How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

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How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step – We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not affect our recommendations.

Steve Shanesy built a modified Adirondack chair with Norm Abrams of The New Yankee Workshop. Take a seat and learn how the Abrams works.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

I’ve learned over the years that patience gives time to opportunities that never happen. Such is the case with the Adirondack chair made by The New Yankee Workshop with Norm Abrams.

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While projects like this are standard fare for most woodworking magazines, Popular Carpentry hasn’t offered them to readers in over 10 years. This project was of course discussed, but for one reason or another it did not happen. Then one day the phone rang and a rep from “The New Yankee Workshop” asked if we wanted to work with Abrams on the most popular project featured on the show.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

Abrams will make the chair and give it away as a commercial for the show, and I will make a duplicate as a project for Popular Woodworking readers. Perfect!

OK, some of you may be wondering, “What was it like working with Abrams on The New Yankee Workshop?” So let’s get that part out of the way. What’s most surprising is how “normal-al” it is, if you’ll pardon the pun.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

How To Build Adirondack Chairs (with Pictures)

When you strip away all the myths and misinformation, Abrams is a very pleasant, laid-back, hard-working, well-equipped, but not overbearing, carpenter’s shop woodworker. He really felt at home there. And this is not a TV studio with carpentry equipment, but a real carpentry workshop. How luxurious? I’ve seen more wasteful home woodworkers than this shop.

Abrams is fun to work with, that’s for sure. But I work in a professional shop doing hundreds of projects while working with other people. And even though Abram is a celebrity, his charming personality and his charming demeanor made me feel right at home. (For more on Abrams and his shop, see our Great Woodshop column here.)

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

Now back to the project in progress: After being introduced to the New Yankee Workshop, Abrams and I got our first look at the original Adirondack he built, based on the design his father used years ago. It is weatherproof and weather resistant for over a decade of continuous outdoor duty. He explained that it was made of spruce, an excellent choice for an outdoor project, and he gave us new chairs.

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We then checked out the seating plans, one of which was the famous “master drawer” that Abrams offers to the audience at the end of each show. This copy has many notes on the small changes that Abrams made as corrections. The last thing we did before cutting the wood was to review the many templates he made for the original chair and kept throughout the year. We use this pattern for curved parts. Drawings for this are included as part of the project plan presented here.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

If you start your project by preparing samples and stock, construction will go faster. We finished our chair in less than a day, working steadily, but relatively easily, at a fast pace.

Usually, this chair is built from the ground up so the first piece it needs is the two side parts that slide back from the front, vertical legs. Use a pattern to trace the size of the stock, then cut with a band saw. Abrams suggested that we nail both ends of the trash and cut the pile on both sides to save time. Then we sanded the edges of the saw to smooth the surface.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

Folding Reclining Adirondack Chairs (large)

Cut both sides of the chair at once by nailing it to the place where the wood will be left. Saw up to the line of the ribbon template and cut the edges.

Next use a measuring block and a miter saw or table saw so you can repeat the cuts to the same length for the lower back crosspiece, front crosspiece, and seat bar. Use a pattern that gives a curved shape to the cross section of the lower back. (Using a butt slightly wider than needed for this piece, scrap scrap made the perfect matching curve needed for the backseat bar.) After sawing the tape, sand the edges smooth and sand. Be sure to set aside scraps for later use.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

The first assembly job is to connect the two sides together with the lower front and back cross pieces. The cross section overlaps the side and care must be taken to keep the inside outside the side. This will help keep your chair square as you prepare.

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Seat parts are usually assembled using screws or in some cases carriage bolts, nuts and washers. We use stainless steel fasteners because they can stand up to the rigors of outdoor life. It is more expensive than laminated or plated fasteners, but in the end it is better value. Screw length is 1 5⁄8″ when specified. We also use external adhesives. Abrams used 3M Brand Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200. Since my chair was going to be shipped to a popular carpentry shop in Ohio, I screwed my parts together so they could be disassembled and shipped easier. Then, at home, I assembled my seat with Titebond III because I couldn’t find the product that Abrams used. In the Midwest, I don’t think we need a marine grade adhesive because it’s closer to the coast.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

Begin the assembly by gluing and securing the lower back to the side of the chair. For long-lasting results, use marine-grade or water-resistant glue and stainless steel screws.

All screw holes must be pre-drilled for two reasons; Drill pilot holes to prevent splitting and then countersink large enough to accept wood plugs. A plug not only helps the look of the chair but also adds to the durability of the chair. We use drill bits that drill and offset the holes for the plugs in the same operation.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

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Place both sides of the bench and attach the lower back crosspiece first. With this in place, reverse the work and secure the front crosspiece. Use a pair of screws for each joint and place them 3⁄4″ from the edge of the board.

Next the two front legs are attached with three 1⁄4″ by 2″ carriage bolts. Hold the foot in position before drilling. The correct position is 11 3⁄4″ from the bottom of the foot to the bottom of the front bar.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

Drill 1⁄4″ holes through the side members and forelegs to accept the stainless steel carriage bolts. Use clamps to hold components in position; The leg should be flush with the leading edge of the sides and 11 3⁄4″ from the bottom of the leg to the bottom edge of the front crosspiece.

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Once the bolt holes are found, arrange them in a triangle as shown in the image below. Following the diagram carefully kept me from drilling the holes where the screws are for the front cross pieces.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

Attach the legs with carriage bolts, head out. When tightening the nut, put the bolt head with a hammer blow, screw the square corner under the head to the wood to prevent the head from turning.

Bolt the leg and side members, secure the head outside with a flat nut and washer. Square shank hammer under the head. The shank prevents the bolt from rotating in the hole.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

Kid’s Adirondack Chair

The next part to prepare and install is the arm and arm bracket. Everyone should use the pattern and cut the band saw. Sand the edges as before. Additionally, the router should smooth the upper edge of the arm with a 3⁄8″ rounding bit. We only route one edge, targeting it as a node. Doing so will create a right and left hand, so choose your contents accordingly.

We added the arm brackets first. The top, or widest, part of the bracket is located parallel to the top of the foot and in the middle of the width of the foot. Clamp each in place then drill and countersink for the top screws on each bracket. Repeat for the bottom screw but use a smaller 1 1⁄4″ screw.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

Place and clamp the arm bracket, then drill and countersink the two screws. The top edge of the pedestal should be flush with the top of the pedestal and centered across the width of the pedestal.

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Use three screws to attach the arms to the leg and arm brackets. Position the arms carefully so that the legs hang 3⁄4″. Use spacers to hold it in place. The sleeves cover the front edge of the thigh by 1 ⁄8″.

How To Build An Adirondack Chair Step By Step

With the arm brackets attached, attach the forelegs and arms to the brackets. Use the diagram below to position the arms correctly before tightening. Again, be sure and use glue

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