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Adirondack Chair Class

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Blog series by Betsy updated 03-16-2012 01:43 AM 14 parts 59522 reads 50 comments total

Part 1: Introduction

12-05-2011 12:03 AM by Betsy | 10 comments »

Since I’ve been gone for a while I was really impressed that Lumberjocks started a class section on the site. I thought that was a great idea and decided I wanted to contribute. So this is what I’ve decided to do – one of the many variations of the Adirondack chair. There are quite a few sites that claim to have the true history of the Adirondack chair –but when it is all boiled down to the final summation – it’s the one chair that’s the most comfortable to sit on in the back yard. Most styl...

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Part 2: First things first

12-16-2011 05:48 AM by Betsy | 1 comment »

The chair for this class was designed by Wood Plan and brought to you by the editors of Wood Magazine. I’d like to think of this class as the BASF of these plans. “I don’t make the plans … I make them better.” Okay I’m tooting my horn just a little. But we will make some improvements on the plans and hopefully you’ll come out with a much better chair. Cedar or cypress are much better woods to use for Adirondack chairs because neither one requires any special coatings to last a lifetime. Ho...

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Part 3: Buying lumber and supplies

12-18-2011 12:09 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

Lesson twoSo I promised you a picture of my new shop helper – here she is on our way to the big box to get lumber. A friend gave her to me – her name is Hop – I think It’s from some kid’s movie – but not sure – but thought I’d show her off anyway. I can bend her ear from time to time in the shop and she always agrees with me! So now onto the lumber side of things. Picking out good pine boards is going to be a job in and of itself. As most of you know the big boxes have trouble keeping...

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Part 4: Templates and Front Leg Support

12-21-2011 06:54 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

On to making the templates, as I’ve said before, templates are not an absolute necessity, but you’ll end up making more than one chair so templates are nice to have. MDF is my preferred material of choice for patterns. It’s easy to work with and has no voids that plywood would have. MDF comes in ½” and ¾” thicknesses. One-half inch is much more manageable for patterns. Before I made my MDF patterns, I actually ironed the paper flat to take out the creases. The fact that I even own an iron ...

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Part 5: Making leg support (part G) and making leg assembly

01-01-2012 09:04 PM by Betsy | 2 comments »

Now onto the leg support and assembly of the legs. This was a difficult piece to write so please read through it and if you have any questions please ask. I apologize in advance for some of the poor photography. To make the template for the leg support (part G) you must necessarily cut off the part of the pattern which shows where the individual slats must be placed. While it would be helpful to transfer those lines down onto the pattern itself it is not absolutely necessary with the excep...

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Part 6: Getting started with making slats - a short and easy lesson

01-10-2012 05:56 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

Well I hope all of you have had a good holiday season and have now have had enough time to rest and recovery. Now that we have the leg supports (parts I & G) together it’s time to move onto making the slats. This is one area where you can use up some of those pine scraps laying around the shop. I can generally find enough long scraps to at least get 4 or 5 before I have to cut into a full size board. In all you will need 13 slats per chair. Using a 1×6x8 you can get 16 sl...

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Part 7: Correction and moving onto the slats and seat assembly

01-11-2012 05:31 AM by Betsy | 4 comments »

First – you may have noticed that my last post showed the slats being cut at 1.25 and not 1.5. That was wrong – the slats are 1.5” wide by 21” long. As a result you cannot get 16 slats out of a 1×6 – not sure how I came up with that – just was not paying attention as well as I should have. So now that that’s out of the way let’s move on to getting the slats drilled, beveled and placed. You need a fence of some sort to make sure that each...

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Part 8: Arm Supports - short lesson

01-16-2012 04:53 AM by Betsy | 4 comments »

The arm rest supports (J) are the next thing to make and install. This is a great time to use some scrap wood for a small part. You’ll need two for each chair. Cut a piece just a tiny bit wider than 3.25” to allow for a nicer curve. Cut one piece long enough to make both pieces. You’ll use a compass to mark the curve. The nice thing about plans like the one used for the chair is some of the paper patterns are full size. You can use the pattern to set a school style com...

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Part 9: Back rest assembly

01-22-2012 04:51 AM by Betsy | 4 comments »

Now we move onto the back rest assembly which is made up of parts A, B, C, D and E. First off I want to say that this part of the blog was hard to write to make it clear. So if you have any problems with my explanations or have questions please feel free to ask. And for those of you who have PM’d me and said you plan to do this project in the spring, please feel free to PM me them if you have questions. Also I apologize for the poor photography. I think I may have to have Degoose come ...

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Part 10: Arms rests

02-11-2012 07:05 PM by Betsy | 2 comments »

This is part one of the arm assembly – it’s picture heavy – so fair warning. This is the pattern for the arm (part K). You’ll notice I have already drilled pilot holes for where the arms will be screwed to the front leg (part I) and arm support (part J). At this point you need to remember that you have both a right and a left arm. You are using one pattern for both arms, therefore you have to flip the pattern over to make the second arm. Here’s a bad idea...

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Part 11: Arm rests part two

02-19-2012 02:54 AM by Betsy | 4 comments »

So now onto the lap joint for the arm assembly. Both part K and F have a 3/8 lap joint. Both together make the assembly. Part K’s lap joint is on the bottom and part F is on the top. That’s an important point to remember. Before I cut my arm to shape I cut the lap joint. Here’s why. As I am sitting in the chair the right arm can be cut against the miter slide. But the left arm, if already cut out must be flipped over to cut the lap joint. To safely cut the left arm i...

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Part 12: A side lesson - My Tenon Jig

02-26-2012 12:53 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

Before we actually get into cutting the lap joint itself, let’s talk a little about my tenon jig. This jig is a pretty good addition to any shop. It’s quite easy to make from just a few scraps laying around. For this project you’ll need a tall face, and a board the exact width of your table saw’s fence. Here are some shots of my jig. You’ll need a piece of track, a knob and a holding device to act as your securing device. You can buy the track at Rockler or Woodcraf...

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Part 13: Cutting the laps and shapes.

02-26-2012 11:14 PM by Betsy | 2 comments »

This part is a little out of order, but I found this next little blurb in another class brochure I made and thought it would be good to add in here. A half lap joint is a very basic joint, but it can be a very strong joint to connect two pieces of stock if done properly and in the right situations. The joint makes an intersection of sorts of the two pieces of wood. This intersection can be at the end of a board, in the middle or anywhere in between. I’ve seen half lap joints that are angle...

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Part 14: Final arm assembly and putting the chair together

03-16-2012 01:43 AM by Betsy | 6 comments »

So now comes the very fun part the chair is actually coming together. First you have to decide if you are going to use pocket holes to put the arm together to the back rest. I chose to use pocket screws because it’s one less thing you have to make disappear with a plug on the front of the chair. I place my Part F onto the bottom of the back rest and mark one center location on each of the 4 skinny slats and three marks on the center slat (1” from each end and 1 in the middle). You don’t...

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