Weekend diversion project

Decided to make some outdoor furniture the last two weekends.  I really like some of Ana White‘s plans and these Adirondack chairs and foot stool are aesthetically pleasing, easy to make and pretty comfortable especially with a small pillow for lower back support.  The total cost for one chair was ~$40 with good deck screws made for pressure treated wood.  Don’t skimp here if you use pressure treated wood!  Screws not made for this type of wood will rust and fail within a couple of years (lesson learned from the chicken coop build!)

The first chair took most of the day on Saturday and some Sunday.  The second chair was much faster applying what was learned from the first go (and not taking pictures)!  The second chair was built and everything cleaned up on a Saturday afternoon.

Here are the plans for the chair: http://media.blog.homedepot.com/wp-content/uploads/Ana-White_HD-Adirondack-Chair_pdf.pdf  I basically followed the straightforward instructions.  Below are some things I found as I was making a pair of these chairs that might be helpful.

The cut list was a bit ambiguous to me so I laid it out to be sure I got all the pieces from the materials list.  I cut all the pieces before assembly.  The picture below is to scale.

cut pattern

Make sure you leave space in between each piece on your lumber for the saw blade width. I measured and labeled each piece before cutting them all.


Step 1:  Make the chair sides.  You’re making mirror images.  Measure everything and mark, making sure it’s all square.  I countersink first where I want the screws to go, apply a good exterior glue, drill holes and fasten.  Check square before the second screw is put in and make adjustment as necessary.


Step 2:  set it up and attach the front and back pieces. Make sure everything is flush and square. Using clamps under the front apron to support it while you drill helps.


For the back it’s helpful to use the back support and bungie cords to make sure everything is straight and square before attaching the seat slats.  Elevate the back a little so the slats stay where you want!


Step 3: After all the seat slats are attached with glue and screws, attach the 2 x 4 back support .  This part was a little tricky.  Follow the measurements but also put a 1 x 4 in where the backrest will eventually go and make sure it lays flat on the back support.  Adjust the 2 x 4 angle as necessary and support with a clamp on both sides of the chair.  Attach with screws.



Step 4:  Layout the back rest spacing the slats evenly and making sure everything is square.  Use glue and screws here too.  The back top support is 6 1/2″ from the top on my chairs.



backrest 2

I found that a Rubbermaid garbage can lid was the perfect size for the round back.  Make sure its centered and trace around it.  Double check the 1/2 circle you drew to make sure it’s centered by measuring down the boards in multiple places to the line.  Cut it out with a jig saw and sand to smooth it out.

backrest 3

Step 5: Put it all together!  If you were careful with your measurements the back rest should lay flat against the back support 2 x 4 and fit tightly.  In fact, I had to tap the backrest down into place with a mallet.  That’s a good thing and will make for a more stable piece of furniture.  Attach the armrests and round with the jigsaw and sand paper.  That’s it!  Ready for a coat of exterior paint or stain.


The footstools are simple and don’t really need any more details than the plans provide except to note that you need 6 slats as pictured not 5 as the cut list specifies.

Next up may be her Cedar shed.



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