Ok here’s the third part of my deck overhaul. Hope you aren’t bored yet, because this isn’t even the last part. So whats up this time? MORE SEATING. Except these seats will also transform into comfortable loungers for those times when I don’t have 30 people over and I don’t need a ton of seating. For when I’m out on my deck alone and enjoying the sun. Or maybe when I have one other person with me, because I built two of them.
Here’s a closer look. It’s a simple design but it works well and feels very sturdy. Should hold up well to the Canadian winters that are the bane of all deck furniture. My last set of Ikea furniture was done after just 1 winter outside.
Here are all the materials I used for this built. In total it cost me $125 CAD. Keep in mind, I made two loungers, but this is the material list for just 1 lounger. I assume most people wont want to do two like me.
The complete list is:
9 – 5/4” x 6” x 10’s
7 – 2” x 4” x 8’s
2 – 3 /12″ 3/8 galvanized steel carriage bolts
2 – 3/8 Galvanized nuts
4 – 1/2 Galvanized washers
1 – Pair of garden gate hinges
I wanted to use as few materials as possible. So shopping for this project was dead easy, in and out of home depot in 15 minutes.
Before I started building it I did all of my cuts at once. I like doing it this way because it helps me keep my work area clean and organized.
First I assembled 2 of these frames that will form the ends of my chaise lounge. Each one is made of 4 15″ pieces of 2×4. Anyone familiar with a krieg jig should understand how I screwed these together. I used 3″ screws and screwed them in on a 45 degree angle. I didn’t actually use a krieg jig, I just free handed it, but the idea and the connection is the same.
Next I attached the long 77 1/2″ long 2x4s to the frames. This combinations forms the underlying structure of the lounger.
Now it’s time to stiffen up the frame and make things a little stronger. I added a cross brace 2×4 that’s 19″ long. This brace is exactly in the middle of the frame.
Again I want to keep this thing pretty rigid so I added another set of legs in the middle of the frame right below the cross brace I just put in. These 2×4 legs are 11 1/2″ long.
Here I’m adding 38″ 2x4s between each set of legs. Again this will make everything stronger and keep everything square. By the time I’m done with this lounger I’ll be able to jump up and down on it, and throw it off the roof without ever worrying about it breaking.
Because I’m working so close to the edge of the wood I like to counter sink all my holes. The wood probably wouldn’t have cracked, but it’s a good practice to be in. Especially when you’re working with harder woods.
One last cross brace between the legs in the middle. This 2×4 is 15″ as well. My pile of pre-cut wood is looking a lot smaller already!
Here it is from another angle so you can see how everything is connected and fits together. Ready to move on to the next phase? Lets go!
This wood frame is the moving section of the lounger. Hence forth I’ll refer to it as the upright frame. The upright frame is approximately 1/3 of the total bench length. I tried a few different designs and this felt the most comfortable.
It’s made of 2 – 36″ and 2 – 15 1/2″ pieces of 2×4.
I secured the upright frame inside of the overall structure with 4 screws that kept it flat and flush with the top of the overall structure. The upright frame should be spaced 1/4 inch off of the overall structure the whole way around. This 1/4 gap allows it to move without rubbing against the fixed part of the structure. Because this is going to be outdoor furniture I used large tolerances, wood swells and expands a lot depending on the weather conditions.
I then marked a spot 28 1/4″ from the outside edge of the structure and 1 inch from the top. This spot will be where we drill the hole for our carriage bolt. The carriage bolt is the pivot point for the upright frame of the lounger.
I counter sank the hole for the carriage bolt because I’m going to be attaching the 5/4 boards over top of it soon. I didn’t want there to be a bump or anything in the finish product.
I threaded the carriage bolt through the newly created hole. Because my carriage bolt is 3/8″ thick I made my hole 1/2″. I added a washer in between the two pieces of wood to hopefully cut down on friction and keep everything aligned. I also added a second washer to help spread the load of the nut (hehehe).
I didn’t picture it here but you’ll probably want to add some locktite or similar thread sealer to the nut in order to keep it from backing off over time.
Ok now we’re done with the structure of the lounger I think its time we started cladding it and making it look a little bit more like a pieces of furniture you’d want to have on your deck.
I started at the end using the 22″ 5/4 boards. I ripped the last one on a table saw to 2.5″ wide and saved the off cut for the other side.
Same thing on the other side. Glad I saved the off cut!
Now it’s time to add the 82 3/4″ boards. This part was a little tricky alone, but I made it work by starting at the bottom with a couple of spacers and working my way up. Again I had to rip the bottom board to 2 1/2″ inches. Save your off cut again!
Time to start using all of the 24″ pieces of 5/4 I cut earlier. I did my best to space the board evenly on top of the lounger using a piece of wood I cut to be 3/8″ thick. I’d screw one board in, use the spacer to align the next board and then screw that one in. Rinse and repeat 14 times.
I had to make the spacing at pivot point slightly larger to allow for the full articulation of the seat back, but you don’t really notice it unless you’re looking for it.
It’s important to test as you go and make sure everything works ok. My first time run through of this build I spent a lot of time figuring out how to hinge the upright section just right.
In order to make it easy to grab and raise the seat back on the chair I wanted to have a small hand cut out in the top board of the seat back. The cut out is 6 inches wide and 1 inch deep. I centered it in the board.
First I cut it out with a jig saw, careful to make sure I rounded the corner on both sides evenly.
Next I used a trim router to round the edges and make them softer in the hand.
The trim router leaves things pretty smooth, but I always like to give everything a quick sand with a sanding block just in case there are any burs or loose slivers.
I ripped the last 24″ board to 4″ so it wouldnt over hang the end of the lounger. If I had to do this project again I’d work out the spacing between boards so that I didn’t end up with an oddly sized final board. Because I ripped the last board it ended up having a hard edge on it. No problem, I already have the trim router out so I rounded the edge on this board as well!
Here’s where I attached the garden gate hinges. I measured 7 3/4″ from the top of the upright frame, this marked the outside edge of the garden gate hinges.
When I was doing all of my cuts you may have noticed I ripped a couple of 2x4s in half. There’s two 17″ 2x4s where I cut their tips with 2 45 degree angles to form a pointed tip.
Next I grabbed another 15 1/2″ long 2×4 I had ripped in half and assembled them so they looked like this. This frame will be the arm that keeps the upright section of the lounger, well, uhhh…. upright.
Carefully holding it in place, I screwed it to the garden gate hinges. I used scrap wood to hold the the upright frame at its maximum height while I worked. Made my life a lot easier.
Next I added a 22″ 2×4 that I ripped in half to the inside of the frame. This piece of wood gives the arm something it can rest against and stay in one spot. Remember how I cut the pointed tips into the stay earlier? This was to allow it to sit neatly into the corner created by this new piece of wood.
In order to keep the arm from catching on the ground when the upright section is lowered down fully I added two 26″ 2x4s ripped in half inside of the structure. These runners guide the arm into a neutral position as the upright section is closing.
Here’s a close up finished photo of the arm. It feels really solid. No wobble or slack in it at all.
This is a close up of the handle. If I had to do this project again I’d actually probably cut the handle into the second piece of wood. The way the handle is positioned right now it still works fine but because its so tight to the frame of the upright section you have to reach pretty far in before you can get a decent grip on it.
If I have guests over and need more seating the upright sections can be lowered and it becomes a large bench. Comfortable seating for up to 9 adults!
Another angle. Outdoor cushions help add a little bit of colour to the whole thing.
That’s it for the third installment of my deck overhaul. I’ll have the final part coming soon, so stay tuned for that. Leave any questions you have in the comments!