Introduction

a finished Westport chair in the backyard lawn
Photo: Kolin Smith
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You know the Adirondack chair. What you may not have known is that the ubiquitous lawn lounger is based on an earlier design like this one—less refined, more rustic—called the Westport chair.

Thomas Lee was bent on comfort when he built the original, back in 1903, and the hallmarks of that vision remain. A deeply pitched seat and slanted back practically demand that you recline, and gratuitously wide arms easily host a good read and a cool drink, not to mention a lazy limb.

This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers based our version on plans from the Adirondack Museum, in Blue Mountain Lake, New York. Follow along to put together your own piece of history.

Shown: The ingenious joinery actually tightens up when you sit down.

Download and print the Westport chair cut list and parts plan.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Sliding compound miter saw to crosscut the boards to length
    • adjustable clamp
      Clamps to hold the parts together during assembly
    • circular saw
      Circular saw to cut the parts to width
    • framing square
      Framing square and combination square for marking cutlines
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw to cut notches and curves
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • hand plane
      Hand plane to straighten board edges
    • sandpaper
      120-grit sandpaper
    • sanding block
      Sanding block
    • pencil compass
      Compass
    • torpedo level
      Torpedo level
    • 3-inch wide paint brush
      3-inch paintbrush to apply teak oil

    Shopping List

    ½ x 10 cedar boards.
    Get four 8-foot lengths

    1 -inch stainless-steel trim-head screws

    Teak oil to finish the chair