Porch Deck and Patio

Porch, Deck + Patio

Outdoor Projects

DIY Side By Side Patio Chairs

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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 191 Projects

You can share a view, some shade, and a table for snacks and a beverage with a friend when you’ve got this side-by-side patio chair in your backyard. You might recognize the design, as it was inspired by the side-by-side chairs that were often included in the ubiquitous redwood patio sets popular in the ’50s and ’60s. Those sets typically included a lounge chair, some small tables, a patio table with an umbrella holder, and a side-by-side table and chair similar to the one shown here.

You’ll find that these seats are most comfortable when they’re appointed with cushions, but they’re still easy to enjoy when left bare. And just about any patio table umbrella can be used with this set—simply size the umbrella post hole to fit. The optional umbrella should also be secured in a weighted base that is placed under the table. 

Even a beginner can build this side-by-side chair in a day using less than $100 in materials. It’s easiest to build if you have a table saw, miter saw, jigsaw, and router. If you don’t have a table saw, then you can use a circular saw to rip the 2 x 4 frame pieces down to 3" widths. The purpose for these parts being 3" wide is to give the set a more refined appearance, but you can simplify the design and avoid rip cuts by using full width 2 x 4s. If you choose to use full-width 2 x 4s, then you must move the front rail notch up 1⁄2" and the seats will end up being a 1⁄2" higher.

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How to Build Side-By-Side Patio Chairs

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    Set the miter saw table to 14° (orient the blade to the right side of the 90° mark). Position each back leg so the notch is facing away from the saw fence and trim off the right end of the back leg. Make a parallel 14° miter cut on the other end.

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    The seat supports should be attached to the front rail using exterior wood glue and 2 1⁄2" deck screws.

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    The front rails should be attached to the front legs and the back rails are attached to the back legs. Use exterior wood glue and 2 1/2" deck screws.

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    Temporarily clamp the parts together in the correct orientation and then drive 2 1/2" screws through the inside faces of the arm supports and seat supports to attach them to the legs. 

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    Attach the back supports to the arm supports using 2 1/2" deck screws. Make sure all screw heads are recessed slightly.

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    Set the stop-block attachment on your power miter saw or stand for the correct length. Measure the first slat to make sure the length is correct.


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    Use 16d nails as spacers for a 1/8" gap. If you’re using a cordless drill/driver with adjustable torque, set the clutch at a very low setting to prevent overdriving the screws. Drive two 2" screws through each end of the slat and into the back support. Use framing nails or scraps of wood as spacers between the slats.

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    Here, the 1 1/2"-dia. posthole is located 8 3/4" from the back edge of the tabletop (on center) and is centered across the middle plank. A 1 1/2"-dia. hole saw chucked into your drill is the best tool for making the pole hole.

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