How to Build an Adirondack Chair
Make a roomy, reclining seat with a fan back and wide armrests out of weather-resistant decking lumber
Anyone who's ever sat in the low-slung seat of an Adirondack chair and sunk into the curve of the fanned back knows there's no cushion-free seat like it. Handy homeowner Jay Davis coveted just such a comfy piece for his yard but wasn't sure if he should make his own or go shopping. "I thought at first it might be easy to build one," he wrote to us, "but looking closely I'm wondering if the angles and curves are too much trouble."
Fear not, Jay. The beauty of the Adirondack chair—which takes its name from the New York mountain camps that snapped up hundreds of the chairs after it was invented in the early 1900s—is its simplicity, as some of the parts do double duty. The beefy seat supports are also the back legs; the wide armrests (perfect for resting a picnic plate or cocktail, by the way) also hold the back support. Assembling a basic one will take less than a day, if you follow the plans we show here. But if you decide to go the retail route, there are dozens of richly stained or brightly painted options. Either way, we promise you'll soon be relaxing in the comfiest seat in the yard.