Summer Project: Outdoor Chair "Desk" Build

Right at the end of last year, I posted a photo of a Wave Hill Garden chair and talked about how I was struck by the design of the chair - and the fact that it wasn't a traditional adirondack chair that you see everywhere.  We had spent some time in Luxembourg Gardens in Paris last year and fell in love with lots of things - including their chairs - and have been thinking about how I bring a chair or two to our backyard and garden.  The Wave Hill chair seemed to scratch me right where I itch.

A gardener named Dan Benarcik has developed plans for the chair and is selling them for $35 (the updated plan version) on his site.

I put the idea of creating a chair like this on my 2020 Gardening To-Do List#11 on the list is to 'build something' like these chairs (or a raised bed).  I haven't sprung for the plans (yet), but I've been nosing around the Web for some additional inspiration.  I came across this post on Reddit that featured a photo of a modified Wave Hill or Dan Benarcik or Reitveld chairs - whatever you'd like to call them.  The photos are embedded below.  The modification that I like in particular is how this builder (u/justhavingacoffee) used three slats for the back and seat instead of the traditional two slats.  His comment notes that he used 3 1"x6" boards instead of 2 1"x8" boards.  1x6's have a nominal width of 5.5".  3 of those = 16.5".  1x8's have a nominal width of 7.25".  2 of those = 14.5" Means this chair is 2" wider than what the normal chairs call for it seems.  I like that and based on the photo below, it doesn't seem to have thrown off the overall look/dimensions of the chair.
I made a pair of Wave Hill deck chairs.
There was another thing that I came across when looking for chair inspiration that I want to document here as a potential 'add' to my 2020 to-do list for builds:  This outdoor chair slide-on desk.

Via WoodArchivist comes the Muskoka Desk.

This is not my photo.  Via WoodArchivist here.
This small project packs a lot of punch.  You can kind of make out what is going on, but visit that link to see the full details.  You build a hinged 'desk' that can slide onto a chair arm.  It can be sized for an existing chair - like the adirondack chairs that are up in Wisconsin, or made for a new chair (like the Wave Hill Chair that I'm dreaming about).

Each of the tops are spec'd to be 9" deep and 10" wide making the work surface - once unfolded - to be 20" wide and 9" deep.  I think it can be made from almost any material because I'd slather this thing with a generous amount of marine varnish to ensure that it survives the weather.  So, figure a 1x12 by about 3' would do the trick.

The plans call for a 2 3/4" drink holder hole that is spec'd for the middle of the desk, but I'm wondering if there is a need for a couple of slots now:  one for your drink, but the other for your phone.  Maybe moving the drink hole forward and moving the bottom supports would carve out enough space for a phone to sit.

I can see a high degree of utility from these - providing secure drink stowage but also that flip-top desk can be used for a laptop or a kindle.  The fact that this can slip on/off of chairs is nice so it can be brought inside or moved from chair-to-chair depending on the need.

I'm thinking this belongs on the 2020 To-Do List Addendum once it gets published.


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