Scrap lumber challenge: Ana’s Adirondack chairs

My husband and I are in the midst of cleaning out our garage. While most of the “clean up needs” are simply a matter of putting things away, my scrap wood pile is a pretty big issue.

Yikes. That’s a lot of scrap wood.

Maybe I should change my blog name to “Lumber freaking everywhere.” Seriously, my scrap wood pile has gotten a little out of hand. With the cost of lumber these days, you can’t throw it out or waste it. I decided instead I’d build something from the scrap wood instead. My dad and I did a lot of woodworking projects together, I always enjoyed it, and I really miss it. And since we are quarantined, it isn’t like I have tons of things to do.

I wanted some wooden adirondack chairs for our new firepit patio, but I didn’t want to pay for them. Also, a lot of wooden adirondack chairs are overpriced, not real wood, and not very sturdy. If you aren’t familiar with Ana White, you should be. She is a blogger in Alaska who does tons of woodwork projects. She also publishes very thorough plans with diagrams and pictures, step by step instructions, a shopping list and even a cut list so you will know how long to cut your boards. They’re also 100% free!! I flipped through her plan catalogue and found an adirondack chair plan I thought I could build.

Source: Ana White
Source: Ana White

See how easy she makes this? Her plans are phenomenal.

I happened to have enough scrap wood to build two chairs. I only needed to buy the screws. I quickly cut out all the pieces I’d need for two chairs.

Here are all the pieces for one chair.
  1. Begin by taking your front and back legs and attaching your stringer piece to them. I chose to attach the top of the stringer piece at 11 inches. This will be one side of your chair- two legs and a seat support.

2. Flip over your chair and attach your 2×2. This is your arm rest support. You will want this on the opposite side of your stringer piece.

3.Then, you will mirror this on the other side .

And now you have both sides of your chair base completed.

4. Join your two sides of your chair base together with a 2×4 stretcher piece.

It’s starting to look more like a chair!

5. Now you attach five chair slats to your seat support at 1/2 an inch apart.

6. Get yourself a really cute shop cat to follow you around and meow at you while you work. Actually, that step is optional.

Tommie Gray keeps an eye on things.

7. Build the back of your chair. Connect your back slats using two 2×4 bracers. I did mine at 1/4 inch apart.

8. Flip it over and secure the 1x4s to the 2×4 bracers using 2 inch wood screws.

9. Attach your back brace to your chair frame, and secure the chair back to the brace.

10. And finally, attach your arm rests to the chair.

Annie Sue likes the new chair. She thinks it’s hers.

And then you have a comfy adirondack chair, made from real, solid wood. Shop cat approved!

I ended up building two of these chairs from scrap wood, and purchasing lumber to build two more. I’ve now built four of these chairs altogether and one side table. I still need to fill in the holes with wood filler, sand them, paint them, and put them out by our fire pit.

I can’t wait to show you the finished product, and next week I will show you how I built the side table.

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