Question about plans

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Forum topic by briandickens posted 08-22-2008 05:17 PM 1418 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 4513 days

08-22-2008 05:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: adirondack chair plans taunton fine woodworking question resource

Having just bought my table saw, I’m trying to think of things to do with it that will impress the wife so I can start spending some money on this hobby. I’ve decided a good, easy, cheap(iish) start would be to build a few adirondack chairs for the deck. I’ve seen some plans online and they look fairly easy, but challenging for a newbie like me. I saw a link to plans for the chair as discussed in a Fine Woodworking article, but the plans seemed to be fairly expensive. Now, I don’t mind paying for quality things, I just need to know if they’re actually quality. So, has anyone bought the plans from FWW? Are they better than other plans? Alternatively, anyone know a nice looking Adirondack plan?

Here ’s the one I was looking at, btw.

Thanks as usual for the help.

9 replies so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4690 days

#1 posted 08-22-2008 05:24 PM

Hey Brian, here is a link for free plans from Jet.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View AndyDuframe's profile


48 posts in 4513 days

#2 posted 08-22-2008 05:35 PM

Wow…I think $20 is kind of pricey for a set of adirondack chair plans. The going rate for downloadable plans on the Web is usually around $7 – $10.

The biggest difference I’ve seen in plans from one place to the other is the complexity of the design itself. I think some wood designers go a little over the top in making the joinery way more complicated than it really needs to be. And that extra complexity usually translates into a lot of extra tools and equipment in the shop to get it built. Unfortunately most plan descriptions don’t tell you this stuff one way or the other. So it’s kind of gamble when buying plans.

I’ve found some really simple designs for outdoor furniture just by browsing around a home center and looking realy close at how those (imported) chairs are put together. Maybe even sneak in a camera and take a few shots.


View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4677 days

#3 posted 08-22-2008 06:08 PM

Norm has a several plans for different type of Adirondack chairs that you can get also, the later ones have full size templates which you will appreciate and you can buy a DVD of the episode also. You can find Norms stuff at

Good luck these chairs they are a good gateway project for woodworkers just starting out.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View briandickens's profile


17 posts in 4513 days

#4 posted 08-22-2008 06:39 PM

Thanks everyone. I like the look of the ones from Jet, and the price is right. I may try doing this before building a workbench.

View CoolDavion's profile


476 posts in 4747 days

#5 posted 08-22-2008 06:41 PM

There was a bench in American Woodworker a couple months back.
You could check your local library for back issues of magazines or books.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View briandickens's profile


17 posts in 4513 days

#6 posted 08-22-2008 07:51 PM

if you don’t mind emailing the file, that would be great. email should be in my profile.

View jtreynoldsJTR100's profile


9 posts in 4499 days

#7 posted 08-23-2008 10:49 PM

You happened to hit on a subject dear to my heart – Adirondack chairs

Here a link to some free plans from Popular Mechanics

I like these chairs because they have curved back and seats – I find them more comfortable than flat.

Since these chairs are probably going to be outside, prepare them for the weather. Some of the things you do during construction that don’t take much extra time can add a lot to their longevity.

Coat all the pieces with either primer or stain/sealer (depending on whether you final finish is stain or paint) before you assemble.

Use exterior glue (I’d use Gorilla glue or the equivalent) to add strength but mainly to reduce moisture from wicking into the joints.

You can just use deck screws to put it together, but it’s best if you countersink them and plug the holes with solid wood plugs (a bit to cut the plugs isn’t too expensive). That keeps water from tracking along the screws and eventually weakening the joint.

Use carriage bolts for the main structural connections, eg legs to seat.

Leave a gap between the slats on the back at the bottom – at least 1/4”. If you keep them snug, they’ll trap debris and moisture.

Hope this helps.

Have fun. This is a great project. I’m sure your wife will be impressed.

-- Jake http:/

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 4656 days

#8 posted 08-25-2008 07:05 PM

Here is a set of plans for “Jake’s Chair”, a really nice Adirondack chair – and they are free.

The website is located at

Jake's Chair

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Slacker's profile


178 posts in 4624 days

#9 posted 08-25-2008 10:26 PM

I was in Puerto Rico recently and the beach house where I stayed had a store bought adirondack chair made in mahogany. The chair was very nice, that is, until you sat down. The down angle was not right, and the chair was not deep enough. It was highly uncomfortable.

About the only good thing about it was those wide arms to properly hold your drink…

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

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