Inspired from Ana White's plans, this homemade Adirondack chair only uses a miter saw and jig saw to put together and are perfect for your backyard.
So about a year ago I started making a to-do list of woodworking projects I wanted to make in due time. One of the big ones was an Adirondack chair. For some reason I felt like it was a right of passage to make one. And I'm glad to say I passed with flying colors with these DIY Adirondack chairs!
Just last week we had our fence put in, which means our dog Zooey has a huge yard to run around in! It also means we have more of a reason to sit around in the backyard. It also just so happened to be the first weekend in over a month that Lauren and I didn't have something going on. So on a whim on Saturday morning, I asked Lauren if she'd be up to make some chairs, thinking she wouldn't be, but I was wrong! It actually was my first project that Lauren helped with and we had a lot of fun making it. Per usual the first place I checked for Adirondack chair plans was Ana White's site and she didn't disappoint. They can be found here and the images are below in the directions.
One of the best things about making these wood Adirondack chairs is you actually don't need many tools, which at the moment I don't have. Most of my big projects I've had to make with Lauren's dad as he has way more tools but the main two things you need here are a miter saw and jigsaw. As it was a last second idea, I just went to Lowe's and got some pine wood which isn't perfect for outdoor projects. I'd suggest using cedar, but the local store that provides that in my area isn't open on the weekend.
In the end, we made a couple of mistakes here in there but it was a lot of fun working together. As I mentioned, it was the first time Lauren had helped me and she quite enjoyed herself. There is just something so satisfying about making something with your hands and seeing the end result. We made two homemade Adirondack chairs so it does take some time to put together. When you count sanding, cutting, gluing, nailing and staining, it was about 10 hours worth of time over the weekend but well worth it. And if you've never sat in one, these chairs are quite comfortable. Soon we'll make two more to sit around the fire pit we just made! So use these Adirondack chair plans and go out and make some yourself.
Homemade Adirondack Chair Plans Shopping List
- (3) 2" x 4" @ 8'
- (1) 2" x 2" @ 6'
- (4) 1" x 4" @ 8'
- 2 ½", 2" and 1 ¼" exterior screws
- Titebond III wood glue
- 80, 150, 220 grit sandpaper
- Exterior stain or paint
Cut List for Wood Adirondack Chairs
- (2) 2" x 4" @ 31 ⅞", one end cut at 35 degrees of square to longest point, other end cut at 20 degrees off square to shortest point (stringers)
- (2) 2" x 4" @ 20 ¾" with both sides cut parallel at 15 degrees off square (back legs)
- (2) 2" x 4" @ 20" (front legs)
- (2) 2" x 2" @ 26 ½", longest point measurement, one end cut at 15 degrees of square (arm support)
- (2) 2" x 4" @ 22 ½" (front apron and back support)
- (5) 1" x 4" @ 22 ½" (seat slats)
- (5) 1" x 4" @ 36" (back slats)
- (1) 1" x 4" @ 19 ½" (back top support)
- (1) 2" x 4" @ 19 ½" (back base support)
- (2) 1" x 4" @ 27" (arm rests)
Cut all boards to length as written above.
Sand all boards at 80, 150 and 220 to make sure it is as smooth as possible.
From stretcher board, cut off top portion by marking with a square and cutting off with a jigsaw to get the angle. Do this with stretcher boards.
Attach one back leg and one front leg to an arm support with 2 ½” exterior screws. Keep the top and outside edges flush.
Mark front leg on inside with arm support on outside, as shown in diagram. Leave 1 ½” space in front of stretcher. Attach stretcher to front and back legs with 2 ½” exterior screws and glue. (This might not be perfect as far as ½ from front as I learned. Most important thing is that both are the same height)
Build opposite side of chair in mirror, with arm supports to outside and stretcher to inside. Make sure the two match up. (Again make sure both of these are the same height from bottom as this is what slats sit on)
Front Apron is attached to fronts of stretcher and from outside of chair for additional support.
Begin at the front of the chair and attach seat slats to stretcher with 2” screws and glue. Leave a ½” gap between seat slats. Make sure the back stays 22 ½" wide and doesn't get wider. I made this mistake and had to cut a longer piece of wood.
Build back by attaching all back boards to seat back base support, leaving approximately ½” gap in between. Then attach at top with 1 ¼” screws. Cut arch shape on back top using a large round object to guide you. I used a bucket.
Place back inside chair and secure in place with 2 ½” exterior screws. Also screw back to back support with 2” exterior screws.
Attach back support to back legs with 2 ½” exterior screws, matching up measurements in diagrams. This is the piece I had to cut longer as I didn't make sure that the width was staying the same. You live and learn! (NOTE - I didn't put back support in before back inside chair. I did after to make sure it was at the proper angle with backside.)
Secure armrests to arm supports and tops with screws and glue.
Fill in the holes from the screws with wood filler and sand down once dry.
Stain or paint the chair that is meant for outdoors so that it will last. Then enjoy your homemade Adirondack chairs.