timber, and a heavy overlayer of sarcasm about the results of not having skilled craftspeople to produce things - but the results are really pretty interesting in a Reitveld-like vein.

Anyway it has chair and table (and many other things) designs for exactly this situation.
 

Oraclebhoy

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The important question to ask is "Is it comfortable to sit on?". If it is then you can decide if you want to do anything to address the looks. If it isn't can the uncomfortable bits be corrected. The edges can be eased, rounded over with a plane and/or sandpaper. Since you have a lot of meat the seat, back and inside top of the arms can be scooped a little to fit ones body. You can use hand tools like inshaves, spokeshaves, or angle grinder with coarse sanding discs followed by hand sanding. The looks can be sweetened as mentioned by bevels on the ends of the 2x4s and paint it. Even turn your kid loose on it with a bunch of colours. Then use it until you have found nicer chairs Adirondack/Muskoka for instance, to build. Then if you live in the right area, put it in a fire pit if it hasn't grown on you. Sit around it in your new chairs and roast marshmallows as you send it off to the heavens. Or you can put a for sale sign on it, with a few plants in pots, labeled garden plant stand. It'll be sold in a day.

Pete
Apart from the small room at the back, it is actually not too bad to sit on.
 

Chunkytfg

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If you are going to have another go then using smaller timber would be a good idea.

I've not seen it anywhere except wickes but they do 35x68mm CLS timber which I use for making certain bits of my Wheelie bin stores but being half te size of standard 4x2 would probably make a nice chair.
 

TominDales

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Agree with Chunkytfg, about thinner wood.
I find 3 by 2 quite good general use size for things around the shed/garden/garage, and if you have a TS or band saw can be ripped down to 1.5 by 2. Do have a look at other designs on the web/youtube there is a lot out there. Your original design has a lot of cross wood, which gives strength, so you can get away with a less wood mass and still have a strong chair.

One thing that stands out in your photo is the side stretchers. The lower one could look much nicer if it was morticed in to the legs. Its a good joint to learn, it does need to be done quite accurately as the joint lines are visible, but it would be another skill to acquire. Lots of advice on how to lay them out etc on the net, usually 1/3 is simplest width sizing. Tenons can be sawn by hand. Mortice can be hard work for a newbie, but good result. Probably best not to do a through tenon so that the joint does not show at the front.
The upper stretcher would not work as M&T as it would change your seat design (need longer seat rails), but if the stretcher was thinner, you could hide it behind a front rail (called an apron on a chair), again it would not look too thick if the seat rails were of thinner material.
Good luck. If you make these new chairs out of thinner wood but keep to the same design idea, they will still look like a set (if that is important to you), just the first one is the head chair for the most important person.:). One way to save time later on would be to make a sofa or wider chair, but you will need to be happy with the design by then.
 

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