I’ve always loved the Adironack Chair. Some of my fondest memories are sitting in one and relaxing with a cold drink, watching the sunset when it’s the perfect temperature, with just a hint of a soft breeze. So when a few years back when my wife and I bought our first house, we needed the perfect Adirondack chair for the backyard. One that was comfortable, but not too low to the ground. One that didn’t feel like you were too reclined.
I looked high and low for the perfect chair. Any time I saw one, no matter where we were, I would always stop to test it out. Until one day I flipped on The New Yankee Workshop. Norm was demonstrating his version of the Adirondack Chair. He explained how he had visited a museum where he borrowed the best features of many styles of Adirondack chairs to arrive at the design of his. It seemed to have all of the features I was interested in.
I bought the plan, and thus began my first woodworking project. I literally had no experience with woodworking at all. Other than hanging pictures in the house, and dabbling in installing base molding, I had no idea what I was doing. When I received the plans for the chair, it looked extremely intimidating. I had no idea where I wood by the lumber for such a project, let alone where to purchase it. However, a good friend of mine lent me his time, and experience (and his shop) and we built that chair! It was everything I’d expected it would be. I built it of Sepele Mahogany for my wife, and it came out just beautifully.
There is only one bad part. I only built one of them. So this blog will be dedicated to the process of building a second matching chair, along with a small side table.
I started the build process already. We purchased the Sepele Mahogany for the chair and table. I’ve rough cut the lumber to approximate size for the chair components, so forgive me if I’m not starting at the absolute beginning.
My shop (if you can call it a shop yet), does not have all of the tools that are required to get the stock down to size and thickness. I am still relying on my friend John T. for that. I don’t own a table saw, jointer, or surface planer. We get together every month for a shop day, and that’s where I get the lumber down to size. Thanks Johnny!
We pick up this story with the chair slats completed. And some of the back seat slats were dimensioned correctly in our last monthly meeting, so I was able to use my bandsaw to cut the shapes of the back slats.
With the first chair, we made templates of the chair components out of hardboard, so you’ll be seeing those throughout.
So here is one of the templates and the seat slat before using a 3/4” templating bit with the Bosch Colt. The Colt is quickly becoming one of my favorite tools. Easy to maneuver, lightweight. It’s the best.
Next, I clamp the template in place and routed the curves of the slats. You can see the bit of the curve left proud of the line on the bandsaw.
The same technique on the center rear seat slat.
Once the slats were trimmed to the exact curve given by the template, I used a 1/4” roundover bit to round over the front side of the seat slate. I used bench cookies when routing the long runs on the seat slats, but I honestly felt I needed a more stable surface than the cookies when rounding over the curves. A couple fo clamps for that.
Here are the slats after rounding over.
Here are all the slats I’ve done so far. One is missing. It still needs to go through the surface planer.
So thus far, I have the back seat slats completed (sans 1) and the seat slats.
I clamped them together to prevent twisting, and also to keep them safe in the garage.
Next time it’s surface planing, jointing, and ripping all parts down to size.