Adirondack Chairs, tables and stools

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Project by BillG posted 01-20-2012 03:54 PM 4932 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last summer (2011) I built a set of Adirondack chairs, tables and stools to take up to our camp in Maine. I used the plans created and updated from Norm Abrams of the New Yankee Workshop. Of all the plans I looked at, these were the nicest and the most well built.

I used cypress for the material and screwed and glued the entire set. Again on Norm’s recommendation, the adhesive used was 3M 5200 adhesive caulk. This was my first experience with this adhesive and I must admit that it was the right choice. It is a tough and totally waterproof adhesive and sticks well to wood. It comes in a white and mahogany color (boat builders use this a lot). I used the white and needed to be careful to avoid squeeze out. If it does squeeze out, don’t wipe it. Once it is cured a sharp knife will cut it loose. It is somewhat like silicone, only much tougher.

Patterns were made for all the shaped parts from 1/2” MDF. The cypress pieces were then band sawn and pattern routed on my router table. Almost all the edges were radiused using a 1/4” round over bit. All of the holes were plugged. Before assembly I sanded all pieces to 220 grit and then finished them. The chairs are remarkably light yet strong.

I finished the pieces with a clear Thompsons water sealer. This is not needed on cypress, but does seal the surface from the weather and prevents the wood from drying out. Cypress does not rot, but sun and rain will dry out the wood over time and raise the grain and cause splits. Thompsons simply slows that process. No outdoor furniture lasts forever. If I get ten years, I’ll be a happy camper.

The bottom line – the family loves the chairs and claims they are very comfortable to sit in. The stools look odd, but are actually really comfortable.

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

5 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4868 days

#1 posted 01-20-2012 04:15 PM

Very cool group of chairs and tables.I can see why your family would love them all.


View ohwoodeye's profile


2710 posts in 4444 days

#2 posted 01-20-2012 04:18 PM

I’m sorry, I can seem to focus on your chairs….....My eyes keep getting drawn to how green and beautiful your lawn looks!
I too have made many of Norm’s chairs. Looks like the rounded front slat is a bit of a variation from the original. I like it. I have been making mine out of composite decking instead of wood. Very, very heavy and the fact that they don’t grey or need maintenence is a huge plus. They do fade a bit but I don’t ever see myself going back to cedar or any other wood. I use “Waterproof Liquid Nails” as my adheasive and that has worked great but I may give your suggestion a try if it ok to use on composite. Thanks for posting.

-- "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 StumpyNubs's profile


7854 posts in 4091 days

#3 posted 01-20-2012 04:20 PM

Well done!

Thanks for posting!
-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The best woodworking show since the invention of wood.)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Nselimis's profile


13 posts in 4544 days

#4 posted 01-20-2012 05:12 PM

The chairs look great and ive been looking to building a set for the sping. Where did you find the plans, can you post a link?

View BillG's profile


82 posts in 4841 days

#5 posted 01-20-2012 08:05 PM

Here is the link for the plans.


-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

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