Can I ask how to build a chair I saw on the web?

I’m always looking for diy ideas in pinterest, always keeping in mind my very very limited diy skills.

Many times I see chairs that seem relatively easy to build, but they don’t include the plans.

Can I ask how the chair was built? The question would be a picture of a chair, for example, with the question “How can I build this chair?”

I'm asking this because I would need to know beforehand if I have the tools and the skill to complete the project. For example, if I need a compound miter saw for a particular, then I won't even bother to start the project. I simply don't have that tool.

  • 7
    I'd be careful that the question is not too broad. There's also a Woodworking.SE that may be more appropriate.
    – BMitch Mod
    Feb 2, 2020 at 21:44
  • What are the names of every joint in this chair? - there's nothing that cannot be done with a chisel. Just... YMMV.
    – Mazura
    Feb 3, 2020 at 22:51
  • Nobody needs a compound miter saw. You can use or hack miter boxes and just hand saw. Or, I have built little frames/jigs to hold the wood at some wackadoodle angle that I needed, then I could just use the table or radial arm saw without having to square it again. Particularly nice when you must alternate wacky and square cuts. Your fuel should be ingenuity, not tool budget. Feb 4, 2020 at 2:10
  • Maybe you’re right, but most plans require a miter saw. And I’m far away from having the necessary knowledge for improvising.
    – rbhat
    Feb 4, 2020 at 13:11
  • Well, since guys 200 years ago built very intricate chairs with just hand tools, then tools generally aren't the issue. Power tools and "better" tool will make the job go faster, but anything can be built with hand tools.
    – LarryBud
    Feb 15, 2020 at 2:35

1 Answer 1


If the question was as broad as you make it out to be ( "How do I make this chair" ) with no details as to what you tried and research you have done, that would not be a good fit.

You could ask:

I saw this chair online, and I want to build it, but I can't seem to figure out how the slats in the back are fastened in place to give them strength. Glue only seems too weak, but they seem too thin to accept a nail. Etc, etc.

(imagined answer would be to talk about cutting a channel for the slats to fit in, mortise and tenon, actually you can use these special thin nails, etc).

You need to focus on a small problem that someone can answer in a bite sized chunk. As BMitch pointed out, there is a Woodworking.SE that would be a better fit for this question, but the points I make will hold true for that site.

Showing that you tried to figure out the situation provides important context for answerers. They can gauge your experience level and tailor the answers to that. They won't spend 5 minutes telling you how to do a mortise if you've already figured out that's not how you want to do it (for example).

  • 1
    I agree with you, and with SO, that would be the case.
    – rbhat
    Feb 3, 2020 at 19:24
  • But in this particular case, let's say that I begin building the chair. Halfway through the project, I have a question regarding a joint. I post the question and the answer is to use a an expensive tool that creates a complex joint. I don't have the tools or the skill to "try" the suggestion, so what next?
    – rbhat
    Feb 3, 2020 at 19:27
  • 1
    I think in that case, you should have planned ahead a little more and realized you didn't know how to do that joint. I've rushed into a project before and been stranded like you say, so I understand. The main goal is to make questions answerable in a few minutes of someones time, so they can answer and go on to the next question or go about their day. And of course, I'm not the sheriff, here, and you can ask whatever you want. Try to show research and try to focus on a few important points. Some questions are broader than others, and that is ok too.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 3, 2020 at 19:38
  • Exactly, and there’s no way of knowing about that joint unless I knew the steps to make the chair.
    – rbhat
    Feb 4, 2020 at 13:08
  • Planning ahead means knowing beforehand what the steps are. But it seems I can’t ask such a general question, so it’s a catch-22.
    – rbhat
    Feb 4, 2020 at 13:10
  • 2
    Agree with others that a chisel, hand plane, drill and saw can go a long way toward replacing fancy modern tools. A set of full size drawings can help you visualize the way the chair is going together, which will predict how onerous hand-building will be. Feb 7, 2020 at 14:59

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