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Sassafras adirondack chair

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Project by Jeremymcon posted 05-12-2017 05:48 PM 577 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just completed this adirondack chair made from Sassafras. I used plans I found on fine woodworking. I very nearly made two but didn’t end up having enough lumber for both. I’m actually glad I didn’t, because having built this one I’d make a couple changes on the next one. But it was really fun and the chair is surprisingly comfortable!

I always love working with new woods, and I had made a couple of small projects with this Sassafras lumber, but nothing big until now. Sassafras obviously smells great while working it, but I do worry about the fact that Sassafras tea has been shown to be a mild carcinogen… I tried to keep the dust and dust inhalation to a minimum for that reason.

Anyway, the grain of Sassafras is kind of similar to oak, but the wood is much softer and lighter weight. It is also prone I tearout, I found. I used a lunch box planer for rough thicknessing, but most surfaces were finished with a smoothing plane. I found that the most frustrating areas to plane were actually ares where the grain ran perfectly parallel to the surface of the board – I kept getting long, thin pieces tearing out the whole way down the board! I sharpened my plane at the start of the project, but I suppose I may have benefited from another sharpening session. I left some tearout, since this is just a piece of outdoor furniture anyway.

I ha enter decided on a finish yet – I read that Sassafras is supposed to be a rot resistant species, so I considered just leaving it bare, but SWMBO wants a clear coat of some sort to keep it from graying and splintering. I’m leaning toward one of those outdoor oil type products for ease of maintenance, but I’d love to hear your suggestions.





6 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

3277 posts in 1984 days


#1 posted 05-12-2017 06:37 PM

Nice chair & well done .

-- SAWDUST is THERAPY without a couch! just rjR

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

27192 posts in 2584 days


#2 posted 05-12-2017 09:04 PM

This is a very nice Adirondack chair.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14408 posts in 3308 days


#3 posted 05-12-2017 11:31 PM

Very nice looking chair – nicely done.
My question : how long is the longest back slat of this adirondack chair?

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Jeremymcon's profile

Jeremymcon

166 posts in 397 days


#4 posted 05-12-2017 11:53 PM

The longest slat is 30 3/4”. So 30” from the actual seat, since the seat slats overlap the back slats. But that’s actually one of the things I’d change if I were to build another one. For me, if I lay my head back, the top corner of the slat hits right in the middle of my head! I don’t typically lay my head back, so not a big deal, but if I make a second I’d make that longest slat about 4-5” taller.

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14408 posts in 3308 days


#5 posted 05-13-2017 02:03 PM


The longest slat is 30 3/4”. So 30” from the actual seat, since the seat slats overlap the back slats. But that s actually one of the things I d change if I were to build another one. For me, if I lay my head back, the top corner of the slat hits right in the middle of my head! I don t typically lay my head back, so not a big deal, but if I make a second I d make that longest slat about 4-5” taller.

- Jeremymcon


Thank you very much for the reply.
I plan to make one that fit my size…taking into consideration that my head will rest on the back slats, with chair head pillow.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5541 posts in 2865 days


#6 posted 05-15-2017 07:35 PM

Great looking Adirondack—looking forward to seeing the newer ones when you build them!

As for a finish, you can try a clear oil-based spar varnish. But it will have to be reapplied every year, as no finish will hold up to the sun.

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

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