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Crate chair

From NZ Gardener magazine

Rachel Clare and Jacob Leaf embrace a Modernist aesthetic with this simple chair first created by iconic Dutch furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld in 1934.

DIY Rietveld Crate Chair

You will need:

  • Saw (our wood was pre-cut for us in the store for $10)
  • 8g x 50mm countersunk decking screws
  • 8g x 100mm countersunk decking screws
  • 4 x 25mm angle brackets (optional)
  • Screwdriver, drill and paintbrush

Cutting list:

  • From the 140mm x 32mm decking pine: 10 x 450mm (legs, backrest & seat) & 2 x 650mm (legs)
  • From the 90mm x 32mm decking pine: 2 x 650mm (arms); 2 x 484mm (seat); 2 x 420mm (backrest)

Painting:  We painted our cut lengths of wood before constructing the chair to achieve an even finish. First we cleaned the wood with Resene Timber & Deckwash, then undercoated with Resene Quick Dry Waterborne Primer.

Cost:  $170 excluding Resene products

How to build the crate chair

Step 1 Step one
To make the legs, place 1 x 450mm length at each end (one above and one below) of a 650mm length (140mm x 32mm dimensions) to form an overlapping H shape. Drill and screw together with 50mm screws. Repeat to make the other set of legs.
Step 2 Step two
To make the backrest, line up 3 x 450mm lengths and overlap each end with 2 x 420mm lengths. Drill and screw together.
Step 3 Step three
To make the seat, make a square by overlapping 2 x 484mm lengths over 2 x 450mm lengths. Drill and screw together with 50mm screws in each corner. Drill and screw the remaining 450mm length to the middle of the seat section.
Step 4 Step four
Drill and screw the seat section to one of the leg sections with 100mm screws (we used 2 angle brackets to hold the sections in place before screwing). Flip the seat over and attach the other leg section. Drill and screw both sides together with 100mm screws.
Step 5 Step five
Line up the backrest, then drill and screw it to the seat with 100mm screws.
Step 6 Step six
For the arm rests, attach the remaining 2 x 650mm lengths (90mm x 32mm dimensions). Drill and screw 50mm screws at each end.

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