plank chair design

How many pieces do you really need to make a chair? And how much hardware is required, too, for that matter? Perhaps not as much as you might think.

plank chair wood

This project on Instructables by Jesse Hensel shows how very simple the process can be if your tools are few and your needs straightforward – two cuts on one board and one cutout on the other and you have a seat that sitting in makes even more sturdy.

plank chair cutout

The one part that could perhaps be simplified even further is the slot required in the vertical board – cutting in from the side would be easiest, and if done right may be just as stable, too.

This kind of design is often referred to as a “viking chair,” perhaps erroneously, since most surviving Viking chair designs are actually quite a bit more ornate than two pieces of wood slotted together. But there was a type of chair known as a “stargazer chair” that’s almost identical to this particular DIY project.

Stargazer viking plank chair

The above example by Muddy Duck Workshop on Etsy is just a bit more refined than Jesse’s version, providing an example of what you could achieve with just a little bit more effort. Of course, some might argue that that defeats the purpose.

Here’s how the maker describes it:

“The design of this chair has been invented, reinvented, passed down through generations and generally comes out the end as what it is. It’s two pieces of wood that fit together, you can sit on it.”

“I burn the crap out of it, (that makes it look all historical and whatnot) which repels insects. Well, if there’s nothing else to eat, then it doesn’t. If this is your only chair and the wood eating insects around you have no other option, then they will eat burnt stuff. Which means if you’re in a desert and you have only this chair with you, it might be eaten by insects. Yakisugi is the Japanese name for it. I oil it to make it even more waterproof(ish).”