How do I Choose the Best Adirondack Chair Plans?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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If you have decided to build your own Adirondack chairs rather than purchase them from a store, you will need to find some Adirondack chair plans that are accurate representations of the chair, as well as being sturdy, attractive, and large or small enough for your purposes. These types of chairs are not exceptionally difficult to build, so most Adirondack chair plans will be fairly simple. Some Adirondack chair plans, however, will feature aesthetic flourishes that may require you to have more carpentry skills than just the basics. Decide what you want from your Adirondack chairs and choose plans that will suit those needs.

Traditional Adirondack chair plans will allow you to make the chair from one long board cut into eleven pieces. These plans will have you creating the simplest Adirondack chairs, much like the very first versions, which were created with economical savings and pure function in mind. More modern Adirondack chair plans will require more wood and more precise cutting, especially if the arms, legs, seat back, and seat are cut to a more ornate pattern. Be sure to take note of the tools listed as required on the Adirondack chair plans you are considering. If you do not have the necessary tools, either purchase or borrow them.


Take note of the amount of materials necessary to build the chair according to the specific Adirondack chair plans you are considering. Some plans call for more wood and more hardware, and some chairs are larger than others; these considerations can have an impact on the overall cost of the chair, as well as the amount of time it will take you to build the chair. The type of wood used in the plans will also impact the cost of the chair, sometimes significantly. Some woods will require water sealant and stain, while others will not, but woods that are naturally resistant to moisture damage may cost more than other types of wood.

Of course, you can always choose a do-it-yourself Adirondack chair kit that will come with all the necessary parts, often pre-cut, as well as detailed instructions on how to build the chair. These kits are usually fairly simple and assembly can take as little as a few minutes. If you are looking to build a chair quickly with little or no woodworking and simple assembly, choose a Do-It-Yourself kit rather than searching for plans that will require you to build the chair from scratch.


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Post 3

@bythewell - Well, if you still have the chairs, you can try to replicate them. Either learn something about carpentry yourself, or ask someone you know who can give it a shot, or at least tell you how the chairs were made.

Even if you can't have your grandfather teach you directly, I'm sure he would still be honored if you were to follow in his footsteps and learn by yourself, though. There are very few more rewarding hobbies than wood working and you might soon find yourself doing more than just making Adirondack chairs.

On the other hand, even just making the chairs would be very satisfying, even if you never end up using the skills again. Good luck!

Post 2

My grandfather had some lovely cedar Adirondack chairs that he built one year when he was bored. He contoured the seat so they weren't so hard to sit on, although I think traditionally the chairs are supposed to be flat boards.

He also made the backs of the chairs from more pieces than usual and sort of radiate from a more central point (they were thinner down the bottom).

They were really pretty and I always hoped he would show me how to make such lovely things, but unfortunately he passed away before I could ask him to teach me.

Post 1

A basic Adirondack chair is often built in high schools for wood-shop class. It has a kind of simplicity to it, since you can see the intact board before you begin building and cutting it into the required pieces, and then you end up with it all in one piece again (albeit, as a chair).

So, you might want to see if you can find some school lesson plans, particularly if you aren't a strong carpenter and are hoping to use this as a lesson for yourself.

If you follow a lesson plan, it will hopefully explain each step, without taking it for granted you already know what you're doing, and you might learn something along the way.

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