The Adirondack chair is a rugged but elegant-looking chair that we use outdoors. It is an ideal choice to use in the garden, backyard, or by the poolside. This chair has an angled back and is made of wide wooden slats which may or may not be equally spaced.
Adirondack chairs are most often made out of Cedar, Teak or Oak due to the durability of these woods, especially for outdoor furniture. However, if you are on a budget, Pine or Fir wood could be used to make these chairs.
Since they are usually left outside, any Adirondack chairs you make will need to be sealed with a good wood finish for outdoor use.
This chair dates back to the early 1900s when it went by the name of Westport chair, named after the small New York town where it originated near the Adirondack Mountains. The Adirondack chair looks complicated to make, but it is not. We gave this chair a mention in one of the earlier posts that we had published. Click here to find out more about making this chair a profitable woodworking project.
Types of Wood for Making Adirondack Chairs
You need to choose your wood carefully to make Adirondack chairs. However, once you find suitable wood, half your job is done! Here are a few of the best types of wood for Adirondack chairs:
Pine is readily available all over and is also one of the most reasonably-priced types of wood. However, you need to maintain pinewood, and if you can do so, your Adirondack chairs will last for a bit longer. A chair made of pinewood will last for at least two years.
However, you need to realize that pine is susceptible to damage by water and rots quickly. Hence, it would help if you reapplied finish to pine regularly to enhance its life. But, pine is one of the cheapest options and, therefore, a popular choice. If you keep your pinewood Adirondack chairs in the shade, you can get a longer life out of them.
You can get cedar as another excellent wood for making Adirondack chairs. This softwood has a high degree of water resistance, thanks to the oil it produces. It is this same oil that makes the wood resistant to insects and rot. Cedar is widely used for decks and boardwalks. Hence it makes an excellent outdoor wood option for making this category of a chair.
Another plus point for the cedar is that it is widely available. You can sand away the blemishes of this wood easily, and it will last for generations. Even if you do not finish cedar, it develops a soft, silver-grey patina, which gives the surface a protective natural coating.
Teak is a sturdy and durable hardwood and enjoys wide popularity due to this. Anything made of teak can last for several generations. So, you can use this wood for making heavy Adirondack chairs for something that will last a long time. Due to the natural oils that teak produces, this wood has resistance to insect attack and is reasonably weatherproof.
Teak gets imported from various countries in Asia, like India, Myanmar, and Malaysia. Hence, you cannot get it easily, and it costs considerably more than other types of wood. It can cost three times more than cedar and up to six times more than pine and other cheaper woods. Teak also needs quite a lot of maintenance but remains sought after for its good looks and durability.
Cypress grows in the South Atlantic States and the Southern US States. You can find it in swamplands with a conical base that puts out roots in the water. Cypress has a reasonable amount of resistance to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, insect attack, and moisture.
Cypress has a high resistance to rot as well. Hence, if given additional protection through a UV protectant stain, it serves well for building Adirondack chairs. If recoated every 12 to 18 months, this wood can show an attractive vibrant brown color.
Cypress is so durable that it can last for over 25 years. Although this wood doesn’t come cheap, it is less expensive than teak, so in the long run, you’ve got a good deal thanks to its long-term durability.
Any chair made of oak is likely to be good. Oak is one of the most sought-after options for many woodworkers. This wood has a timeless quality about it, and toughness and durability that is difficult to match with other types of wood.
Oak also looks very good after sanding it down and finishing. Adirondack chairs made of oak are much in demand all over the United States and, indeed, throughout the world. Oak has a natural resistance to insects and rot. However, this wood is susceptible to damage by water. Hence, on finishing the surface of oak, you need to apply a suitable sealant as well.
This hardwood that is native to Australia makes some of the best chairs, Adirondack chairs included. It grows fast, so fulfills sustainability requirements. Eucalyptus is prone to damage by water and also rot and insects. Hence, it would help if you treated it appropriately with sealants. If adequately maintained, the durability of eucalyptus can even match that of teak.
Eucalyptus is a smooth wood to work with. The color of this wood ranges from pale cream to reddish-brown, which creates some pleasing color contrasts. If polished well, you will find it challenging to distinguish eucalyptus from other, more expensive woods. Due to this reason, some unscrupulous traders pass eucalyptus off as mahogany or cedar.
We can also make good Adirondack chairs out of mahogany. This wood shows a good character in terms of good looks and durability. It is hardwood. Hence it shows significant resistance to decomposition and is less likely to get scratched the way pine and cedar do.
Adirondack chairs are lightweight, comfortable, and best-suited for use to lounge around the garden or at the poolside. Although at first glance, making these chairs may seem a complicated task, it is not. You can get several online guides for making Adirondack chairs. Adirondack chairs are also a good starter wood project that sells well.
Making these chairs is one of the most viable and easy projects that you can undertake. With a bit of resourcefulness, you could even build Adirondack chairs to sell for a tidy bit of money. So, now that you know which are the best types of wood for Adirondack chairs, we hope that you will have a great time on this exciting woodworking project!
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