|Project by BillG||posted 01-20-2012 03:54 PM||3600 views||2 times favorited||5 comments|
Last summer (2011) I built a set of Adirondack chairs, tables and stools to take up to our camp in Maine. I used the plans created and updated from Norm Abrams of the New Yankee Workshop. Of all the plans I looked at, these were the nicest and the most well built.
I used cypress for the material and screwed and glued the entire set. Again on Norm’s recommendation, the adhesive used was 3M 5200 adhesive caulk. This was my first experience with this adhesive and I must admit that it was the right choice. It is a tough and totally waterproof adhesive and sticks well to wood. It comes in a white and mahogany color (boat builders use this a lot). I used the white and needed to be careful to avoid squeeze out. If it does squeeze out, don’t wipe it. Once it is cured a sharp knife will cut it loose. It is somewhat like silicone, only much tougher.
Patterns were made for all the shaped parts from 1/2” MDF. The cypress pieces were then band sawn and pattern routed on my router table. Almost all the edges were radiused using a 1/4” round over bit. All of the holes were plugged. Before assembly I sanded all pieces to 220 grit and then finished them. The chairs are remarkably light yet strong.
I finished the pieces with a clear Thompsons water sealer. This is not needed on cypress, but does seal the surface from the weather and prevents the wood from drying out. Cypress does not rot, but sun and rain will dry out the wood over time and raise the grain and cause splits. Thompsons simply slows that process. No outdoor furniture lasts forever. If I get ten years, I’ll be a happy camper.
The bottom line – the family loves the chairs and claims they are very comfortable to sit in. The stools look odd, but are actually really comfortable.
-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA