Adirondack Chair

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Project by Scott R. Turner posted 05-07-2014 03:18 PM 2900 views 14 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My father-in-law is retiring this year after a lifetime of teaching high school in New Jersey. He’s also been a maker of Adirondack chairs, so I decided to honor his retirement with an Adirondack chair, although I’m afraid it may have turned out too nicely for traditional outdoor Adirondack chair duties!

The design is inspired by Michael Brown’s Comfy Rondack chair, but with a more traditional feel. It is made of steam-bent African mahogany and entirely joined with maple dowels. Each arm is embellished with an inlaid compass rose of holly and walnut. It was finished with a custom blend of aniline dyes, two coats of BLO and many coats of wipe-on poly. The underside of the chair received two additional coats of spur varnish for better weather protection.

The build was an interesting adventure for me, with a number of new skills. A build diary can be found on my LJ blog here.

A full set of large pictures can be seen in this album.

14 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2409 days

#1 posted 05-07-2014 03:28 PM

Outstanding, and one of the “fanciest” Adirondack chairs I’ve seen. Beautiful work—your father-in-law will be very pleased I’m sure.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View PaulDoug's profile


1592 posts in 1820 days

#2 posted 05-07-2014 04:52 PM

Exceptionally nice chair. I bet he doesn’t let it sit out in the elements! Very nice work.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View tme4tls's profile


21 posts in 2739 days

#3 posted 05-07-2014 06:03 PM

Why use spar varnish on the underside? That would be better used as a finish for the top sides than poly which is to hard and brittle for outside use.

View Woodbridge's profile (online now)


3566 posts in 2534 days

#4 posted 05-07-2014 07:41 PM

Wow, that is a beauty. That is the nicest Adirondak chair I’ve ever seen.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2601 days

#5 posted 05-07-2014 08:48 PM

That looks amazing.

-- Brian Timmons -

View tyvekboy's profile


1792 posts in 3129 days

#6 posted 05-07-2014 09:34 PM

Not your typical adirondack chair. Absolutely beautiful.

With a couple of rockers on that and he’ll never get out of it.

Great build and finish. I like the seat back and the arms.

I agree with the comment that spar varnish is better for the upper surfaces because of it’s UV resistance.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View hoss12992's profile


4066 posts in 2009 days

#7 posted 05-07-2014 09:42 PM

Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Gary's profile


1312 posts in 4441 days

#8 posted 05-07-2014 10:24 PM

Your FIL will love it; she’s a real beauty.

-- Gary, Florida

View AntarcticTraveler's profile


22 posts in 1726 days

#9 posted 05-07-2014 11:49 PM

One can only hope his build will be as nice as this one day. Awesome Scott. Your F-i-L will be amazed and HAPPY.
Job exceedingly well done. Congrats.


View Mean_Dean's profile


6856 posts in 3264 days

#10 posted 05-08-2014 12:16 AM

That’s a beautiful Adirondack chair! And I agree—it’s too nice for outside!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Scott R. Turner's profile

Scott R. Turner

267 posts in 3305 days

#11 posted 05-08-2014 12:41 AM

Thanks everyone for the nice comments!

I had originally planned on finishing the whole chair in spar varnish, but spar varnish has a blue-gray tint that I thought would mute the nice warm color of the mahogany. Since it seemed unlikely that this chair was actually going to spend a lot of time out in the weather, I decided to use just poly on the show surfaces.

View a1Jim's profile


117203 posts in 3693 days

#12 posted 05-08-2014 03:31 AM

No question scott ,it is to nice to go outside.Very impressive ,not the typical Adirondack chair,the table is very cool too.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10271 posts in 3149 days

#13 posted 05-08-2014 05:39 AM

Very Nice Indeed Wayne! Thanks For Posting!

-- It is not necessary for Some People to turn OFF the LIGHT to be IN the DARK!

View BenR's profile


340 posts in 2745 days

#14 posted 05-11-2014 02:02 AM

I was going to say’ “that’s the most beautiful adirondack chair I’ve ever seen”, but Woodbridge beat me to it. Beautiful wood matching, inlay, bending, and finish. Congradulations on a fantastic build.

-- Ben in Va

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