I love redwood, it weathers beautifully and lasts well outdoors in the sun, water and rain. However, it is very soft. Screws don’t hold well, square connections tend to be weak and wiggle.
I have been building garden chairs off and on for years, and for years I have been bothered by the slight wiggles in my designs. And for years I have been trying to create a chair design that used the strength and stability of triangles (like the trusses that hold up wooden bridges) rather than squares. Recently we needed to replace some garden chairs (that I didn’t build), so I gave it another try. After many false starts, I came up with this design using 2x redwood.
The legs, arm and seat supports form a pair of triangles on each side. The angle of the seat back is echoed in the angle of the legs. The pairs of triangles are formed with supports that lay flat against each other, which makes the connections strong. I used heavy galvanized bolts at the corners of the triangles instead of screws. Bolts are much stronger, hold better in redwood and are more decorative.
In addition to my usual large scale drawings, I drew full size templates to help cut the angles on the legs. The chair is very solid-no wiggles.