Making a Mid Century Modern Armchair




About: Hey, This is Alpaca Studio.

I spent the last two weeks inside my shop designed and built this mid-century modern armchair.

Warning: Video in Mandarin WITHOUT English subtitles

Step 1: Material: 50mm and 25mm Beech

I decided to use beech in this build since there's a ton in my shop (:

The first step I did was to dimension all the lumber. I used my miter saw to cut the wood to the length and flattened them on the jointer. By using the planer, I make sure that both sides are flat and smooth.

Step 2: Make the Backrest

The backrest of this armchair is made with 10 pieces of wood.

I started by cutting all the pieces on my table saw. I made sure every piece has the same width and length.

I used a router table to give the wood a smooth edge. The speed of the router is important here. Otherwise, you could burn the wood.

Step 3: Connecting All Pieces

I used dowels to connect all these pieces. first, I drilled several 8mm holes on the wood. The depth of the hole is slightly longer than half of the dowel so that there is a space for excess glue. I used a dowel jig to make sure every hole is straight.

Step 4: Cut the Legs of the Chair

All the legs are made by 50mm wood since they are thicker than the backrest. I used the band saw to cut the corner and used a table saw jig to cut the leg with an angle.

Step 5: Assemble All the Pieces

Finally, I assembled all the pieces. I glued them up and used a lot of clamps.

Step 6: Sanding

Next step is sanding the pieces. I tried to remove all the burn marks and unsmooth here with 200# sandpaper.

Step 7: Cleaning, Painting, Sanding and Repeat

Here I used the water-based polyurethane to finish the piece. It's quick and odorless.

Step 8: DONE

I ordered the cushion online. I don't make a cushion!!


Step 9: Latest Update: Project Plan

I built this model in Solidworks and originally decided to release the plan after I reorganized everything. Since I slightly change the design when I built it because of the material. However, so many people are asking for plans and want to build this.

Anyway, here is the screenshot of the cutting plan and I guess you guys can figure it out. This plan covers all of the dimension you need to build this chair. But the parts are not labeled which makes it a little bit difficult to assemble. But with the help of perspective view, it's actually not that hard. The design is in metric units. (e.g. 500 means 500 mm) Just ignore the number after the decimal point. Not necessary to be that accurate.

Enjoy your build!



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    24 Discussions


    16 days ago

    Man, that is a very nice piece. Congrats and thanks for sharing!

    1 reply

    20 days ago

    Thanks for the plans. They should be easy enough to follow. The main things were all of the angles in the side pieces. I also wanted to see how long the longest piece was. I get a lot of free figured maple but the longest pieces are only 580mm (23 inches). This project should be perfect.


    27 days ago

    Could you include detailed plans or a cut list of pieces?

    Nǐ néng liè chū xiángxì de jìhuà huò cáijiǎn qīngdān ma?

    2 replies
    Alpaca Studiosquared59

    Reply 25 days ago

    Did you just use the Google Translate? I'm quite surprised that it's so accurate.

    Check this, bro.

    Step 9: Latest Update: Project Plan

    squared59Alpaca Studio

    Reply 20 days ago

    Yes just google translate. I try to pick words that won't be mistranslated.

    Penolopy Bulnick

    25 days ago

    I really like the look of that chair :)


    4 weeks ago

    The problem here is that there is no lower back support when you sit and the back angle is terrible for posture . This style of chair is probably responsible for 50% of all back pain in the world at present and used to be very popular . What comes out now can be even worse.
    Here is the best darn chair you will ever see for your back. I've had it for 50 years and I can't find anyone to reupholster it properly for a reasonable price . Copy this and you have a real chair. Cant see it here but the seat base slopes down at the back.

    The base and back are plywood shaped with a light foam cover upholstered in thick black vinyl. The frame is steel square tube and bar heavy wall thickness. Standard plastic floor pads. Under the back piece is a shaped flat bar and the back is screwed to this The base is screwed to tabs from the sides.

    If anyone is interested in making these I will post more detailed photos if asked.

    2 replies
    Alpaca Studiotytower

    Reply 25 days ago

    I guess making this kind of chair required some serious skill like steam wood bending which is not very often seen in this forum. I'd love to see someone make this.

    David Rtytower

    Reply 26 days ago

    Yes, please post, make them, document each step and post it!

    Alpaca Studiobeqwaam

    Answer 25 days ago

    check this, bro.

    Step 9: Latest Update: Project Plan