Adirondack Chair Project

Stephen Scott Johnson
by Stephen Scott Johnson
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.
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.
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.
Clamp the two identical sides together and sand away the jagged cuts of the jig saw. A portable belt sander was also used.
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.
Beginning to assemble the chair, starting with 3 dowels in the locations pictured above.
Attach the back first, using 6 - 1.25 inch exterior wood screws.
Tested for fit and glued the oak dowels in place. Used Titebond III wood glue.
I cut out the armrest and their supports and then I used the orbital sander to do the final sanding.
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.
Side view of the finished adirondack chair.
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!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Martha Anne Horning Martha Anne Horning on Feb 11, 2017
    Do you make these to sell? If so , how much?

  • Cora Tanner da Silva 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!

  • Susan Susan on Aug 31, 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 Magi on Aug 02, 2017
    Are plan available for your "spin" on the Adirondack chair, very hip and modern looking. Thanks for your time.

  • Stephen Scott Johnson Stephen Scott Johnson on Aug 03, 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.