Adirondack Chair Project


Another Adirondack Chair Project? Don't we have a ton of these tutorials already? I promise you this project is different. Hold on because this project will bring a woodworking elegance to your backyard or patio. And you don't need a lot of tools and experience to make it.
adirondack chair project
I used another Adirondack Chair I built a few years ago and modeled this new design after it. This design will use oak plywood and oak dowels for the seat. In the picture above, I'm using a flexible ruler to lay out my curves. If you plan to leave the chair exposed to the rain, then I suggest using an exterior plywood. The plywood I'm using is not exterior, but I keep my chair under the patio out of the rain.
adirondack chair project
I used a jig saw to cut out the sides and the back. I also used a miter saw to cut the dowels. Look for my tutorial link at the end so you can get the plans, dimensions, and more instructions.
adirondack chair project
Clamp the two identical sides together and sand away the jagged cuts of the jig saw. A portable belt sander was also used.
adirondack chair project
I used a 1.25 inch diameter Forstner bit and drilled through both sides while they were clamped together. I highly recommend a drill press for this step so that the 1.25 inch diameter dowels will fit the sides precisely.
adirondack chair project
Beginning to assemble the chair, starting with 3 dowels in the locations pictured above.
adirondack chair project
Attach the back first, using 6 - 1.25 inch exterior wood screws.
adirondack chair project
Tested for fit and glued the oak dowels in place. Used Titebond III wood glue.
adirondack chair project
I cut out the armrest and their supports and then I used the orbital sander to do the final sanding.
adirondack chair project
I stained it with a pecan-colored polyshade stain. After the 2 coats dried, I sprayed on several coats of spar urethane. The beauty of the oak has really started to shine.

Again, if you plan to keep your chair out, exposed to direct rain, then I suggest an exterior plywood. And even then, I would recommend sealing it or painting it. I'm not sure if you can get Oak Exterior plywood or not. You may have to go to a specialty wood supply store for this.
adirondack chair project
Side view of the finished adirondack chair.
adirondack chair project
Back view of the adirondack chair. Check out my tutorial link to get more details on this project. Enjoy!
Stephen Scott Johnson

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Martha Anne Horning
    on Feb 11, 2017

    Do you make these to sell? If so , how much?

    • MARY ABLES
      on Aug 2, 2017

      Plus LABOR, THAT'S WHY THEY ARE COSTLY.
      YOURS LOOK LIKE THEY ARE A LABOR OF LOVE. BEAUTIFUL JOB
      MARY ABLES {DADSLADYBUG}
  • Cora Tanner da Silva
    on May 29, 2017

    I have a hard time getting out of low chairs but I like the looks of that chair. Any suggestions in making it higher? Do you have a tutorial on a foot rest too? Your chair looks great!
    • Stephen Scott Johnson
      on May 29, 2017

      The only suggestion I would make is maybe make the sides a little taller. I was using 4ft by 2ft sheets of plywood for each side, so somewhat limited on the dimensions. But you could get bigger sheets and make the dimensions taller. Sorry, I don't have plans for a stool, but that sounds like a great idea.
  • Susan
    on Sep 1, 2017

    you say 6 screws - WHERE do you place those (when attaching the back piece) ??? and 1-1/2 inch size? thru the back into the dowel? or from the side? didn't see them in pics

Join the conversation

2 of 117 comments
  • Magi
    on Aug 2, 2017

    Are plan available for your "spin" on the Adirondack chair, very hip and modern looking. Thanks for your time. magsmail@comcast.net
  • Stephen Scott Johnson
    on Aug 3, 2017

    If you go to my website post, I do have some "plans" showing the overall dimensions. But it's not a pattern kind of plan that you can print out or scale. Check that out. If you have any more questions on the dimensions or build, feel free to contact me.
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