Building an Adirondack chair is relatively easy when you’ve got a good set of Adirondack Chair plans. The ones I found most helpful and work for me without any glitches is from the Ted’s Woodworking package and I’m sure you’ll benefit greatly from it too.
As woodworkers, we want our woodworking arsenal to be a treasure of projects and tool list so that we can execute our projects fast and be ready with a finished product that we will be proud of.
Being a non-complex woodworking project, it can be finished within a weekend for those inexperienced woodworkers, and just one day for those who are already comfortable in carpentry.
What is an Adirondack Chair?
Adirondack chair, or sometimes referred to as Muskoka chair, was an American invention in the early 1900’s and was made from Hemlock. The original design features a slanted seat and straight back design. The armrests were wide and the entire chair was made with 11 flat boards (did I mention that it was a relatively easy project?).
After its huge commercial success, many different variations had sprung up, but the ultimately, you’ll recognize one when you see it.
These popular and evergreen chairs are intended for outdoor use, and your backyard would be a much more relaxing place with one in it.
They are traditionally built with wood, such as pine, cedar, teak, and plastic lumber, but recently, simulated wood like Polystyrene has made it to the market, which offers better weather resistant properties.
However, for someone like me who has taken a great interest in woodworking, I would have much preferred working with wood and building one myself by following a set of plans.
What are the different variations of Adirondack Chair?
Like many other furniture, Adirondack chair has its variations too. It can be modified into a double-seater, which is perfect for couples to relax in the backyard together with a drink in hand and engage in long conversations. They are commonly referred to as “love seat”.
Alternatively, it can also be modified into a rocking chair, making an already relaxing chair to rest our body in, to be even more comfortable. I myself had fallen asleep countless times while reading in the chair!
Another popular variation is the swing glider version, but I personally am not a fan of it, so I will not get into details about this particular variation.
Where to get the Best Adirondack Chair Woodworking Plans?
There are many free Adirondack chair plans available online, but a recurring problem for these plans is that they are often incomplete and missing important details. You can definitely get by with them if you are an advanced woodworker but for beginners, they will leave you scratching your head, wondering what went wrong.
The good news is, you can use the plans that I’ve been using myself, which contain more than just plans for Adirondack chair, but many other projects! It is sold as a package and the price is very reasonable in the long term.
What’s better, the exact plans that are recommended come with the 2 popular variations mentioned above, and 4 other more (which I shall not reveal)! They have certainly made me an Adirondack chair “specialist” as I’m known in my neighborhood.
Why Shouldn’t You Get a Ready-Made Chair on Retail?
This is easy. There are many awesome looking chairs on retail, but you have little control over the material and any other customizations you want to have.
If you’re very tall, you’ll want to have a subtler curving angle so that your legs do not get bent to the point of being uncomfortable when you sit in one.
I don’t keep track of how much is the average retail price, but you’re able to build a very solid one that can potentially last for years in just 2 days, for under $100.
You’ll also want to base your choice of wood on your other patio furniture so that they complement each other. Not to mention, we all have our very own favorite furniture color! You’ll have a hard time scouring the retail stores and online to find one that is perfect for your family and your backyard.
The solution? Build your own Adirondack chair!
5 Extra Tips for Your Perfect Adirondack Chair:
1. Test your finishing on a piece of sample
You’ll want to use the same piece of wood that you build your chair with, and test your finishing before applying it on your newly built chair. The finishing very rarely, if ever, looks exactly like the paint store sample because different wood reacts to the type of finishing differently (part of the beauty of woodworking).
2. Choose your wood according to your climate
You need to be careful here, as this factor determines how long your Adirondack chair can last. Ted’s Woodworking covers this aspect in great details so I know you’re well covered here. The only thing I’ll mention is, if you have a tropical climate like Hawaii and any countries near the equator, stick to cypress or cedar for the best results.
3. Don’t go easy on sanding
You will not want to be lax on this part. Sanding ensures that the paint adheres to your chair while minimizing the chance of the paint peeling off later on.
4. Carpenter’s glue is your friend
Use it to reinforce all the joins on your new chair so that it lasts longer. In addition to that, your chair will be stronger against knocks and bumps, if you move them a lot.
5. Enjoy the process
One of the joys of these DIY projects is that you can learn so much from the process in an enjoyable way, especially if the projects involve family member’s collaboration. Even if the project does not turn out well (which is HIGHLY unlikely), you’ll have a fun weekend in your backyard!
Find Out More…
By now, I hope you’re inspired to build your own Adirondack chair!
I highly recommend that you check out how you can get hold of high quality plans to start your project by following the link below: