I happened to see some plans for Adirondack Chairs on the Rockler website recently. I really liked the look of them, so I thought I would make a pair for my wife and myself. I didn’t want to use standard big box store cedar so I bought some “tight knot” cedar at a lumber yard. It is more expensive, but really nice wood.
The Rockler plans include cardboard cutouts for the pieces. There are lots of pieces to these chairs let me tell you! The idea is to use the cardboard cutouts to trace the piece onto a cedar board. Then cut out the piece with a Jigsaw or Bandsaw and use a sander to bring it to final shape. However, if you plan to make more than one chair, Rockler suggests making an MDF style template for each piece. Then you can reuse the pieces over and over again. That is exactly what I did, I made MDF templates for each piece and finished the pieces on the Spindle Sander. I have used them twice so far, hope to get more use out of them.
To begin these chairs I traced the template pieces on the Cedar. I then cut out the Cedar pieces on my Bandsaw. Then I stuck the template piece back on with double-stick tape and used a Patterning Bit in my Router Table to bring the pieces to final size. I had a bit of a bad time with this patterning function because of grain direction. But, I eventually got it finished. The plans called for rounding over several pieces which I completed on the Router Table. When I was done with that I touched up the pieces on the Spindle Sander.
Then came the assembly. The Rockler Plans had pretty good assembly instructions. I used exterior wood screws of course. I took several hours to assemble the first chair and almost as long to assemble the second chair. Once they were assembled I had to touch up a few screw countersinks.
In the end I put an oil finish on these chairs. I used a sprayer to do it which worked quite well. As you can see from the photo I found some other plans on the Web and built a small table to match. The table was primarily constructed of Kreg screws.
Hopefully these chairs will last for may years to come. Cedar is a great outdoor wood. All I have to do is oil them up once in a while. Be sure and check out the photo gallery of the production process.