Introduction

how to build an adirondack chair
Photo: Julian Wass
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Anyone who's ever sat in the low-slung seat of an Adirondack chair and sunk into the curve of the fanned back knows there's no cushion-free seat like it. Handy homeowner Jay Davis coveted just such a comfy piece for his yard but wasn't sure if he should make his own or go shopping. "I thought at first it might be easy to build one," he wrote to us, "but looking closely I'm wondering if the angles and curves are too much trouble."

Fear not, Jay. The beauty of the Adirondack chair—which takes its name from the New York mountain camps that snapped up hundreds of the chairs after it was invented in the early 1900s—is its simplicity, as some of the parts do double duty. The beefy seat supports are also the back legs; the wide armrests (perfect for resting a picnic plate or cocktail, by the way) also hold the back support. Assembling a basic one will take less than a day, if you follow the plans we show here. But if you decide to go the retail route, there are dozens of richly stained or brightly painted options. Either way, we promise you'll soon be relaxing in the comfiest seat in the yard.
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    Tools List

    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • drill
      Drill/driver

    Shopping List

    1. 6-inch pressure-treated decking You'll need about seven 6-footers to make the back slats, arm rests, seat supports, seats slats and front crosspiece.

    2. 4-inch pressure-treated decking Pick up two 6-footers to construct the back braces, front legs, and blocking for the arm rests.

    3. 1-inch pressure-treated baluster You'll need 44-inches of material for two 22-inch raisers to support the back braces.

    4. 100-grit sand paper

    5. 2-inch deck screws