Our version of Norms Adirondack chairs

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Project by thedude50 posted 06-02-2014 03:18 PM 2607 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When Daniel and I started working together we only had a few power-tools. I had a small table saw and a band saw that was a bench top model I had a lot of hand tools but the shop was lacking sorely. We picked norms design made a few modifications and went with what we called the Old Hippy chair. The chairs were sold complete or in kits that the customers assembled. That meant that everything had to be identical no variance so if some part was broken or damaged we could ship the replacement . We often made these in batches of fifty chairs at a time we used Red wood to make the chairs we started with 1×12 rough sawn boards. We purchased a dewalt 732 plainer as it was supposed to be the best planer in its class and we used it to plain thousands of board feet of redwood We also made a table and foot stools and later we made a love seat and a settle with two chairs and a table mounted in the middle of the chairs they all sold well we did this till Daniel moved to Portland and we split everything up. These chairs paid for most of the tools in my shop and were the foundation of my business I preferred to make indoor furniture but this stuff sold like hotcakes and you cant always pick what the public wants to buy so you give them what they want and cherish the builds you like to do more. I just found these photos in an ol;d album and decided to share them with you all hope you like the photos and the chairs

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11 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10923 posts in 4827 days

#1 posted 06-02-2014 04:01 PM

COOL story!

Where did you BUY 1×12 rough Redwood?!

Sounds like a cool job! Why couldn’t you do it again? just by yourself if need be?

WOW! 50 chairs per batch!

What a way to go!

Sounds like it would take lot of room just to keep all of the parts straight & stacked! LOL

The problem I have had with adirondack chairs is the BUTT Back always seems to be SO LOW that it makes it hard for me to GET OUT of them! :) LOL … That’s what happens when you have a FAT BUTT! LOL

Thanks for the post!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View thedude50's profile


3611 posts in 3253 days

#2 posted 06-02-2014 05:10 PM

Joe I went to several lumber yards for the wood this was a long time ago so I don’t know if the wood can be had for anywhere near the price we could get the wood for back then however I am about to try to do this again In fact I am looking for my pasterns in the shop. I need to get a steady paycheck some how I cant work 12 hour shifts with my bad back so I will try to make this work again they are so easy to build.

On the getting out of the chair I found this design was much easier than several others the seat height is higher and the seat slope is less than many other designs I am going to try to make some from ippie and maybe cyprus or some other rot resistant wood some of the chairs we made over 20 years ago are still in use amazing if you ask me I thought 10 years would be it but my sister in law still has a chair we built over 20 years ago and they have been on her deck the whole time.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24799 posts in 3880 days

#3 posted 06-02-2014 07:53 PM

Nice chairs. I had planned to make some folding ones and I wanted the seat height 2-3” higher than standard because us old guys can’t get out of those low ones!!

Thanks for sharing….........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View ohwoodeye's profile


2428 posts in 3928 days

#4 posted 06-02-2014 09:55 PM

I made several out of the composite deck material…....including his love seat version.
I am very happy with them and pretty much will only make them out of this material from now on. They are very heavy and will probably last forever with little maintenance….....just scrubbed down once a year to remove mildew etc. Not bad for staying outside in cold Wisconsin winters covered in snow. Love the look of Cedar but they are just too hard to keep pretty in Wisconsin.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Mean_Dean's profile


7041 posts in 3922 days

#5 posted 06-03-2014 12:20 AM

Well, ya certainly did Norm proud!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10923 posts in 4827 days

#6 posted 06-03-2014 03:58 AM


Sounds good…

Did you use stainless steel hardware on them?

Hope you find your patterns…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View thedude50's profile


3611 posts in 3253 days

#7 posted 06-04-2014 07:56 PM

Joe originally we use zinc plated but later went to stainless

Mike what thickness of composite did you use and what brand might be worth looking into

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10923 posts in 4827 days

#8 posted 06-05-2014 12:24 AM

I was wondering… would Redwood fence material work? (or Cedar?)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View thedude50's profile


3611 posts in 3253 days

#9 posted 06-07-2014 02:00 AM

yes if you can get it thick enough it works just fine

-- Please check out my new stores and

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

711 posts in 4168 days

#10 posted 11-04-2015 02:45 PM

What’s this.. are you knocking off Norms chairs.. How unethical…LOL

View Matt's profile


163 posts in 1726 days

#11 posted 10-06-2016 04:44 PM

I’ve made 8 of these chairs so far and have most of the parts cut out for another two that I should get around to finishing at some point in the next few weeks. I’ve made them with #2 pine (First set), toasted poplar (set 2, 4, and the lastest batch waiting) and Cypress (set 3). They are very comfy and everyone loves them, and as mentioned earlier – the “Norm” style sits a few inches higher than “traditional” Adirondack chairs. Also when using toasted poplar – go with a 7/8th thickness, not the 3/4” per his design. I wish you luck finding the patterns and on your next batch of 50!

-- My "projects" always look better when your glasses are broken.

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