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Cool Custom Beach Chairs

PLEASE NOTE: This video is just a quick demonstration of how these chairs work, it is not a build video!

See below for many more photos and descriptions, not included in the video.

 

 

Folding nylon camp chairs are everywhere. They're light, inexpensive, and they collapse into a small cylindrical package. They're also flimsy, break very easily, and have poor back support.

In contrast, these wooden chairs are quick to make, light and sturdy. They also nest together for carrying and storage. And of course, they are quite comfortable for lounging on the beach or campground with friends and family.

There are just two components: A back and a seat. You pull out the seat (from when it is nested together) and slide it through the back, which turns what was a flat nested package into a comfortable canvas-backed chair.
Here are two chairs, packed flat for storage or transport, showing the back and front side.

The back fabric is a heavy cotton canvas. It is just a big rectangle, so nothing complex, but you will probably want to finish the edges of the fabric. So you'll either need to find a friend to help you with some (VERY simple) sewing, or tackle it yourself. The fabric is just stapled to the frame.

I used alternating strips of cherry and maple as seat slats. I like the contrasting colours, which is not something you would normally see in a chair, so this adds to the custom flair of the project.

I used maple for the legs, and cherry as some of the crosspieces. Most any sturdy hardwood should work.

I first encountered chairs like this over ten years ago at a campground. I was impressed with how light yet sturdy they were, and of course I was intrigued at the possibility of making my own comfortable beach chairs.

I've also seen these called "Camp Chairs", or "Festival Chairs", or "that neat chair that so-and-so was carrying...". Use them in the backyard, or at the campground...

...but for us, the beach is where they get the most use.
Why not build a couple yourself?


If you think that this project looks a touch familiar, you might be right.

I designed and built this project a few years ago, and wrote an article about it which was published in the Summer 2011 Canadian Home Workshop magazine.

(This magazine has since ceased publication.)

ALSO... I had previously built a set of all-wooden beach chairs back in 2004. (Article Here)

They were gorgeous -- made in many contrasting slats of maple and cherry. I had them for a few years, but they were frankly uncomfortable. We found that the wooden back was too flat, which is why I then worked on this design with a comfortable fabric back. In many ways this is a much more simple design.

 

 

Thanks for reading!