White Oak Adirondack Chairs

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Project by jred posted 05-30-2017 09:34 PM 1611 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

5 years ago, my family and I made a career move across the country. The wood tools were all broken down and packed into a truck and eventually set back up in the basement of our new home (very old house, new to us). However, the difficulties of dust control, moisture, getting lumber down the tiny stairway, etc all resulted in my abandoning the hobby pretty much entirely. In the meantime, I got my pilots license, learned some sheet metal skills and built two fully functional airplanes! Now that the second (and last!) airplane is completed and flying, my wife wants me to get back into woodworking so that she can finally get some of the furniture she’s wanted and that I have continually put off buying (since I could build it myself, right!). So, we cleaned out the shed behind the house, disassembled, lugged up the stairs, and re-assembled all of the woodworking tools, fab’d up some electric, and found a neat little woodworkers supply store about 30 minutes away with a fantastic selection of lumber.

After all of that, I present to you: my wonderful wife’s birthday present! (finally delivered two years after they were promised, she’d like to add…)
We live near the beach and I really like all of the brightly colored polywood chairs we see for sale (I mostly like the not-painting-it-every-year part), but at $250 EACH, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy some. After some reading, many folks on this site and others recommended white oak for its weather-resistance. The finish is 3 coats of waterlox sealer/finish, which is what I used on our coffee table probably 7 years ago. Over those years, the kids have spilled untold gallons of cool-aid on it, and it has remained impervious! Here’s hoping these last as long, because they sure are comfortable!

8/30/17 update: had some good-sized leftover scraps of the oak, and decided to build a foot rest. If I had been more careful, I might have been able to build two, but there was just not quite enough wood left for that!

11 comments so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3072 posts in 2411 days

#1 posted 05-30-2017 11:13 PM

Nice chairs

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View oldguy2's profile


204 posts in 1666 days

#2 posted 05-30-2017 11:59 PM

Well done and you have not lost your touch at all… I hope you kept the patterns it looks like you could get some requests for these and have to have a NO button. There are lots of small table ideas I have one that knocks down in my projects without bolts or screws…please check it out. One site here has a cup holder to slide over the arms for tall classes for the adirondack arms. Enjoy.

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

321 posts in 889 days

#3 posted 05-31-2017 01:27 AM

Very nice.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View woodworm's profile


14470 posts in 3829 days

#4 posted 05-31-2017 08:19 AM

Nicely done. I like the color very much!!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Jeremymcon's profile


306 posts in 919 days

#5 posted 05-31-2017 12:43 PM

After building a couple airplanes, these must have been a piece of cake! Looks good in white oak. I believe I used the same plans as you – from fine woodworking magazine. My chair (only one, so far) is made from Sassafras, which is supposed to be rot resistant, but not as hard and dense as white oak. Well see how it holds up. Nice work!

View jred's profile


49 posts in 3404 days

#6 posted 05-31-2017 12:48 PM

Probably was the same set of plans, although they weren’t in my FWW archive. I found them online as a Popular Woodworking article. I think it was a Norm Abrams plan or something. Very simple, and I found it was just as easy to make two as it was to make one. In fact, it wouldn’t be too much harder to go into production mode and make a half a dozen at a time!

View Jeremymcon's profile


306 posts in 919 days

#7 posted 05-31-2017 02:43 PM

Yup. Norm Abrams… And you’re right – it was popular woodworking! I was misremembering. Used some plans from fine woodworking recently on another project. If I had had enough lumber I’d have made two – especially since I was resawing all the parts from 8/4. Would have been really easy to have cut all the parts then split them in half for the duplicates… Didn’t make time to go buy more wood though. Actually, I didn’t even think to make templates! So when I get around to making the second one I’ll have to go back to the plans for most of the parts.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3105 days

#8 posted 05-31-2017 05:34 PM

These are beautiful Adirondack chairs.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21967 posts in 3344 days

#9 posted 05-31-2017 11:04 PM

Good looking chairs. Nice that you used white oak, too!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MC's profile


234 posts in 2586 days

#10 posted 06-01-2017 11:32 PM

Very nice chairs, they should last a long time.

View Mean_Dean's profile


6916 posts in 3386 days

#11 posted 06-04-2017 09:11 PM

Great looking pair of Adirondacks—that white oak should last you many years!

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

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