Norm's Adirondack Chair

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

May I recommend a look elsewhere at the Adirondack chairs recently made by another poster, to the Veritas plan. These are somewhat better designed to the human form as well as better on the eye, in that form-follows-function mode. I can recommend them for long sitting or even looking at, as I've made four myself.

Also, there is a lot to be said for the employment of anti-rotting timber (reclaimed teak & iroko, mine) rather than that softwood that is so well-named as such. Whilst the teak and iroko may go grey if un-painted with summick, the softwood will go black and then to a sort of chair-shaped sludge that it would be unwise to sit upon.

You can even fold them Veritas Adirondacks up a bit for storage in the garden shed, although a teak & iroko one is not lightweight when carting it about. No.

One naturally prefers the thing one made oneself. Such a decision (to make that not another design) is due to a matter of taste, after all ..... but what else?

The Veritas version takes rather more making, having rather more parts. But it also has a better form than many Adirondacks I've sat in, a la Maskery supping cold beer and showing me leg to the sun.

More curve in the back; with more slats, all heavily rounded over to avoid the ache in my human back from a too-flat and sharp-edged chair back plank; and less gap between the slats. Also more curve in the seat, with more slats and heavily rounded over edges, to better-fit my lovely bottom. The end grain edges of the seat slats are also enclosed by the chair side members, which improves the look and avoids spelk i'the hand, as one levers one's body out of the comfy spot or moves the chair.

They're put together with nice brass slot screws, which means the slats can be taken off so the chair can be properly refinished from time to time, rather than allowing the gurk & squelch to accumulate in those small gaps between slat and supporting member. Brass screws don't go rusty either. And they do look classy.

Still, that Norm design looks nice and easy to make and put together. And "whitewood" is cheap. ;)

Nice stuff as usual Steve.

BTW to make a circular arc rather then a parabola, you need to have the end constraints of the ruler accurately on a segment of the circle. The only easy places to do this are when the included angle is 90 deg or 180 deg where the ends of the ruler segment are also at 90 and parallel. 45 might be manageable. But it looks great anyway!
Over the last twenty or so years I have made four of Norm's adirondacks. The only mod I made was to make the back slats a few inches longer to improve their look a little but other than that they are as Norm specified.

I made two of these a few years back, I had a some decking boards left over and used them. The chair s are a bit heavy but comfort is unbelievable.
They look like you will have trouble getting out of them but in fact they are easier than my settee!!!!!
I seem to have made loads of these last year maybe 40 or 50. I use templates for everything shaped. I don't trim on the router just got really good freehand with a bandsaw then shape on a triton spindle sander.i use stainless coach bolts. also decking screws ( the ones with small heads look I screw the arms from underneath. I lay out the arcs on the back using a big compass flat on the bench using 2 spacers at set distances then when reassembled on the chair they fill the space. I also like to paint the 2 coats before assembly then one when it's assembled.


  • 20210703_161906.jpg
    108.1 KB · Views: 23
  • 20210629_130834.jpg
    130.5 KB · Views: 23
I designed an adirondack table as well


  • 20210725_092439.jpg
    345.5 KB · Views: 25
  • 20210608_181321.jpg
    231.4 KB · Views: 27
Nice I'm glad you put a arc in the back as I did...

Your arms are wider than mine were though.
to make the six chairs I had a delivery of sapele that was nearly £800. inch boards. from that I had to use the 20mm ones for the structure and 18mm for the slats. some were so bad I couldn't get 15mm out of it.


  • 20210628_092002.jpg
    135 KB · Views: 26
to make the six chairs I had a delivery of sapele that was nearly £800. inch boards. from that I had to use the 20mm ones for the structure and 18mm for the slats. some were so bad I couldn't get 15mm out of it.
Spendy chairs.

Mine was £20 worth of 1" sawn pine (pre covid!) which once scrub planed came out quite nice!
Great work Steve, I have longed to make some of these for ages and your clear pictures and descriptions have inspired me to start getting some wood together. Thanks for the time you put into this.

Latest posts