Kentucky Chair Plans
Outdoor Plans July 8, 2011 WoodworkCity 21
The following chair is called a Kentucky Chair. I have to apologize to all of you Kentucky fans if you reached this page looking for a Kentucky (University of Kentucky) Chair.
This Kentucky chair is a cool design that is relatively simple to build and is a great outdoor chair or beach chair. The chair is lightweight and can fold for carrying and story. Very unique design.
Click on the image for plans to build your own Kentucky chair.
One of our readers completed his own Kentucky chairs from the plans above. Take a look at the great work from Doug, who used 10-24 threaded rod with nylon insert lock nuts to fasten the chairs together. According to Doug, the entire chair can be done with 2 three foot rods.
Thanks Doug! Great work.
AlexFebruary 16, 2020 #1 Author
This design is not from Kentucky. It’s from Guatemala. They’re in widespread use down there and have been for many, many years.
WoodworkCityFebruary 16, 2020 #2 Author
The problem is, if you search Guatemala chair, you won’t find anything. This has become known as a Kentucky chair. Thank you for the insight into the origins of the chair.
DanJuly 12, 2016 #3 Author
Question: I do not have a saw to rip the 2×4. If I bought 1×2 would the vertical 1″ be strong enough?
WoodworkCityJuly 12, 2016 #4 Author
Dan, I wouldn’t trust the weight of a person on a 1×2. Keep in mind that your 1×2 is really 3/4″ thick and would have a dowel rod passing through that would weaken things drastically. Perhaps glue up some of your 1×2’s to make 2×2’s for the primary weight bearing parts?
Doug FoldoeNovember 24, 2016 #5 Author
i would think it would depend on the wood used. the two stained chairs that i made in the picture above were made out of ash which is a harder wood. while I made them more kid size they held me just fine and I weigh 250 pounds, but then with the smaller chairs all the pieces are a little shorter probably causing less stress
GuinDecember 28, 2013 #6 Author
How would I make the chairs taller?
WoodworkCityDecember 30, 2013 #7 Author
This would take a lot of trial and error. Keep in mind, if you raise the height of the seat portion, you will alter the center of gravity and stability of the chair. To account for the height, you would need to extend the base out.
I wish I could just give you a simple answer, but with an item that is so dependent on angles, altering one will require an adjustment with all others.
JennJanuary 16, 2013 #8 Author
is there a way to make this chair taller?
DonaldJanuary 7, 2013 #9 Author
Just finished one ofe these with some minor modification. I used Rope in place of the wire, works great but you do need to know how to tie knots.
adminJanuary 7, 2013 #10 Author
Do you have pictures of your chair(s)? If so, forward them to email@example.com. As far as the knots, that will probably be trial and error. I would suggest you check out a site such as http://www.animatedknots.com/. They have a terrific site that should help you decide what you want to use.
Erik NashSeptember 19, 2012 #11 Author
I am having a hard time picking a wood for this project. I do not have a table saw to rip 2X4s so I am limited to wood that is already similar dimensions. I found and purchased some redwood deck railing material that is about 1.5″X1.5″ but was then told by a friend that the redwood would tend to split when cut and drilled.
He did this project using cedar, but I cannot find that material in correct size???
Any ideas out there?
adminSeptember 19, 2012 #12 Author
Since you are lacking a table saw, you are a bit hamstrung. Have you tried the redwood? The properties of redwood are very similar that of cedar. In fact, I would prefer redwood since it lacks many of the large knots that cedar usually has.
If you have the right dimension in redwood, I would suggest you go ahead and give that a try. You might be surprised at how well it holds up. The strength in a chair like the Kentucky chair is in the number of smaller pieces that make the whole.
MicAugust 15, 2012 #13 Author
I used clothesline wire and threaded the ends with a die, then used the nylon insert lock nuts.
PaiEdlesJune 27, 2012 #14 Author
Hi can you give me the lengths of the wood for cutting? thanks!
Doug FoldoeFebruary 24, 2012 #15 Author
Sorry I dont have a close up picture of the locknut but if you do a search on the 10-24 nylon insert locknut it should show you a good pic of one. As for binding. I have no had no problem with it as long as the holes are a little bigger than the rod and are in line with each other and the rods are flexible enough to bend easily. I have found it easier to do the two wider sections of the chair first while they are straight, then simply snug them up a little, cut off the excess with a hacksaw and then do the top and bottom with the remaining pieces. If the holes are a little off center with each other it might bind a little but you can generally tap the rod through with gentle tapping with a hammer, just make sure you have a nut on the end when you tap as to not damage the threads. I plan to do a few more pretty soon so will try to take some work in progress pics when i do them if that would help.
Dave SnyderFebruary 22, 2012 #16 Author
Did the 10-24 threaded rod bend enough to accommodate the pinching at the front of the seat and the top of the back, as well as the widening at center of the chair? Would it be possible to send me a picture of your chair with a close-up of the nylon insert lock nuts? I am trying to build these with my student’s and the whole cable thing had me puzzled with how to finish off the ends. I was happy to find this post talking about doing a different way.
DougJanuary 25, 2012 #17 Author
I have made quite a few of these chairs and I use 10-24 threaded rod to fasten them together with nylon insert lock nuts. Two 3 foot rods will do the whole thing
adminSeptember 6, 2011 #18 Author
That is a tough one to determine. I would consider checking out some of the cable ends at your local hardware store and possibly at a store like Rockler.com. They might have something that works and gives you a clean look. There are also some nice fasteners (pricey) from the companies that do cable railings for decks. Since you don’t have an entire fence to string, the price might be acceptable to you.
Good luck. Feels free to send us a picture of your completed chair. We’ll add it to this post.
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RobSeptember 5, 2011 #19 Author
I love the chair and have it assembled, but not sure if wire nuts are the way to secure the cables? Is there a better idea? Something that won’t ‘stick out’ and look so unfinished? Help.
BillJune 5, 2012 #20 Author
I use 1/4″ all thread rods with washer and nut. you can take two of the connecting pieces and drill a recess hole and the nuts are hidden almost. makes a professional look.