How to Build a Wood Slat Chair

What You'll Need
1x4-inch Cedar Boards
Galvanized Wood Screws
Philips Screw Bit
Circular Saw
Tape Measure
Straight Edge Router Bit
Water Sealer

Make your own attractive wood slat chair to display on the front porch or to relax in after a hard day at work. This type of chair is a sort of Adirondack chair that has wooden slats that go vertically along the seat and the back of the chair. The back of the seat is slightly lower than the front, and the arms are wide and at the perfect height for resting tired arms. Building a wood slat chair is an easy process that can be a great woodworking project for any level DIY homeowner. 

Step 1: Choose the Right Boards

When you purchase the cedar planks for your wood slat chair, you want to make sure to get good planks that are not full of knots and holes. The flatter the better. Ask the home center to run them through a jointer to even up the edges. 

Step 2: Cut Legs for Chair

You will need to cut 2 of the cedar planks to height of 21 inches. These will serve as the front legs. For the back legs, cut two more lengths of cedar to 36 inches high. 

Step 3: Cut Sides of Chair

Now that the legs are ready, you can cut out the sides that will attach to the legs and form the frame for the seat. You will need to have two lengths that are 30 inches long for the sides and two planks that are 16 inches long for the front and back. 

Step 4: Cut Notch in Legs

In order to give the wood slat chair some strength in the frame, you will need to cut some notches on the legs in order to form a good joint for securing the sides. Make a mark at the 8 inch mark on the front legs and the 6 inch mark on the back legs. Cut a ½-inch groove into the face of the planks that is the width of width of the side planks. Remember, they need to be angled as the sides will drop from front to back. 

Step 5: Attach Sides and Back

Once the notches are cut into the cedar planks, you can then attach them to the legs. Use some wood glue and spread it over the surface of the notches and lay the side planks on it. Screw them to each of the legs with wood screws. Stand up the legs and attach the front across and join them to the side planks. Do the same with the back. 

Step 6: Build Top of Chair

With one more piece of cedar planking, cut it to fit the top of the rear legs. This will be the nailing point for the vertical slats. 

Step 7: Assemble Rear and Seat Slats

Start in the middle of the chair and measure the distance from front to back. Cut a plank to fit and screw in the center of the chair. Do the same with the back section. Fill in the remainder of the slats, working out from the center, until you have a full seat and back. Remember to keep a 1/8-inch gap between the planks. 

Step 8: Sand and Seal

Once the wood slat chair is completed you need to sand it smooth and apply a few coats of water seal to it.