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Popular Mechanics Adirondack Chair Plan

Popular Mechanic Adirondack Chair Plan.

Professional Wooden Chair Template




Materials List

Key   No.   Size and description (use)
A   2   1-1/16 x 5 x 33-7/8-in. white pine (rear leg)
B   1   1-1/16 x 5-3/8 x 23-5/8-in. white pine (rail)
C   1   1-1/16 x 4-1/4 x 20-7/16-in. white pine (stretcher)
D   2   1-1/16 x 4-1/4 x 20-7/16-in. white pine (front leg)
E   2   1-1/16 x 2-1/2 x 6-in. white pine (bracket)
F   2   1-1/16 x 5-1/2 x 28-1/2-in. white pine (arm)
G   1   1-1/16 x 2-1/2 x 27-in. white pine (stretcher)
H   5   1-1/16 x 4 x 32-1/2-in. white pine (slat)
I   1   1-1/16 x 1-1/2 x 18-in. white pine (support)
J   5   1-1/16 x 3-3/8 x 23-5/8-in. white pine (hinge block)
K       1-1/2-in. No. 10 galvanized fh screw
L       2-in. No. 10 galvanized fh screw
M       2-1/2-in. No. 10 galvanized fh screw
N       1/2-in.-dia. wood plug

Begin by making a pattern for the chair sides. The sides of this chair also function as the rear legs and are the real foundation of the chair. You can use heavy cardboard or 1/4-in.-thick plywood for the pattern. Though plywood is obviously more difficult to cut than cardboard, the advantage of using it is that it is easy to make fine adjustments to the shape using sandpaper and a block plane. With cardboard, once the pattern is cut, it's difficult to adjust. Trace the shape on the pattern material, and cut it out. Take the completed pattern and trace it on the side blanks.

Make the angled cuts on the ends of the side blanks using a sliding miter saw, table saw or circular saw. Next, cut the workpiece to shape using a sabre saw. Cut to the waste side of the line and then work down to the line using a block plane and sandpaper. The finished piece should be well shaped with smooth edges that are free of saw marks. 

Proceed now to making the front rail. Rip it to width, but make it slightly oversize. Then cut the beveled edges on it using the table saw. Use a featherboard firmly clamped to the saw table to ensure that the workpiece moves firmly along the fence, and also to ensure that it doesn't kick back. And always use a pushstick at the end of the cut to keep your hands a safe distance from the saw blade. 

Bore and counterbore pilot holes in the front rail for fastening it to the sides. The most efficient tool for this is a combination drill and countersink bit chucked in a drill press, but the holes can be made accurately with a portable drill, or a drill and drill stand. Limit the counterbored portion of the hole to about 1/4 in. deep. 

Next, clamp one of the chair sides in a workbench vise with its front end pointing up. Place the front rail over the side, and bore pilot holes into the endgrain of the side. Driving screws into endgrain is generally not considered to be the best method of fastening. In this case, however, there isn't much stress on the joint, and by combining the mechanical fastening of a screw with the glue bond, we can achieve a good joint for this application

Apply polyurethane glue to the end of the chair side. There is a strong tendency for the endgrain to absorb liquid, so the best technique is to spread some glue on the piece, then wait a minute or two and reapply a bit more. 

Position the front rail over the side, and drive the screws to fasten the two pieces. Repeat the procedure for the opposite side. 

Cut the back stretcher to size. Then rip the angle on its front edge as shown in the plan. Bore and counterbore the pilot holes, and apply some glue to the joints. Then fasten the stretcher to the chair sides. 

Rip and crosscut the front legs to size. Then bore the pilot holes in them. Apply glue to the joint surfaces, and use clamps to temporarily hold the legs to the chair side assembly while you drive the screws to fasten the legs.

Use a sabre saw to cut the arm brackets, and remove any saw marks with a pass from a block plane. Apply glue to the brackets, clamp them to the front legs and drilll pilot holes for the screws. Drive the screws through each leg and into a bracket.

Transfer the arm profile to the arm blanks, and cut the arms to shape using a sabre saw. Again, stay to the waste side of the line, and then refine the shape after the arm is cut. To remove the sharp corner from each arm's edge, use a router and a 5/16-in.-rad. rounding-over bit.

Cut the arm stretcher slightly oversize, and use the table saw to rip the angle on its front edge. Trace the radius profile on either end of the stretcher, and then use the sabre saw to cut the shape. Use the router and rounding-over bit to round over the edges of the piece. Fasten the stretcher to the underside of the arms with screws and glue. Note that since the screws on the bottom of the stretcher will not be visible, nor directly exposed to moisture, they do not need plugs. Simply countersink the screwheads slightly below the wood surface. Check that the arms are square to the stretcher before fastening.

Temporarily position the arm assembly over the chair base. Cut a scrap stick to support the back of the assembly. Then bore pilot holes through the arms and into the endgrain of the leg and arm bracket. Remove the arms and apply glue to the joint. Position the parts and screw them together.

Making The Back
Rip the stock for the back slats to width, but leave the workpieces overlength. They will be cut to finished length later. Clamp the three center slats together with a 3/8-in.-thick spacer between each. Use a large compass to mark the curved profile across them. Cut the curve with a sabre saw. Mark the curve on the two outer slats, and cut them to shape. Use a 5/16-in.-rad. rounding-over bit in the router to cut a curved edge on the front and back of each slat. Then crosscut them to finished length. Lay out and bore the pilot holes in the slats for fastening them to the chair base. 

Hold the first slat in position on the chair, and fasten it to the stretchers with screws. Clamp the second slat to the first with 3/8-in. spacers between them, and screw that slat in place. Proceed across the chair back driving four screws through the front of each slat into each stretcher.

Cut and install the upper back support stretcher to the back side of the slats. Use clamps to hold the part in place while you drive in the screws.

Seat Slats, Plugs And Finish
Before installing the seat slats, you must install the plugs in the back slats because they will be inaccessible after the seat slats are installed. Cut all the plugs you need at this point using a plug cutter in a drill press.

Use a small brush to spread a bit of polyurethane glue in each screwhole, and install the plugs. Align the grain of the plugs with the surrounding wood to make them less visible. 

Plug all the existing holes in this fashion. After the glue has dried, saw them nearly flush. Finally, pare off the remaining material using a chisel. 

Cut the seat slats to size, bore and counterbore pilot holes in them, and round over their top edges as you did with the other chair components. Plane a bevel on the back bottom edge of the first seat slat to create a drainage space where the slat meets the chair back.

Install the seat slats by screwing them to the chair sides with 3/8-in. spacers between them. Plug the screwholes, and proceed to finish the chair. 

Sand the chair with 120-grit sandpaper to remove rough spots and machine marks from the face of the lumber. Dust off the chair thoroughly, and apply an oil-based primer and two coats of oil-based gloss exterior paint to all the chair's surfaces, including the leg bottoms. 

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