12/08/2017 Adirondack Chairs

Adirondack Chairs

One of my favorite past times is getting into the wood shop and building things. One of my favorite builds is the Adirondack chair. I’ve made a few for the kids in different sizes. I’ve made some out of pallets and some out of pressure treated lumber. This was the first time I was able to make them out of some nicer lumber.

The plans I found for the chair, since they were for adults and not kids, I found on PopularMechanics.com. A detailed cut list can be found here.  I did find some issues with the plans which made for a longer time getting it finished. For one there were no distances between certain pieces, the spacing of the seat slats could have been a bit wider, etc.


For this project I used 5/4″ (1 1/4) Kiln Dried Pine that I got at Queen City Lumber here in Charlotte. The guys there are so helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. Make sure to check them out for all your lumber needs. For the screws I used 2″ and 1 5/8″ screws and some glue for the legs. For two chairs I got over 100 linear feet of 6″ wide x 5/4 boards. If you are making one chair you’ll need 50 linear feet.

Cut List
A 2 1 x 5-1/4 x 33-3/4″ cedar side rail
B 1 1 x 4-1/4 x 23-1/4″ cedar top back rail
C 1 1 x 3-1/2 x 23-1/4″ cedar bottom back rail
D 9 3/4 x 2-1/4 x 23-1/4″ cedar seat slat
E 7 3/4 x 3-1/4 x 35-1/2″ cedar back slat
F 2 1 x 4-1/4 x 20-1/2″ cedar front leg
G 2 1 x 2-1/2 x 29″ cedar back leg
H 2 1 x 2-3/4 x 6-1/2″ cedar arm bracket
I 2 1 x 5-1/4 x 28″ cedar arm

The plan on Popular Mechanics has a table that you can make. I didn’t make the table so make sure you follow the directions and don’t cut out too much material if you are only making the chairs.

Day 1

This build took three days to finish. The first day we cut out 40 linear feet of material, used the shape router and made templates for every piece that had a curve in it. The side rails, back rail, bottom rail, bracket and arm all required a template. We used the shape router and made enough pieces for two chairs. It made our life so much easier. I actually ran out of material and left for the day.

Day 2

I returned with 60 linear feet more and finished the cut list, carefully making sure I didn’t need to go get more material (as it was back in Charlotte). We got everything cut out on the band saw and then on the shape router. It was time for assembly.

After working 10 hours sanding, cutting, and assembling, we stopped for the day.

Day 3

The final day was a speed day as I had to get back to Charlotte to work that night. We started early  around 7:30 am and started with the back slats and the arms. I mentioned earlier that there were some issues with the plans and this was one of them. The angles on the cuts of the arms, the distance back from the front for the front legs and the seat slat angles.

We added the back slats and sat up the chair for the arms. Using clamps to your advantage is always a good thing. My Father in Law was building one chair and I was doing the other and didn’t have an extra hand. (see picture below)


Here’s a picture of the final product. I think it turned out way better then I thought. The only thing left to do is stain and seal it.

Adirondack chairs
Adirondack Chairs
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