Update Your Patio with This DIY Pipe Chair
Industrial style has been incorporated into almost every room of the house, such as with DIY pipe curtain rods and steel kitchen stools. All that's left is the patio! To fill this void, we made a DIY lounge chair with cedar boards and steel pipes. The finished project is a cozy seat with industrial flair. See how you can make it yourself by following our steps below. Custom furniture is easier than you might think, so give it a try!
What You Need
- (2) 8' cedar decking boards (See Cut List below)
- 1" x 3" x 8' cedar board (See Cut List below)
- Circular saw
- Measuring tape
- Reciprocating saw
- 2" x 2" x 3' steel angle
- 1/8" or 3/16" drill bit
- Wood glue
- Exterior 1-1/2" pan head screws
- Bonding primer
- Spray paint
- (16) 3/4" stainless-steel screws
- Exterior semitransparent deck stain, optional
- (3) 18" pipes
- (7) 24" pipes
- (8) 90-degree angle connectors
- (4) T connectors
- (16) 1-1/2" stainless-steel screws
- (4) 23" cedar decking boards
- (4) 22" cedar decking boards
- (2) 9-3/4" x 2-1/4" cedar boards
Step 1: Cut Cedar and Steel
Using a circular saw, cut all cedar boards to length. You will need four 23-inch pieces and four 22-inch pieces of cedar decking, as well as two 9-3/4 x 2-1/4- inch boards. Sand all of the faces and edges until smooth. Using a reciprocating saw and a new blade, cut the steel angle to 21-3/4 inches long. Many home stores will cut this material for you if you don't have the proper tools.
Step 2: Drill Angle
With either a 1/8-inch or 3/16-inch bit, drill holes along each long edge of the steel angle inset about 3/4 inch. Starting at one end, drill holes at 1/2 inch, 4-3/4 inches, 5-3/4 inches, 10 inches, 11-3/8 inches, 15-5/8 inches, 16-3/4 inches, and 21-1/8 inches.
Step 3: Create a Butt Joint
Lay one of the 23-inch boards on your work surface and vertically butt one of the 22-inch boards on the end to create a right angle. Drill a pilot hole 1 inch from the outside edge of the 22-inch board. Place a bead of glue along the joint, and screw the two boards together with exterior 1-1/2 inch pan head screws. Repeat with remaining three sets of cedar decking boards.
Step 4: Prime and Paint
Prime and paint the steel angle with bonding primer and spray paint. Apply the same treatment to heads of the 3/4-inch stainless steel screws. Even if you don't plan to paint the rest of the structure, make sure to follow this step to prevent rust.
Editor's Tip: If you are planning on staining the wooden seat of your chair, now is the time to do it. We recommend an exterior semitransparent cedar-tone deck stain.
Step 5: Fit Angled Pieces
Once the paint and stain is dry, fit the outside of one of the right-angle boards into the corner of the steel angle. Attach with the painted screws. Repeat across the steel angle with the rest of the right-angle pieces. Once you've finished, flip over and screw the other side of the steel angle into the boards.
Step 6: Attach Small Boards
Measure 8-3/4 inches from the top of the chair back formed by the 23-inch boards. Attach the 9-3/4 x 2-3/8-inch boards perpendicular to the 23-inch boards. Each should be inset from the outside edge by 1/4 inch. Attach with 1-1/4 inch exterior pan head screws. There should be about 2 inches between the two small boards to account for a T connector that will rest between them. Set this section aside.
Step 7: Assemble Pipe Frame
Begin assembling the pipe structure. Feed a T connector onto two of the 18-inch pipes, and tighten them 7 inches from one end. Then attach a 24-inch pipe in between the 18-inch pieces. This will create an "H" shape that will become the front of the chair. Attach a 90-degree connector on each of the four open ends of the "H."
Editor's Tip: Be sure to keep the sides of the connectors that have the tightening mechanisms to the inside or underside of the build to keep it looking consistent. Tighten the connectors with an Allen wrench throughout the project.
Step 8: Create Arms and Base
Attach four 24-inch lengths of pipe to the open ends of the 90-degree connectors, running them perpendicular to the cross bar of the "H". The top two 24-inch lengths will be the chair arms, and the bottom two will create part of the base. Attach four 90-degree connectors on the four exposed ends of the 24-inch arm and base pipes.
Step 9: Assemble an I Shape
Slide a T connector onto a 24-inch pipe and center it. Repeat with a second 24-inch pipe and T connector. Using an 18-inch pipe, attach the two 24-inch pipes at the T connectors to create an "I" shape.
Step 10: Attach Seat Frame
Attach each open end of the "I" pipe pieces to the open 90-degree connectors on the structure. This will form the back frame of the chair. Check the entire assembly so it's square and tighten the screws.
Step 11: Paint Pipes (optional)
If you wish to paint your pipe base, now is the time. Use a bonding primer and exterior spray paint to paint the base and the sixteen 1-1/2-inch stainless-steel screws.
Step 12: Align Frame and Chair Seat
Once the frame is dry, fit the wooden seat into the frame. To do so, line up the 9-3/4 inch chair back braces with the upper horizontal pipe on the back of the frame. The boards should fit between your connecting pipe pieces. Then have a helper assist you to temporarily support the wooden unit with items you have on hand so you can align it perfectly before securing.
Use a marker to evenly space and mark where holes will be drilled through the top pipe to secure the back of the frame to the wooden seat. Do the same thing under the front cross bar of the frame where the seat rests.
Step 13: Drill Pilot Holes and Secure Seat
Once all hole locations are marked, remove the wooden seat and drill the holes through the pipe using a 1/8-inch or 3/16-inch bit. Do so both on the back of the pipe frame and through the front pipe where the front of the wood seat will rest. After the holes have been drilled in the pipe frame, place the wooden seat back into position and screw it in place.