Adirondack Chair

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Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 02-04-2010 04:53 PM 4831 reads 3 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to make my husband an Adirondack Chair for Christmas. I had a purchased plan, plus 3 or 4 others from magazines and the internet. From my online research, many people said the “typical” Adirondack chair, or Muskoka chair, as it’s known as around here, was hard to get out of. They do sit quite low to the ground with a steep back slant to the seat. Since I wanted my husband to be able to get back out of the chair (for obvious reasons), I decided on the “improved design” Norm Abram Adirondack Chair in Popular Woodworking Magazine, and also at their website.

The article, with parts list and step-by step directions is here:

I used rough pine for the chair, which meant I needed to pick out pieces without loose knots, and with areas that looked clear as possible for the parts I had to make, and then joint and plane them to size. The thickness of all the parts is 3/4”, the legs, front crosspiece and seat slats are rectangular, with no need to make fancy cuts on. The tops of the back slats, the arms, arm brackets, side members and rear crosspieces need to be cut to shape. I used my jigsaw but a bandsaw would be easier (I don’t have one yet).

Jigsaw cutting the side member:

All the pieces laid out:

Closer photo of just the back slats:

The chair is put together with screws as well as some carriage bolts. For the screws I plug them afterward, so each place a screw goes needs a hole for the screw as well as a larger hole for the plug.

These next two photos show the arm with it’s three large holes and the front crosspiece, lower rear crosspiece and leg with two large holes (on each side), waiting for the plugs to go in:

Now you can see the upper rear crosspiece is bolted on and the holes are all plugged in the arms, legs and front crosspiece:

Side view:
side view

While the chair was at this stage I painted it with 3 coats of exterior house paint. After making similar child size chairs I realized it would be much easier to paint the slats before they were attached to the chair. It’s hard to get the paint in between the slats, so the chair base was painted and just the backs and sides of the back slats and seat slats. I couldn’t paint the fronts yet because the screws still had to be attached and plugged.

All the base painted and back slats (with just their backs and sides painted) attached:
partially painted

Two views of the chair all painted:
red front view

red side view

Since my husband is a Montreal Canadiens fan, I decided to put the team logo on the chair. I found it online and printed it on my printer to the size I needed. Then I cut it out and traced around the parts to transfer it to the chair. I used acrylic craft paints for the white and blue, and some painters tape to keep the lines straight.

Here it is:
finished chair

finished chair 2

This is a very comfortable chair and he was happy to receive it as his present!


-- ~Julie~

30 comments so far

View cyclone's profile


9 posts in 3622 days

#1 posted 02-04-2010 05:03 PM

Hi Julie
Nicely painted chair. There are not too many Canadian fans around (or that will admit it)
I have made a number of these chairs using Norm’s plans and are well accepted. Have some at our
cottage which have been in use for 6-7 years.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3312 days

#2 posted 02-04-2010 05:14 PM

Julie, great job on the blog and the chair.

And welcome to Lumberjocks


View Arthur Rollins's profile

Arthur Rollins

43 posts in 3061 days

#3 posted 02-04-2010 05:14 PM

WOW ! Lookin great . I need to make some for my self this summer .

-- Art, Arts wood n things

View ChesapeakeBob's profile


366 posts in 3509 days

#4 posted 02-04-2010 05:15 PM

Beautiful chair and paint job!

-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4125 days

#5 posted 02-04-2010 05:16 PM

Great project and great blog!

Thanks for sharing!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Don's profile


551 posts in 3268 days

#6 posted 02-04-2010 05:44 PM

and I’ll say it here too…sweet chair


-- -- Don in Ottawa,

View Jason's profile


659 posts in 3534 days

#7 posted 02-04-2010 06:06 PM

Thanks for sharing Julie.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3699 days

#8 posted 02-04-2010 06:14 PM

Nice chair.

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#9 posted 02-04-2010 07:21 PM

Good blog and chair Julie
Welcome to Ljs

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3717 days

#10 posted 02-04-2010 08:02 PM

Wow thats brighten up my day nice chair Julie

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3983 days

#11 posted 02-04-2010 08:09 PM

That is a really nicely done project, and blog…I just have one problem with it..



View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4103 days

#12 posted 02-04-2010 08:10 PM

Nicely done Julie, that is one lucky husband!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View JimNEB's profile


239 posts in 3094 days

#13 posted 02-04-2010 08:11 PM

Wow, that looks really nice. But being an Avs fan I might of painted it burgendy with an Avs logo…

-- Jim, Nebraska

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4221 days

#14 posted 02-04-2010 08:34 PM

Great project, and absolutely terrific documentation for us to see. Your husband is very lucky. I don’t suppose you’d consider leaving him for a Green Bay Packer fan? Colors are green & gold…I’d love a chair -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3813 days

#15 posted 02-04-2010 08:51 PM

Nicely done. What a nice gift!!! I hope he reciprocated with an equally thoughtful gift.

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