Dining Chair

Marc Spagnuolo

The Dining Chair project is unique in that it takes you through the design of a chair prototype. You'll actually see the entire design process as well as the build process from start to finish. If you find the concept of chairs intimidating, this is a great project to break the ice. While we provide plans for the final version of the chair as presented, we also encourage you to take this information and use it to design a chair of your own. With clear step by step instructions, anyone can build a chair.

This chair would look good in many settings and look especially good around the Gaming Dining Table and the Trestle Table. The chair measures 17" W x 18" D x 40" H.

  • 18 lessons
  • 229 min
  • $90.00
  • Dining Chair CNC File

    If you have a CNC, this DXF file will allow you to create your own set of hard templates out of whatever material you like. Save 10% when purchased with the project.

What will I receive?

  • Detailed cut list and plans including a PDF and a SketchUp file (metric and imperial).
  • Printable template files for various chair parts.
  • Hours of detailed video instruction showing every step of the build, from design to finishing.
  • All videos and plans are digital and will be available for download upon purchase. 

What will I learn?

  • Chair design
  • Chair construction
  • How to draw a new design
  • How to make project templates
  • Complex mortises made simple
  • Loose mortise & tenon construction
  • Tapering legs
  • Adding decorative elements
  • Shaping and fitting curved back rests and crest rails
  • Assembly strategy
  • Seat options
  • Upholstering
  • How to level chair legs
  • How to think critically about a design
  • How to apply a wiping varnish finish (Waterlox)

What will I need?


These are approximate numbers. You’ll want to buy more for waste and grain selection. For a single chair:

  • 8.5 Board Feet of 8/4 Hardwood
  • 2.5 Board Feet of 5/4 Hardwood
  • 1 Sheet of 3/4″ Plywood (Seat Platform)


Note: This is not a required list of tools. This is simply what I used during the build. Remember, there are always multiple ways to accomplish a task so if you don’t have one or more of these tools, you can very likely still make this project.

  • Oscillating spindle sander
  • Spokeshave
  • Block plane
  • Small Rasp
  • Bandsaw
  • Router
  • Jointer
  • Planer
  • Table saw
  • Miter gauge
  • Miter Saw
  • Drill
  • Upholstery gun and staples



This was one of my first Guild Projects I purchased, and I am glad I did. Not only is it very well presented, and takes you step by step, but what I practically liked about this guild project was Marc walks you through his design process and how to determine certain aspects of a project. That knowledge alone is well worth the cost of this project because you can take that into other project ideas you may have. Plus, once you buy one project, your a guild member for life! That opens up a world of vast knowledge from other members. This includes monthly guild meetings, TWW Guild Facebook group, where you can bounce ideas and share creations with other members. Throw all that in with the project and that is some bang for your buck! Worth every penny! So find a project you like, and join the Guild!!!

Chris Fehringer
Guild Member

This was by far the most challenging project build I’ve ever done, but I am so pleased with the finished results. Seeing how Marc actually sets about designing and drawing out the chair design really helps get an understating of the project and how the parts and joinery interact.
The instructional videos are great, with clear and concise explanations of what is being done and why at each step. Its great to be able to download and take the videos into the workshop as a reference as you build.
The templates are great, easy to print out and the curves on the chairs are really comfortable.
All in all a great project the with detailed instructions and templates that make a really elegant piece achievable, even if like me you’ve never made a chair before.
Thanks Marc, big thumbs up for this build.

Guild Member

After building a new dining table a year ago it was time for the chairs and along came Marc with a design that more than gained approval from my best half. The curves and angles make it very visibly appealing but with Marc’s excellent plans and instructions it’s still approachable for the hobbyist. The loose tenon joinery allowed me to increase the dimensions a bit with nary a headache. The versatile design easily adapts to a solid wood seat rather than the cushioned seat shown. Even though these were the first chairs I’ve built I now feel confident that I could design and build my own. Thanks Marc!

Guild Member
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About Your Instructor:

Marc is a podcaster, video producer, woodworking enthusiast, and author of Hybrid Woodworking and Essential Joinery. He has contributed articles and video content to FineWoodworking.com, Popular Woodworking Magazine, WOOD Magazine, and Woodcraft Magazine. He is also the host of The Wood Whisperer, an instructional woodworking video series that’s been going strong since 2006. He is also one of the hosts of the Wood Talk podcast. He has taught classes at the William Ng School, Marc Adams School, Weekend with Wood, Fine Woodworking Live, as well as at various Rockler and Woodcraft stores. He also speaks periodically at woodworking events like AWFS and IWF.