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Blog entry by RussellAP posted 776 days ago 936 reads 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I came up with the idea to make and sell Adirondack chairs and set about doing so, I had never done anything like it. In fact the very idea of making chairs of any kind was one I thought way over my head.

My first chair was made from plans found in Popular Mechanics. I remember taking my boards and transferring the measurements meticulously to each board. Then cutting them out and marking them as templates for future chairs.
First two chairs.

By the time I finished my first chair I had the process down and didn’t really need the templates for more than just a general idea of lengths.

After sitting in my first chair I thought, hmmm, it’s nice, but I could make this much better than these plans. So my next chair was one that incorporated a better design using less wood. Larger back slats, and wrap around arms to support the back. It looks 10 times better than the original.

I still hadn’t fixed the comfort problem. You see with Adirondack chairs there are several parts that almost need to be made custom to the person sitting in it, if you contour the seat and back as I do. The seat rises up under the knees, so if your a short person, the seat needs to be shorter or your legs are liable to stick up and you feet wont touch the ground. Conversely if you’re a tall person, you need a longer seat.

I decided to lengthen the seat and make the part under the knees a bit less of a hump and more rounded. I wanted the seat to support you evenly without any pressure points.

The back also reclines just a fraction more than the original which aids in getting rid of those pressure points.

So the chairs I make now are completely different from the first chair I made, and take less time, and look better.

I’ll keep improving them until people simply have to buy one if they sit in it. Well, at least that’s the goal.
Most recent chair.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.



9 comments so far

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1793 posts in 1148 days


#1 posted 776 days ago

Do you have a picture?
Also that is awesome of trying to make something better.

Arlin

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2935 posts in 873 days


#2 posted 776 days ago

There you go Arlin.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View SteveMI's profile

SteveMI

845 posts in 1881 days


#3 posted 776 days ago

Russel,

Good looking Adirondack chairs and I agree that better ones really do sit nicer than the one size fits all.

I went to your facebook link and was curious how that is going for you? In my extended family there are probably only two of us not on facebook so my real understanding of it is slim. Do you think it has prompted a sale?

Steve.

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2935 posts in 873 days


#4 posted 776 days ago

Steve, up to this point my efforts have been mostly in getting set up. There is really only one way to sell these chairs and that is to have them where people can sit on them. Advertising in papers and FB gives you some exposure but won’t make sales as well as having them where people can see and sit in them. I’m hoping FB will get some people talking about me and the chairs, sort of an awareness raising thing and then hopefully some will pass my name on if they know anyone wanting a chair.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2163 days


#5 posted 776 days ago

That’s some good progress Russ keep up the good work.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2935 posts in 873 days


#6 posted 776 days ago

Jim, My local Lowes had a chair someone made from aromatic Cedar and it sold for $325. So next chair is for them. Monday the chair on the right of the top picture is going to a local nursery and I think I’ll just let them sell that one, and I’ll replace it when they do. I had thought that I’d just place demonstrators out and then make it when I get an order, but it’s almost June and I need to make some sales. So I’ll just be flexible and do whatever moves the chairs.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1695 days


#7 posted 776 days ago

Nice focus on the ergonomics Russell. I think that, after enough people sit in yours, that you will find your business taking off. I think most people believe that Adirondack is a foreign word that translates to “Medieval torture device.” Once enough folks get to experience it differently, I would imagine things would start looking up for you.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1823 days


#8 posted 776 days ago

Great looking chairs and good luck with your marketing plan. The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain sells a lot of rocking chairs that way.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 892 days


#9 posted 775 days ago

Nice Russel, I have said it hundreds of times,” Build a better mousetrap and people will beat apath to your door”. That is exactly what you are doing. Good luck on the sales of these and the future ones, based on your upgrades I think these will start moving much quicker than you can make them.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

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