How to Build a Captain Kirk Chair

stars on sky image by Marek Kosmal from

Things You'll Need

  • Office or other squared chair
  • Chair plans
  • Covering material
  • Plywood or press board
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Nails
  • Wood glue
  • 6 nuts and bolts
  • Paint

People who enjoy the Star Trek series will enjoy the idea of having part of the series' set. One popular item is the captain's chair, especially that of Captain Kirk. This particular item has become even more popular since a Las Vegas Star Trek convention displayed a life-sized, fully operational, original series captain’s chair. According to, it used "expert measurements and the highest quality durable materials." While captain's chairs kits can be purchased for just under $3,000, most like to take on building their own.

Building a Captain's Chair

Use an office or other chair with a squared back and base.
office chair image by Paul Moore from

Find a flat-backed chair; one with a high back and arm rests is best. Disassemble it, removing the back, seat and arms for later use. If the seat and back are connected, leave them that way.

Measure and cut your wood frame pieces.
construction ,measuring image by Greg Pickens from

Measure, mark, cut and lay out your base frame according to command seat plans. If you are not using plans, use the outer dimensions of 40 inches wide, 44 inches high and 38 inches deep, if going with the authentic size--or you may size the frame to fit your own chair.

Assemble your frame pieces.
hammer and nails image by Horticulture from

Assemble the wood frame pieces with wood glue and nail them to hold. The frame can be assembled in one piece or in sections, the sides, back and base pieces. Paint all sections in a gray or cream tone.

Secure the chair using nuts and bolts.
nuts and bolts 1 image by Vincenzo Novello from

Set the chair seat and back into the frame and center. Secure using nuts and bolts, two for the seat and two for the backing.

Use leather to match the arms to the chair pieces.
Top Grain Leather Background Pattern image by James Phelps from

Fully-covered chair arms may be secured to the sides of the base using the remaining bolts. If your chair does not have full arms or has no arms at all, you can build frames or surrounds and cover with matching material.


  • Adding a thin covering to your finished base can clean up any rough wood edges. Colored plastic sheets or a veneer can easily be glued to the outer surfaces to smooth.

    For a clean look to an armless chair, re-covering with new material may save you from having to find an exact match to cover newly built arms.

    Optional: Add button or switch plate panels to arm tops for a more realistic command chair.


  • Building the base in one section may make your base too large to move from place to place or fit through doorways.


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