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I have looked at many different deck chairs and glider chairs and always wanted to build a couple. I finally bit the bullet and designed one that I really like. Making them out of clear cedar was very nice but quite expensive in today's wood market.
Since I was concerned with how it would feel and how the balance would be on the hangers I made a prototype. Marilyn and I would sit in it and I would make changes until it felt just right. We wanted our new outdoor furniture to fit us perfectly. I'd suggest that you do the same thing. I just used cheap wood from a big home store. I figured I'd use it as firewood after I was done with it but Marilyn want's me to put it back together, paint it and use it at our camping place so when all is said and done we'll have three gliders, cool!

To begin with I cut, drilled, rounded all the edges and sanded all the pieces before I put it together. Making two chairs at once took up quite a bit of space but in the long run it made it easier.

First I made the base. I cut the bottom pieces from 2" X 6" and all the others from 2" X 4". Here are the dimensions:

Click on the picture for a bigger image.

Once all the base pieces were cut to length I took a little bit off of the edges to square them up.

I used a French curve to layout the bottom of the bases.

I use a little masking tape to mark my start and stop points so that each end will be the same.

Cut out the bottoms using a band saw.

I used a can to layout the radius for the two upper pieces.

Next I made my tenons cutting 1" in from each end and 3/8" deep.

Set up a stop on your miter fence to make each cut accurately.

Cut the cheeks using a tenoning jig

Heavy-Duty Tenoning Jig
Heavy-Duty Tenoning Jig

Cut the cross members with tenons on the ends as shown below.

Cut the mortises 3/4" wide and 1" deep.

I used my big mill-drill with a 3/4" end mill which worked great.

There area many other ways to make a mortise but I like the accuracy of my big old mill.

Square up the corners with a good sharp chisel.

Glue and clamp the top pieces together first.

I like using big old furniture clamps for this to help keep things square and provide good clamping pressure.

Bessey Revo K-Body Clamps
Bessey Revo K-Body Clamps

Drill 1/4" holes for the hangers using a drill press so they are 90 degrees through the piece.

Center the upper pieces to the bottom piece and mark the locations for the mortise holes.

Cut the mortises as before.

Glue and clamp the top piece to the base.

Use the scrap piece that was cut out from the base to support the clamp.

Using a 1/4" roundover bit I radiused all the edges of the base except for the feet.

I used a dowel with sandpaper to roundover the corners.

Now it's time to glue up the base assembly. Lay out all the pieces and clamps so everything is ready to go.

Glue and clamp the two sides to the cross members.

Use a good waterproof glue like Titebond III.

Titebond™ III Ultimate Wood Glue
Titebond™ III Ultimate Wood Glue

Now it's time to start on the seat and back. I took the seat base from my prototype and traced it onto a 2" X 6".

To make the original one I used a French curve to get the shape. After that I made modifications to it until it felt comfortable. It involved a lot of putting together and taking apart.
Here's a picture showing the seat base dimensions and where the legs will go.

Click on the picture for a bigger view.

I used my handy dandy Wixey digital protractor to draw all the angels.

Wixey 8'' Digital Protractor
Wixey 8'' Digital Protractor

I also use it to set up the angles on my miter saw.

I made a simple jig to guide my palm router for cutting the seat back notch.

Click on the picture for a bigger image.

Bosch Colt™ Variable-Speed Palm Router Kit
Bosch Colt™ Variable-Speed Palm Router Kit

Make shallow cut passes until you get to 3/4" deep. Repeat for the other piece.

Chair Modification:

I discovered that four screws do not hold the back as solid as I'd like. I suggest instead of drilling counterbore holes for the back supports that you drill them for either carriage bolts or large lag screws.

Cut and drill the two back supports as shown below. Counterbore and countersink the holes.

Click on the picture for a bigger image.

Draw a radius on the top of each chair. Again I used a paint can for the radius.

Be sure you cut the radius on the front side of the piece, that would be on the longer edge.

Now cut the back leg as shown.

Click on the picture for a bigger image.

The front leg is cut square at 23" long.

Drill a 1/4" hole 3/4" up from the bottom and in the center of each leg. These will be the mounting holes for the hangers.

Next comes the real fun, cutting all the slats. Using 1" cedar, actual size 3/4", I cut 14 pieces for the bottom and 15 for the back. Each piece progressively gets larger as it goes to the back or bottom.

Click on the picture for a bigger image.

Notice that the back has one more 1" piece.

Depending on the type of cedar you purchased one side may be rough. That will be the back side of the seat and back.

Roundover the front edges and ends of all the slats.

You may have noticed in the picture above that I am routing in the wrong direction. It is called an "up cut" and I use that to prevent chip-out on splintery woods like cedar. Set the fence so that you are removing only about 1/3 of the full cut. Then move the fence in another third and make a second pass. Move the fence in again to where the wood just misses the bearing on the router bit. Then make a final pass in the correct direction with the piece against the bearing. Be careful doing this and hang onto the wood because the router bit is going with the wood it has a tendance to pull the wood out of your hand.

Set up a fence with a stop on the drill press. I marked the center of every piece on one end and used that mark to adjust the width of my fence.

The seat holes are 1 11/16" in from the end and the seat backs are 2 3/4" in.
First drill a 3/8" counterbore 3/8" deep using a forstner bit.

22-Piece Forstner Bit Set
22-Piece Forstner Bit Set

Once all the pieces are counterbored drill a countersink hole using a countersink bit with a drill for a #8 screw.

Rockler/Insty-Drive Tapered Drill Bits and Countersinks
Rockler/Insty-Drive Tapered Drill Bits and Countersinks

Now it's time to start putting things together. Assemble the sides of the seat together using glue and #8 - 1 5/8" deck screws.

Space the sides 18" apart.

Be sure to measure the front and back. I also used a square to make sure that the ends aree square to the sides.

Start at the back with the largest slats.

Use a 1/8" spacer between the back and seat slats. Screw them in using #8 - 1 5/8" deck screws.
For the remainder of the slats I used a 15/64" piece of wood for spacing.

I measured in from the end of each board to make sure it is centered and then screwed it in.

Now I measured and marked where my legs were going to go and cut those slats to match.

Assemble the legs to the seat.

The front leg should sit 9 3/4" from the bottom of the seat to the bottom of the leg. Be sure to square the leg before you glue and screw it with #8 - 1 5/8" deck screws. Drill, counterbore and countersink four mounting holes the same way you did the slats.

To install the back legs remove three screws, the two back ones and the upper inside one.

Use a square to align the bottoms of the legs. Glue and screw the back legs on using #8 - 3" deck screws.

Cut out the arm rests from 1" X 6" cedar.

Click on the picture for a bigger image.

Roundover both sides of the arm rests and sand. Do not roundover the notch at the back of the arm rest.

Drill two pocket holes in the top of each leg to attach the arms.

Kreg Jig® K3 Master System with FREE Large Face Clamp! ($29.99 Value!)
Kreg Jig® K3 Master System with FREE Large Face Clamp! ($29.99 Value!)

Now the most fun begins, cutting plugs and then flush cutting them on the chair.

I used my handy dandy 3/8" plug cutter and made over 160 plugs for the two chairs.

3-Pc. Self-Centering Plug Cutter Set
3-Pc. Self-Centering Plug Cutter Set

I cut pieces from a 2" X 6" a little over 1" long and drilled the plugs into the end grain.

After they were all drilled I cut the bottoms off on the band saw.

Apply a small amount of glue to each hole and gently tap the plugs until they stop.

Once the glue is dried use a flush cut saw to carefully cut off the tops of each plug.

Dozuki Dovetail/Flush-Cut Saw
Dozuki Dovetail/Flush-Cut Saw

I bought some cedar plugs for the pocket holes to fill them.

Sand everything and you're ready for a finish, or not. Some people like to apply an oil or stain to cedar and some people like it to take on that silver aged look without any finish. I prefer the stain look and used Penofin Western Red Cedar stain. It's a good protectant and I like the color. I found it at Ace Hardware.

I attached the hangers with 1/4" hardware using a carriage head bolts for the outside legs and round head phillips bolts for the inside base.

The hangers came from Rockler and work quite nicely.

Glider Bracket Hardware
This unique hardware lets you turn virtually any bench into a glider! Measures 7-1/2" between centers with 1-1/4" offset. With rust-resistant plating and ball bearing pivot points. Mounts with common 1/4" dia. bolts (not included). Set of four.

Glider Bracket Hardware

Glider Bracket Hardware

That's about it. We hope you liked this project. If you build it and your friends ask where you got such a clever idea, please tell them that you got it at

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