Finished Deckchair Looking Out To Sea How To'sHow To's section icon
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Making your own deckchair is a great DIY project. Here are instructions for a standard sized adult deckchair.

What you'll need

Wokring Drawing
How To'sHow To's section icon

Step 1

Cut each piece to length using table saw as per drawings. Each piece should be 20mm thick

Cut each piece to length

Step 2

Mark out holes with marking gauge to accept 20mm dowels as per drawing; use bradawl to mark centre

Step 3

On a pillar drill set depth to 10mm (half depth of timber). Use a 20mm forstner bit to drill all holes

Use a 20mm forstner bit to drill all holes

Step 4

Mark out 6mm holes as per drawing

Mark out 6mm holes

Step 5

First use a 12mm forstner bit and countersink marked holes with a pillar drill to the depth of the shoulder of bit

Use a 12mm forstner bit and countersink marked holes

Step 6

Replace forstner bit with 6mm bit and drill through

Drill through with 6mm drill bit

Step 7

Using a router and router table run all pieces through beading cutter to soften edges

Step 8

Take the two medium lengths and mark out reclining slots. Three slots at 110mm, 210mm and 310mm intervals from end

Mark out reclining slots

Step 9

Using the 20mm forstner bit drill the beginnings of the slots

Drill the beginning of the slots

Step 10

Using a protractor set at 15° mark out the remaining parts of the slots

Mark out the remaining parts of the slots

Step 11

Cut out the rest of the slots using a bandsaw

Step 12

Sand back all rough edges of the slot; a bobbin sander makes this very easy

Sand back any rough edges

Step 13

Cut dowels at 2 x 450mm, 2 x 490mm and 1 x 525mm. Then finish all parts with an outdoor finishing oil

Oil parts with finishing oil

Step 14

Dry fit together making sure all parts fit correctly

Dry fit the frame together

Step 15

Assemble deckchair frame, glue the two frames and clamp together

Step 16

Using the dowel, stainless steel nuts, bolts and washers, assemble the frames together

Assemble the frame

Step 17

Lay deckchair frame flat on a workbench and cut fabric to length

Cut the fabric to length

Step 18

Using upholstery tacks attach fabric to frame

Finished deckchair


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TomOz Burnsσσσσσ....!!!!!!copesdesignIan Mantripp Recent comment authors
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Rod Goodman
Rod Goodman

Dimensions on the long pieces of timber do not appear to add up. Overall length is shown as 1160 yet dimensions between holes also add up to 1160.
Timber is shown as 50 wide but cannot see what thickness. Assume it’s 25 mm.
Step 3 says set DEPTH to 25 mm. Shouldn’t that be position from edge or simply central.


Hi Rod, excellent spot on all three points! The drawing has been updated and now shows the correct dimensions between holes. A simple line in the wrong place, but it could have caused a few issues when building! I made all parts 20mm thick and I’ve added this information to step 1. Step 3 now reads; DEPTH to 10mm. Thanks for taking the time to highlight the errors, I hope you enjoy the project and our new blog site!

Ian Mantripp
Ian Mantripp

Thank you for this… now it would be really nice to have the same project using only hand tools 🙂


Hi Ian, I agree! It certainly would be possible to make this project using mainly hand tools. However, machines certainly make life easier!

Ian Mantripp
Ian Mantripp

hello Tom. Yes machines make life easier. But the list of machines required to complete this project is already quite formidable and costly. Also, in my opinion, ease is not synonymous to fun 🙂
I like this project and will certainly be making one or two with my hand tools.


Hi Ian, you’re right, using hand tools can be far more satisfying and fun! Let me know how it goes and good luck!


I would love to make this deckchair, but before I start I can see that the width of the wood is about 2″ wide but how thick is it?
I cannot see it.


Hi William, great news you’re wanting to make the deckchair. The thickness of all pieces is 20mm, I’ve added this information into step 1 which should update soon. Any other questions let me know, it would be great to see your deckchair when finished!


Thanks for this. Any chance of future projects to build a wood store using hand held power tools?


Hi Tony, that’s a good idea. I’ll see what what I can come up with!

Jan M
Jan M

Hi Tom,
great project, I’m looking forward to realise it!
I’ve some difficulties to acquire the pieces with the given cross section of 50x20mm, especially the longest. I thought I might use beech plywood 18 mm in thickness instead and cut it to size. Could You please give your opinion on such an alternative?
In the Material list you give “Standard Size Deckchair Fabric” and in Step 17: ” …and cut fabric to length”. Which length / what is the “standard size” of Deckchair Fabric?


Hi Jan, the exact size of the pieces is not essential, although I wouldn’t go much less than 20mm in thickness as the strength of the chair will be compromised. You could definitely go thicker though. Working with beech or other hardwoods such as hornbeam are traditional woods used and I wouldn’t deviate too far from them. I got the the deckchair fabric from here and their standard sized deckchair fabric measures 1530mm by 430mm (mine measured this). There is extra length for fixing the material to the frame, I found there was too much length, so I cut it to the desired length. I hope this has helped and good luck with the project!


Hi Tom, Struggling a little bit with finding beech in the right dimensions where i live.

Would Oak or Sapele be suitable, i think i’ve got some Ash knocking about as well?


Hi Copesdesign, we’ve added the products to the bottom of the article.


Hi copesdesign, yes any of those will be fine, obviously make sure you put a suitable outdoor finish on afterwards.


Thanks for sharing

Oz Burns
Oz Burns

Great step-by-step blog. If you wanted to scale this up in size, is it as simple as for example. x3 the measurements? Is there anything I need to look out for? Thanks for your help. Rach


Hi Rach,

Yes, it is simple as that in most cases. I would suggest you strengthen the doweling pieces considerably though, as they will flex quite a bit the wider you make the frame.
Let me know if you have any questions through construction and good luck!

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