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Here is a great “Finish it Yourself” project for Living History Re-enactors, history buffs, or anyone else who would like to re-create a piece of history but who doesn’t have a shop full of expensive wood working tools. All you need to do is apply a wood finish (or not) and attach some appropriate material for the seat and you’ll have your own one of a kind chair.
While chairs coming from the larger manufactures during the Civil War era were fairly uniform looking many were subsequently re-upholstered, painted, or even decorated with patriotic colors, symbols, military unit designations, etc. etc. So with a little imagination and contemplation of what materials were available in the day you can create a chair that is as plain or as ornate as you like while keeping “period correct”.

The chair frame is a handcrafted reproduction of an American Civil War era Folding Arm Chair made of solid red oak. The design and dimensions were taken directly from an original antique. Please reference the accompanying picture of General Grant taken by Matthew Brady at Cold Harbor and you’ll see this style of chair right outside his field headquarters. Like the original, this chair is made of actual 1” stock (not the ¾” stuff common today) and assembled using mortise and tenon joints. The hinging joints are of the period correct rivet and burr method. The three turned “stretchers” are oak. Like the original, the arms and back slats are steam bent to maximize strength and avoid splitting along the woods grain. What you will receive is the chair frame that is fully assembled, sanded and ready for the finish and seat material which you supply. I will also offer some helpful suggestions regarding the size and attachment of the seating material. NOTE: The first photo represents the item for sale – the other photos show examples of finished chairs.

The approximate overall “open” size is 18 wide x 17 x 30 ½ high – folded is 18 wide x 7 x 25 long. The width between the arms is 16” and the seat height is ~15 1/2".

With 2011 - 2015 being the 150th anniversary of the Civil War this a great chair for the re-enactor or history buff and also makes a unique accent piece and conversation starter.
There won't be many of these available so get them when you can.

Remember, if you’re going for a correct period impression your items should look NEW – today’s antiques were that period's Brand New!

Please contact me for shipping costs for outside the contiguous 48 states.

Civil War Folding Arm Chair - Unfinished - DIY Project


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: oak, wool, metal
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 462 reviews
  • Favorited by: 11 people