How to Build an Outdoor Adirondack Chair Made From Skis
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Adirondack Chair Base
I built the adirondack chair base using pressure treated 2x4s. Ana White’s website has a great tutorial for DIY adirondack chair plans which I used to get a nice solid chair base. This tutorial has all the specifics for supplies and cuts- again, I just used these plans for the base alone.
I added two additional 2×2 braces into the chair base seat in order to support the skis (not included in the plan linked above). Stain your chair base prior to adding the ski slats, I promise this will make life easier. I used an outdoor semi transparent stain by Behr in the shade Coffee. It has the protectant mixed in and is waterproof so it is perfect for a piece that will be outdoors and exposed to the elements.
Ski chair back and seat
First you need to remove any ski bindings before you can get started. Every ski is different so you may just need to play with them a bit to get them removed.After the bindings are removed it is time to cut the chair back from the top half of the ski. The length can vary here (for both skis and chair backs). You may want to do a little math to be sure your head won’t hit the top of the curve. My longest were approximately 36” and then you want to cut a little off each set as you work outward to give a rounded or tapered look. In hindsight I think a bit longer length here would’ve been better, especially if you are on the taller side. Alternatively, you could curve your skis toward the back and then the height doesn’t matter. This decision is more aesthetic and totally up to you.
The seat braces (from the bottom of the skis) will be cut to approximately 24” or the length of your seat opening from the front brace to the seat back. You can take this into account when cutting the seat back as it may determine the height you choose/the amount of ski length you have available. As mentioned above in the chair base section, additional 2x2s were added for support just in front of the seat back and just behind the front seat brace. You can then screw the seat slats into these 2x2s.
Lessons learned for working with skis
Ok, quick tip here in regards to cutting your skis: Skis have an aluminum coating. This can be a bit challenging to cut. I would suggest getting a saw blade specifically for cutting metal if possible. I used a new sharp blade made for wood (recommended by the helpful man at my big box store). This ultimately worked but I think a metal blade would be better and more efficient. That said, blades for metal are more expensive and the wood blade is dual purpose so do with that what you will.On this same note, you will need special drill bits in order to drill through the skis to screw them into the base. I drilled the holes first and then put a screw through that. Just make sure your screw head is larger than your drilled hole. Or use a washer to keep the screw from going all the way through. For screws I almost always use spax screws. They are self tapping, meaning you don’t need to predrill the wood. And they don’t strip out which is an added benefit.
Completed Adirondack Ski Chair
I can’t even tell you how many compliments I’ve received on this Adirondack ski chair! It looks really great and is surprisingly comfortable. And once you figure out how to work with skis (and get the right tools) this Adirondack ski chair is a breeze to make! Looking for a more traditional Adirondack chair? I’ve got you covered there too! Check out this DIY oversized Adirondack chair.