Seat of a child’s Chair

Here is what we are trying to make.

Finished Oak Child's Chair

Finished Oak Child

This is a three part post on making a solid wood child’s chair.  The parts are:

  1. Making a Solid Wood Chair For Children: Cut list
  2. Seat of a Child’s Chair. (This post)
  3. Putting it all together: A Child’s Chair

Here we are going to talk about making a seat for a child’s chair. To keep things simple, I am showing a drawing of the seat I made.

Seat of Child's Chair, Google Sketch

Seat of Child

Compare this to what I drew on the piece of wood that I made the seat out of.

Picture of the outline of the seat, on wood

Picture of the outline of the seat, on wood

To draw the curve that makes the front of the seat, I used a 22 inch piece of string. The circle went 1 1/2 inches beyond the front line of the chair, resulting in an overall length of 13″. I held the string down with my thumb the 22″-13″=9″ inches beyond the back of the chair piece on a scrap of wood. I drew the arc across the front and drew in the front corners a little softer, as shown in figure 2.Please give me comments if any of this is not clear.

Making the Cuts

In order to make things as easy as possible, I cut the notches out of the back for the rear legs first. This was because I had a square edge on both sides to work with. I just used a table saw with the piece on end and the say raised to the right height. If you are not sure about the height, go with a smaller cut and finish it with a handsaw.

Next, you make the angled cuts on the side of the chair. I used a miter saw, adjusting the angle until I as aligned properly. Remember, it is easy to take off a bit more wood. Replacing removed wood is tough. You can use a circular saw also, or even a jigsaw. Just clamp it down and follow the line, leaving yourself a little to sand

Last of all I used a jigsaw to cut around the front. I smoothed and evened this edge with a sander after I was done.

The Indention and Finishing

If you look on the internet, you can find some neat jigs that use a router to carve out the indention for the bum. I went with a simpler route. After placing the chair on a bench and having my 4 year old sit on it, I traced around his bum. I went out to the shop and went to work with the sander with very coarse sandpaper. I used scrapers to also clean it out. When it looked to be about the right shape, I moved to finer sandpaper and got it relatively smooth. Be sure and save the final sanding for after you smooth the edges of the seat.

Routers with a round over bit are the choice to give the edge of the chair a nice feel. Just go around the whole perimeter of the top with a 3/8″ round over bit, with the exception of the slots where the rear legs of the chair go. Lower the router bit so you are taking off a lot less material (about 3/16″) and go around the bottom. Use some fine grit sandpaper and give it one final go over and it is ready.


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