New England furniture, such as an old Adirondack chair with a footrest, lends elegance to a backyard patio that the regular, plastic lounge chairs simply lack. Made out of only 11 pieces of the same plank of wood, the Adirondack chair was originally designed with the seat at a slant for stability on a mountain or hillside. The wide arms are perfect for holding food and drinks, which makes the chair the best choice of outdoor furniture because it does not require a table.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Four 1-by-8, 32 3/4-inch pine boards
- Two 1-by-8, 21-inch pine board
- Two 1-by-4, 19 1/2-by-19 1/2-inch-square pine board
- Two 1-by-4, 20 3/4-inch pine boards
- Two 1-by-4, 15 1/2-inch pine boards
- Two 1-by-3, 24-inch pine boards
- Two 1-by-4, 25 1/2-inch pine boards
- Three 1-by-4, 30 1/2-by-6-inch pine boards
- Two 1-by-4, 19 1/2-inch pine boards
- 2-by-2, 22 1/2-inch pine board
- Drill and Phillips head bit
- Wood screws
Lay a 1-by-8, 32 3/4-inch board flat on a clean work surface. Using a ruler and chalk, mark specific lines on the board which are scraps that are cut off the board to make the stingers. The stingers are the boards at the bottom of the chair that give it the deep angle.
On the top right corner of the board, mark a dot at 11/16-inch from the side to the top and another dot at 2 11/16-inches from the top to the right end. Connect these two dots with a ruler and mark a line. This will take a triangular chunk off the top right corner of the board. Do not cut the chunk out of the board, yet.
Mark a dot at a point 1 13/16-inches in from the bottom right corner and connect this dot to the dot made at 11/16-inch on the side. This makes a large triangular-shaped section.
Mark a spot 12 1/2-inches in from the top left of the board and another spot 5 5/16-inches from the top left corner down the side. Connect these two dots with a chalk line.
Mark a spot 1-inch in from the bottom left corner and 1/4-inch up from the bottom left corner. Connect these two dots to make a small notch.
Cut out all the triangular shapes in the corners of the board. Repeat this process on a second 1-by-8, 32 3/4-inch pine board.
Attach a 21-inch, 1-by-8 pine board to the longer end of the stinger with wood screws. Make sure the edges are flush. This is the front apron of the Adirondack chair.
Attach a 19 1/2-by-19 1/2-square-inch pine board to the top of the stingers with wood screws. The front of the square must be flush with the front apron. This is the seat of the Adirondack chair.
Attach two 1-by-4, 20 3/4-inch-long pine boards to each side of the front of the chair with wood screws. Make sure 5 1/4-inches of these boards is set above the seat. These boards are the legs and supports for the arm rests.
Attach a 1-by-3, 24-inch-long board to the outsides of the top of the legs going to the back of the chair. These are the support boards for the arm rests.
Lay three 1-by-4, 30 1/2-by-6-inch boards side by side with 3/4-inch between them. Attach one 1-by-4, 19 1/2-inch board 1 1/2-inches from the top with wood screws. Attach another 1-by-4, 19 1/2-inch board flush with the bottom of the three boards with wood screws. This is the back seat panel of the Adirondack chair.
Attach a 2-by-2, 22 1/2-inch board 12 3/4-inches from bottom of the back seat panel with wood screws.
Attach the back seat panel to the bottom of the chair with wood screws at the beginning of the angle in the stinger and at the end of the arm supports.
Taper two 1-by-4, 25 1/2-inch boards to make them 1-inch wide at one end. The 1-inch end attaches to the arm supports at the back of the chair and the larger end attaches at the front of the chair using wood screws. The Adirondack chair is finished.
Make two more stingers of the same size.
Attach a 21-inch, 1-by-8 pine board to the longer end of the stinger with wood screws. Again, make sure the edges are flush, as this is the front apron of the Adirondack footrest.
Attach a 19 1/2-by-19 1/2-square-inch pine board to the top of the footrest stingers with wood screws. The front of the square must also lie flush with the front apron. This is the top of the Adirondack footrest.
Attach two 1-by-4, 15 1/2-inch-long pine boards to each side of the front of the chair inside the front and stingers with wood screws. These boards are the legs to the Adirondack footrest.
Either paint or stain the Adirondack chair and footrest. If it is stained, seal the wood for outdoor longevity.
Tips and warnings
- Painting the chair and footrest instead of varnishing it allows for a change of colour later on if the style of the patio changes.
- To add more style to the chair, use a scroll saw to curve the tops of the seat back slats.
- Keep all power tools away from children.
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