Make your own dining chairs

Make your own dining chairs

For those of you who were unable to attend the DIY Divas Basic Chair workshop, as promised, here are the instructions to make your own dining chair. You will discover that, having made one, the rest will be easy and you can make a complete set of dining chairs for a very affordable price.

You will need:

[2] 1800mm lengths of 44 x 44mm pine (or meranti)

Cut to lengths

[2] of 440mm – front legs (A)

[2] of 700mm – back legs (B)

[2] of 150mm – legs back top (C)

[2] 1800mm lengths of 70mm wide pine (or meranti)

Cut to lengths

[4] of 400mm – front/back/side panels (D)

[7] of 488mm – seat (E)

[1] of 400 x 140mm* pine – back rest (F)

You could also use [2] of 70mm

Ponal wood glue

Wood filler

Tape measure


Pockethole Jig


Drill/driver and assorted drill and screw bits

Countersink bit

8mm dowels and dowel centres

4 x 25mm half-shank cut screws

Orbital sander and 180-grit sanding pads

Mitre box and saw, jigsaw, circular saw or mitre saw

Woodoc 5 or 10 and stain concentrate or gel stain

Woodoc steelwool


Rust-Oleum 2X Painters Touch spray paint (gloss or satin)

Here’s how:


Step 1

1.Cut the top of the back legs (B) and one end of the legs back top (C) at a 10-degree angle to create the slightly slanted back rest. Although I used a mitre saw to cut the angled ends, you can also use a mitre box and saw, jigsaw or circular saw by setting the angle of the blade. Do clamp the wood firmly before cutting.

2.Once again I am using the pockethole jig for this project. It is just the simplest way to join with the least fuss and for the strongest joints.

You need to add pocketholes to both ends of one side of:

(D) Front/Back/Side panels

(F) Back rest

Pockethole Jigs are not expensive and you can pick up a small one for around R500 for the basic jig – definitely well worth the investment.

3.Before you start to assemble, sand everything with an Orbital Sander and 180-grit sanding pads. Chamfer all the edges (slightly round off), particularly around the chair legs.

Step 4

Step 4

4.Start assembling by joining (D) front, back and side panels to the legs. Position the panels to be in line with the front of the legs.


Hold the panel and leg firmly while you drill to avoid any shifting.

5.Use a drill-driver with 8mm wood bit to drill a hole in the centre of the top of back legs.Drill only to half the depth of the total length of the dowel. You can use a strip of masking tape around the drill bit to indicate the depth and where to stop drilling.




Draw a line from corner to corner to determine the centre point. Firmly seat the wood bit before drilling.

6.Pop in a dowel centre and place the bottom of the angle back rest over the top of the leg, being sure that it is properly aligned, and press down hard. The dowel centre will leave a mark to indicate where to drill a corresponding hole for the dowel. Drill out the hole to the same depth. Dry fit to ensure a nice tight join.

7.Squeeze a small amount of wood glue into both holes that you have drilled (one in the leg and one in the backrest), insert the dowel into the top of the back leg. Line up the back rest so that the dowel holes sit over the dowels and gently push down. Use a cloth to remove any excess glue.


Step 8

8.The first slat on the seat needs to be cut to fit snugly around the two back legs. Place the board against the legs and use a pencil to mark the cutting area.Use a jigsaw to cut out. Lightly sand for a smooth finish.

9. Place all the seat panels on top of the chair frame and use a countersink bit to drill two holes at both ends.You are using cut screws, so there is no need for a pilot hole!

Screw all the seat panels to the frame.

Sand the edges for a smooth, uniform finish with the chair frame.

Wipe clean.


Finishing off

Finishing off

You can stain and seal or paint your chair depending on your personal preference. Use Woodoc Gel Stain, or Woodoc 5 or 10 with added stain concentrate, to stain and seal the chair.

If you are using Gel Stain, you will need to finish off with Woodoc 5 or 10 – clear. Apply the first coat and let dry. Wipe down the chair with Woodoc steelwool and apply two more coats, allowing drying time between coats.

To spray, place the chair in a well ventilated area and lightly spray on two coats of Rust-Oleum 2X, allowing drying time between coats.

Don’t forget to visit and Home-Dzine Online for even more DIY projects and do-it-yourself!


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