Adirondack Chairs

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Project by Draeger posted 12-05-2014 03:23 PM 3456 views 21 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These chairs were finished about a year ago, but this is the project that got me started in woodworking.

A couple of years ago I bought 2 premade Adirondack chairs from a big box store. They turned out to be pure junk…uncomfortable, rickety, and made from cheap pine. I’ve wanted some nice ones, but have been unwilling to throw down the $450-per-chair price tag for the ones I like. I bought a cheep bandsaw from CL and a ridged spindle sander – my first real tools.

I couldn’t find a plan to purchase for chairs that I liked, so I decided that I would design it myself. That turned into the biggest challenge of the project. Roughly copying a picture of a chair that appealed to me from online, I went to work with a French curve set and some cedar fence slats to make a mockup. Getting the dimensions, curves, and angles right was more difficult than planned, but I finally came up with something that I was satisfied with, so I had my template pieces.

As a side note, I found out while working on my mockup that I have a moderate allergy to cedar sawdust. Great! Now what will I build the chairs out of? I decided on redwood, but the only good source I could find near me was 2-by decking lumber. Oh well, I wanted the build to be stout anyway. Might as well be very stout! I know redwood is very soft, but I don’t really plan on moving the chairs around much, so I figured it would be ok.

The chairs finally went together without a great deal of headache, surprisingly, and you can see the result. I finished them with penofin oil as seen in the last pic. After a year in the California sun they are still holding up very well, and my wife and I love them. Oh so comfortable.

Since this project my shop has added a better bandsaw, table saw, drill press, jointer, planer, chop saw, various handheld power tools, and I’m just beginning to dabble with some hand tools. I have far more projects on my want-to-do list than I’ll ever have time for. I should have just paid the $450 for the Adirondack chairs…haha!!!

Thanks for looking…questions and comments welcome.

-- 'Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.' - Abraham Lincoln

12 comments so far

View SteveW's profile


394 posts in 3008 days

#1 posted 12-05-2014 03:44 PM

Those are absolutely beautiful. What a nice job on the chairs.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! SteveW

View ChrisK's profile


2002 posts in 3231 days

#2 posted 12-05-2014 04:06 PM

Really nice looking, great work!

-- Chris K

View hotncold's profile


784 posts in 1693 days

#3 posted 12-05-2014 04:35 PM

That’s one of the best designs for these chairs that I’ve seen. I really like the way the seat wraps down the front.
Very nice work!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View johnstoneb's profile


3014 posts in 2322 days

#4 posted 12-05-2014 05:03 PM

really nice looking chairs. They should last forever made out or 2” redwood. Great idea.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Hawaiilad's profile


3281 posts in 3170 days

#5 posted 12-05-2014 06:55 PM

Very nice looking chairs…should last you for years to come.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10574 posts in 3182 days

#6 posted 12-05-2014 10:45 PM

Very nice Project indeed! Well done also. Thanks for Posting.

Regards: Rick

-- (Rick S.)... "Don't Worry About What People Think! They Don't Do It Very Often Anyway!"

View lcwood's profile


218 posts in 2914 days

#7 posted 12-06-2014 02:35 AM

Very nice work

View SuperCubber's profile


1037 posts in 2434 days

#8 posted 12-06-2014 03:58 AM

Beautiful chairs!


-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8542 posts in 2131 days

#9 posted 12-06-2014 02:16 PM

Wow, you nailed it with these. Nice work.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Jos's profile


59 posts in 1731 days

#10 posted 12-06-2014 03:14 PM

You did a great job on these! Beautiful chairs – like the design.

I have made some treated pine Adirondack chairs in the past (nowhere near as nice as yours). I found they sold on CL but sometimes it weeks instead of a couple of days. Difficult to sell at my desired profit margin.

Regardless, they were fun to make and the reward of sitting in one is well worth it.

View KiwiCraig's profile


15 posts in 2001 days

#11 posted 12-07-2014 05:37 AM

They may be a little “stout” but still some of the best looking I have seen. well done

View bigbuddha's profile


192 posts in 3369 days

#12 posted 12-07-2014 05:45 AM


I also found out I’m allergic to cedar…except we had had a few 2×4s in the garage and I kept getting a really bad upper respiratory reaction (never even cut them) until we cleared it out a month later and I was symptom free.

-- helen

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