You’ve probably seen a Viking chair before, but it’s sometimes called a bog chair or a Stargazer chair. There are many different Viking chair designs out there, but something simple is often best. The Vikings weren’t grand, at least in real life. They lived in danger all the time, so they needed practical things.
Still, if you want to make a bog chair as a project, you can search through tons of Viking chair plans or make the basic version. These chairs are fun and make great additions alongside your campfire. Because of the back’s length and angle, they support your neck while you’re sitting and gazing up at the stars.
Overall, this Viking chair woodworking project is quite simple, but you can create designs for the head and seat area. If you’re so inclined, consider adding the Helm of Awe symbol like the Vikings might have done themselves.
Create the Coolest Viking Chair Designs – Step-by-step Instructions
While the power tool method is available, this design uses hand tools. Vikings didn’t have access to electricity, so let’s get started!
List of Hand Tools Needed
- Tape measure
- Rubber mallet
- Large auger bit and brace (find cheap vintage braces online or at yard sales)
- Mortise chisel
- Hand saw
- Lawnmower blade
- Wood putty
The Viking chair plans only require one 2x12x8-inch pine board
1. Cut Your 2x12x8
The first step for making a Viking chair is to cut the 8-foot boards in half, so each one is 4 feet long. Use sawhorses and a hand saw. Don’t be scared to put your foot on the boards that are soon to be your bog chair; that helps them stay put while cutting.
2. Mark Your Mortise
Next, you must mark the mortise slot for your Viking chair. Make this slot roughly 12 inches from the bottom of your board and about 8 inches wide. Measure the lines about 2 inches in from both sides of the bog chair, so the slot is centered. Then, you should put the other half of the board standing up over that mortise line, marking it again. The mortise is now the same thickness as the board, giving you a close fit.
3. Cut Your Mortise
You should now attach your largest bit you can find to the brace to drill out the mortise centers for your Viking chair. Have your other friendly Viking sit on the boards to steady them, and then watch those shavings fly!
It’s best to put a scrap board underneath the drilling area of the bog chair. That way, you prevent tear-out. Now, just clean up your mortise with the mortise chisel and mallet. You don’t have to be perfect; the Vikings probably liked the rustic appearance, too!
4. Cut Notches
Mark the 2-inch offsets on the second board of the Viking chair, cutting them with a hand saw. They should be 12 inches from the board’s end.
5. Split Wood Using a Lawnmower Blade
The fun part is coming up! Vikings didn’t cut wood back in the day; they split it with an ax! Use the hatchet and mallet to begin splitting your wood toward the opposite end of the offsets just cut, roughly 2 inches from the board’s side. Your wood should split along the grain, so it’s best to line it up to be parallel with the offset.
If your wood splits toward the center, you end up with a loose fit for the Viking chair pieces.
Now, use the lawnmower blade and metal hammer to finish your split. Wood splitting is sometimes called “riving.”
Clean up any remaining excess with the hatchet, check the fit, and put the pieces together. Add a few coats of stain or deck sealer, and you’re ready to sit and enjoy the day!
What’s a Viking Chair?
A Viking chair uses only two pieces of wood. There’s a large one used as a backrest and one board that slides along the backrest to be a seat. It also keeps you off the ground. The angle of the chair lets you be comfortable and lean back to relax. Overall, this is a great project to do with your kids or friends.
The instructions above are for the basic features. However, there are various Viking chair designs you can conjure up to make each person’s seat unique and memorable for them.
Are Viking Chairs Comfortable?
The bog chair is surprisingly comfortable, even though it’s made of wood and there are no cushions. Some Viking chair designs do showcase homemade seat cushions, and you can add other accessories and embellishments, too. However, the traditional Viking chair is unadorned.
Did the Vikings Really Have Chairs?
Though you can find many Viking chair designs that look authentic, Vikings didn’t use chairs like this. It was actually introduced in the 19th century in Africa and was called the African chair. Still, the bog chair looks like it came out of that Viking age, making Stargazer chairs popular.
How Much Weight Does the Viking Chair Hold?
A Viking chair can typically hold 500 pounds of weight.
These Viking chair plans are great for outdoor parties and for homeowners who want comfort while they stargaze. Plus, it’s a fun project to do with the kids!
Play around with other Viking chair designs, adding symbols and carvings to the head area or the seat. When you’re done with the woodworking project, grab some horned helmets and sit comfortably on your new Viking chair.