Cedar Adirondack Chair and Patio Set part 1
The Adirondack chair is the perfect center
piece to that summertime do nothing excursion. The basic design has been around for over
a hundred years and originally was for use in the Adirondack mountain region in upstate
New York. It did not have a curved back or a contoured seat. Those features were added
later in 1938. Early on in the research for this project
I realized that I needed to understand the why’s and how’s of the Adirondack chair.
Often times I don’t use woodworking plans to build a project. Because I find they prevent
me from answering just those questions. You get into the habit of just looking at a piece
of paper to find your next measurement. Instead of asking the bigger questions, such as, does
it matter how long I cut the seat frames and if it does, why?
The answer to the first part of that question by the way is, a little bit. The shorter you
cut the seat frame the further up you want to place the front legs. If you don’t your
chair will be front heavy and have a tendency to tip forward on you when you get in and
out of it. As we go along in this project I will point
out some of the measurements I found to be more crucial than others. The first thing I wanna do is create some
templates. I’m using some scrap ply to rip two 5 and a half inch pieces. One will be
used to shape the armrest. The other for the seat frame. Now you don’t have to use templates
from scrap wood. You could cut and shape the armrest and seat frame from the material that
you are using and then use that piece to shape the second one. The process would be exactly
the same. I’m using an old school technique of drawing
a one inch grid on the blank then I’ll draw the contours of the pieces. Doing it this
way allows me to see the awfulness before I cut it to something I don’t like.
And there are my two blanks. One thing about cutting with a jigsaw is that
the blades have a tendency to deflect. A few good ways to avoid that is one; use a good
quality blade and the right one for the material your cutting through. Two use the right setting
for what your trying to do. The different settings on a jigsaw determine how aggressive
the cut will be. The more aggressive, the faster you can cut, but that also means a
sloppier cut. A less aggressive setting means more accuracy but you need to take it slower.
Often times people get impatient and try to push too fast thru the cut and that is when
you get blade deflection. So if your uncertain, cut further off your line and sand down later.
A few things I’d like to point out on the seat frame. I tried to cut down on some of
the bulkiness of the profile by eliminating material where I thought it wouldn’t compromise
the strength of the chair. Here and then by tapering this top portion. Also, this cut
here is what determines the angle the seat will be.
So now I have both my templates cut and shaped how I want. I’ll mark and cut those pieces
to rough length on the miter saw. Place the template on top of the piece I just cut and
trace the lines. Remove the template and its back to the jigsaw.
I’ll stick the template back on top of the workpiece and route to final shape with a
flush trim bit. After repeating the process for all four pieces,
two armrests and two seat frames, I’ll move on to the seat slats. Mine are 19 inches,
so I’ll set up a stop block and make my cuts. I’ll cut 6 pieces of 1×4 material
on the miter saw. Then I’ll rip those in half on the table
saw. If my math is correct that will give me 12 seat slats. But with how they teach
math in the united states today I’m seriously questioning myself.
I’ll take those seat slats over to the router and with a round over bit, smooth over the
edges. The cutting and shaping of all the parts is
what took the longest. But I figured if I took my time and did a good job here.
Things were going to go smoother later in the project.
For part two of this video, you can click right over here.
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