Harriet Outdoor Dining Chair for Small Modern Spaces

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 04/28/2011 - 10:50
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About Project

A modern style outdoor dining chair that is both easy and inexpensive to build. Works with the Harriet Outdoor Table to create an inexpensive solid wood dining set. Features slatted seat and back, additional base supports.

Yesterday, it was plans for the no excuses solid wood outdoor dining table for small spaces. Today, the matching chair.

And it's just as easy to build, just as sturdy and solid, and just as fresh and modern looking.  (excuse our deck - we are still waking up to frost)
This chair is actually a modification of one of my absolute favorite chair plans - The Harriet Chair.  I love this design particularly because it's such a sturdy simple chair, so easy and inexpensive to build.  
But I think with this set, I'm most fond of the finish.  I took the time to fill every single imperfection/hole with wood filler and sanded sanded sanded.  Then it was primer (we used a sprayer) and high gloss enamel in Ultra Pure White by Valspar. Can you believe that these boards are furring strips?  That those wood slats are 1x3s on sale for $1.48 a stick?  
Of course, if you are looking for a non painted finish, you should consider cedar or other weather resistant wood (wouldn't that be beautiful, aged silver cedar).  And whatever you decide, make sure you properly seal the wood with an outdoor topcoat. 
Designed to work with the Harriet Outdoor Table


Shopping List

2 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
2 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long (you may be able to get away with one, but it's a good idea to buy a little extra to account for the saw blade and give you flexibility to cut around cracks, knots, or other imperfections)

Common Materials
2 inch screws
2 1/2 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

2 - 2x2 @ 17 7/8" (Back Legs - both ends cut at 15 degrees off square, parallel to each other)
2 - 2x2 @ 13 7/16" (Side Aprons - one end cut at 15 degrees off square, longest point measurement)
2 - 2x2 @ 17 1/4" (Front Legs)
1 - 2x2 @ 13" (Front Apron)
8 - 1x3 @ 16" (Seat Slats)
2 - 2x2 @ 15 5/8" (One end cut at 15 degrees off square, longest point measurement given)
2 - 2x2 @ 20 1/2" (Back Rest)
1- 2x2 @ 10" (Back Base Support)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Before we get into the actual plan details, let's talk about joinery. I have decided to add pocket holes to diagrams for those of you who use a Kreg Jig, but that does not mean that you have to use pocket holes. If you do use pocket holes for this project, set your Kreg Jig for 1 1/2" stock and use 2 1/2" pocket hole screws. I find it hard to add more than 1 pocket hole on a 2x2 - certainly not impossible, but I find wood starts to split out and such - but you need to make up for the lone screw with lots of glue.

If you are using traditional screws, countersink from the outsides carefully with a countersink bit and use 2 1/2" or 3" screws. Then general rule is to use the longest screw possible without poking through. Again, use glue. 
 For the first step, you will need to build two as shown above.

Step 2

Then attach the two legs to the center as shown in the diagram.

Step 3

Now the slats. My trick is to use a piece of 1/4" scrap plywood as a spacer as I screw down the slats. By screwing from underneath, you will not have to worry about holes in your seat.

Step 4

In the original Harriet Chair Plan, we put the supports in first. But I found this left little room for my drill - not a problem for the original Harriet Chair with the solid seat, but with the slatted seat, you need considerably more screws, so I choose to add the support after the slats. Measure carefully and attach in place.

Step 5

Step 6

And add the back slats. The overhang should be 1 1/2" on each end, 1 1/4" to the top. Leave 1/4" gap between the slats. There is no reason why you could not add additional slats if you wanted - I really considered three back slats.

Step 7

And the fun part. Attach the back to the seat.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.