Adirondack Chair

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Project by Scott R. Turner posted 76 days ago 1437 views 13 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


4340 posts in 887 days

#1 posted 76 days ago

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


519 posts in 299 days

#2 posted 76 days ago

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 1218 days

#3 posted 75 days ago

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


2559 posts in 1013 days

#4 posted 75 days ago

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

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View BTimmons's profile (online now)


2075 posts in 1080 days

#5 posted 75 days ago

That looks amazing.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - -

View tyvekboy's profile (online now)


517 posts in 1608 days

#6 posted 75 days ago

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

View hoss12992's profile


2458 posts in 488 days

#7 posted 75 days ago

Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Gary's profile


1013 posts in 2919 days

#8 posted 75 days ago

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

-- Gary, Florida.

View AntarcticTraveler's profile


22 posts in 205 days

#9 posted 75 days ago

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


1243 posts in 1742 days

#10 posted 75 days ago

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

-- Dean

View Scott R. Turner's profile

Scott R. Turner

260 posts in 1783 days

#11 posted 75 days ago

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


111999 posts in 2172 days

#12 posted 75 days ago

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

-- Custom furniture

View Rick's profile


6455 posts in 1628 days

#13 posted 75 days ago

Very Nice Indeed Wayne! Thanks For Posting!

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View Lyn's profile


245 posts in 1223 days

#14 posted 72 days ago

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.

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