How to build a gliding adirondack chair

Written by robert dyer
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How to build a gliding adirondack chair
A gliding adirondack chair is great for relaxing. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A gliding Adirondack rocker is a comfortable piece of outdoor furniture for entertaining or just relaxing. You can easily build one with a little guidance and the right materials. In the course of about a weekend, you should be able to build an Adirondack glider rocker. When completed, you will be able to take pride in owning a solid chair that you built yourself.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Work table
  • Tape measure
  • Protractor
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • 1 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Crescent wrench
  • 2 1/2-inch wood screws
  • 1 1/2-inch wood screws
  • 1 set of 8 glider rocker hardware pieces
  • Plywood sheet, 2 feet by 2 feet, 1/2 inch thick
  • Plywood sheet, 2 feet by 3 feet, 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 pieces of 1-inch-by-2-inch lumber, 1 foot long
  • 4 pieces of 2-inch-by-2-inch lumber, 1 foot long
  • 2 pieces of 2-inch-by-2-inch lumber, 1 foot by 9 inches long
  • 2 pieces of 2-inch-by-2-inch lumber, 2 feet long
  • 2 pieces of 2-inch-by-2-inch lumber, 3 feet long
  • 4 pieces of 1-inch-by-4-inch lumber, 2 feet long
  • 4 pieces of 1-inch-by-4-inch lumber, 3 feet long

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Instructions

    Building the Glider Assembly

  1. 1

    Make the first of the glider assembly's two legs by placing one of the 3-foot-long 2-by-2 pieces of lumber parallel to one of the 2-foot-long 2-by-2 pieces of lumber on the work table. Use the tape measure to lay the two pieces about 1 foot apart. Use the tape measure to make sure that the 2-foot-long 2-by-2 is 6 inches in from either end of the 3-foot-long 2-by-2. Lay two of the 1-foot-long 2-by-2 pieces at a point that is 4 inches in from either end of the 2-foot-long 2-by-2. Use the drill and screwdriver bit to drive the 2 1/2-inch wood screws through the 1-foot-long 2-by-2 pieces at their top and bottom ends, connecting them to the 2-foot-long 2-by-2 and the 3-foot-long 2-by-2. This forms the first of the two glider assembly legs.

  2. 2

    Repeat the procedures in Step 1 to create the second glider assembly leg.

  3. 3

    Stand the two glider assembly legs where the 3-foot 2-by-2 sides are flat on the table. Use the tape measure to place them about 1 foot 5 inches apart from each other. Lay the two 1-foot-9-inch-long 2-by-2 pieces parallel to one another and connect the two legs together. Use the drill and the screwdriver bit to drive 2 1/2-inch wood screws through the 1-foot-9-inch-long 2-by-2 pieces and into the 3-foot-long sides of the glider assembly legs. This connects the glider assembly's legs to create a strong, finished glider base.

  4. 4

    Place the 1 1/8-inch drill bit into the drill to make holes in the side of the 2-foot-long 2-by-2 pieces on the glider base. Make these holes about 2 inches in from the ends of the 2-foot-long 2-by-2 pieces. Also drill 1 1/8-inch holes at the top and bottom ends of each of the four 1-foot-long 1-by-2 pieces about 2 inches in from the ends of them. This makes the holes needed to fit the glider rocker hardware pieces.

  5. 5

    Place four of the glider rocker bearings from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces into the four holes you drilled on the 2-foot-long 2-by-2 pieces. Place four of the glider rocker bearings from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces into the four top end holes you drilled on the 1-foot-long 1-by-2 pieces.

    Use the drill and screwdriver bit to drive the screws into place on the bearing holding plates from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces that hold the bearings into place that you just positioned. Place four of the bolts from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces through the glider rocker bearings you placed on the 2-foot-long 2-by-2 pieces and the glider rocker bearings that you placed on the 1-foot-long 1-by-2 pieces. Use the crescent wrench to tighten the nuts to hold the bolts from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces in position. This attaches the four swing bars of the glider to the glider's base. The glider assembly is now done.

    Making the Adirondack Chair

  1. 1

    Measure a point 6 inches up from the ends on two of the 2-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces and mark with a pencil. Use the protractor to place two of the 3-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces at these points at a 45-degree angle pointing back toward the ends of the 2-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces on which you measured 6 inches in. Then use the 1 1/2-inch wood screws, drill and screwdriver bit to attach the 3-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces to the 2-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces. This makes the legs for the chair.

  2. 2

    Stand the chair legs up so that the ends of the 3-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces and the ends of the 2-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces are on the work table. Lay the 2-foot-by-2-foot plywood piece between the two legs and along the 3-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces. Make sure the legs are along the edge of the plywood piece. Use the drill, screwdriver bit and 1 1/2-inch wood screws to attach the 2-foot-by-2-foot plywood piece to the 3-foot-long 1-by-4 piece. This attaches the chair's seat to the legs.

  3. 3

    Position the other two 3-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces standing vertically on the inside of the 3-foot-long pieces of the chair's legs at the back edge of the chair's seat. Use the drill and screwdriver bit to drive 1 1/2-inch wood screws into the pieces, attaching these pieces to the 3-foot-long pieces of the chair's legs. This positions the supports for the chair's back piece. Now place the 2-foot-by-3-foot plywood piece along these supports. Use the drill, screwdriver bit and 1 1/2-inch wood screws to attach the 2-foot-by-3-foot plywood piece to the back support pieces. The chair's back is now completed.

  4. 4

    Place the remaining 2-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces on the top of the 2-foot pieces of the chair's legs, flat against the chair's leg pieces. Position them so that they meet the chair's back. Use the drill, screwdriver bit and 1 1/2-inch screws to attach these 2-foot-long 1-by-4 pieces to the chair's legs and back. This positions the armrests for the chair.

  5. 5

    Use the drill with the 1 1/8-inch drill bit to drill a hole at the bottom of each of the four chair legs at a point about 2 inches in from their ends. Place four of the glider rocker bearings from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces into the chair's legs. Use the drill and screwdriver bit to drive the screws into place on the bearing holding plates from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces that hold the bearings into place that you just positioned. Next use the drill with the 1 1/8-inch drill bit to drill a hole at the bottom of each of the four 1-by-2 glider rocker swing arms on the glider assembly at a point about 2 inches in from their ends. Place four of the glider rocker bearings from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces into the glider rocker swing arms. Use the drill with the screwdriver bit to drive the screws into place on the bearing holding plates from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces that hold the bearings into place that you just positioned. Next place the remaining four bolts from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces through the glider rocker bearings you placed on the chair's legs and the glider rocker bearings that you placed on the glider rocker swing arms. Use the crescent wrench to tighten the nuts to hold the bolts from the set of glider rocker hardware pieces in position. Now the chair is done and ready to enjoy.

Tips and warnings

  • While you can use any type of wood to make a gliding Adirondack chair, hardwoods like oak and hickory tend to be the best for this type of chair.

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