Cape Cod Chair
My chair design is bigger than most similar designs – more substantial and a bit more laid-back (by that I mean the angle of the back recline)
This is a $5 (USD) downloadable PDF file. My chair design is bigger than most similar designs – more substantial and a bit more laid-back (by that I mean the angle of the back recline). Furniture these days tends to be a bit more flimsy than that of yesteryear. This chair leans more towards the ‘old’ rather than the ‘new’.
There are 18 pages in the downloadable PDF file.
This detailed plan-set with step-by-step instructions is in both metric (mm) and imperial (inch) dimensions.
Included are three options given on how to shape the individual pieces, and one of the options was contributed by a user.
All the wood used for this project is 3/4″ (19mm) thick, with the exception of the arms which are 1 1/2″ (45mm) thick. That is to give a bit of meat to the arms and something substantial to screw the upper back support to.
What you will need:
For the seat sides, legs, back slats, upper back support, and the seat slats you will need…
38ft (11.5m) of 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ (140mm x 20mm) wood, allowing for a little bit of wastage.
For the front and rear spacers, lower back support, and arm braces you will need…
8ft (2.4m) of 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ (90mm x 20mm) wood, allowing for a little bit of wastage.
For the arms you will need…
64″ (1600mm) of 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ (140mm x 45mm) wood.
You will also need…
– Around 90 exterior-type 1 1/2″ (38mm) long screws.
– Four 3/8″ x 2″ (10mm x 50mm) galvanized carriage bolts and washers.
– Exterior-type glue
Any help is in the form of user-input and the URL for the user/comments page is given in the documentation in the downloadable file.
G’Day from Down Under and a big thanks to you guys at Buildeazy for the Adirondack Chair plans.
We’ve just completed the first of the two chairs to go by our pool and are really pleased with the outcome. We made some minor mods, but mostly followed your guidelines. Once we’ve finished the chairs, we’re going to make a small table with the top designed to match the seat backs.
All the best from,
Nick, Lindsay, Lukas
Hi From Australia. I have just completed a half size Adirondack chair for my three year old granddaughter.
Note the hand painted fairy on the back slat. I used recycled hard wood from an old BBQ trolley.
Thank you for a great plan.
Barry, Port Macquarie, Australia.
I am a colonel in the United States Air Force Medical Service and am stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Florida as the medical group commander.
In December 2009, I left Tampa for a deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
My first real deployment in 24 years of service in the Air Force.
It hit home in mid-December that I was leaving for Iraq when I had to pack away my work shop at the house.
I have been a serious woodworker since 1999. My forte is mostly clocks, shadow boxes and pens, but I’m willing to venture outside my comfort zone.
When I arrived at my deployed location, I was please to find out that there was an expeditionary (aka austere) self-help shop on the installation and in fact it was located right around the corner from the hospital I would be working in.
After establishing where my office was located and seeing each of the executive offices on the south side had patios, I decided one or more Adirondack chairs would be a nice addition to the space.
After “Googling” Adirondack Chairs on the net, I reviewed several options that popped up until I settled on the design I found on Thingstobuild.com.
Editors note: http://www.thingstobuild.com is a subsidiary of https://www.buildeazy.com/
I printed the design and then contacted the self-help shop to gain access for my project.
I was told by the enlisted manager that I was welcome to come over, get safety certified and have access to the shop to build the chairs. He explained that I could make the chairs out of any material I wanted as long as it was pine. Yes, the only building material in this expeditionary self-help shop was pine.
I told him my preference then would be to make them out of pine.
Over the next three Sunday mornings, I was able to produce three of the chairs with only minor modification from the original design (pictures attached).
The chairs have been a big hit and they are in fact much more comfortable than I had anticipated.
Even the Air Force Surgeon General who was visiting thought they were fantastic.
This project was a great way to get my woodworking fix while spending six months 7,000 miles away from family and home.
My first project when I get settled in back in Tampa, FL will be to make some not-so-expeditionary Adirondack chairs for my wife and me.
Thank you very much for making these designs available.
DENNIS L. BEATTY, Col, USAF, MSC
I have build 4 chairs in 2009, and want to thank you very much. The chairs are really fantastic. I have made them from mahogany.
Greetz from Holland
I adapted you Adirondack chair plans to make a garden bench that I wanted to show you. I simply made a back support piece then carried the seat planks right up and over the back. Thanks for the basic plan. Mimi, France
Thanks for the great plans. I really enjoyed building the adirondack chair. I liked it so much that I built a bench that I’ve attached a picture of. If someone builds the chairs the bench uses the same principles and can be easily built.
Here are the chairs I made from your plans. I made them from pallets.
Sent from my iPod
This is the Adirondack chair that I built from your plans, using scrap lumber.
The plans work great. Thanks for posting them.
My next chairs will be with new lumber using the pattern I made from the first chair.
Here’s my Adirondac Chair, I substituted 6 x 2’s for the arms and I used tannalised timber throughout. Thanks for a super plan BuildEazy, I’m starting another one next week!!!
Mark, Dublin, Ireland.
I have made a few minor changes to the plan, but the original plan was very good.
I was not able to find any step by step instructions on how to assemble the chair once all of the pieces were cut.
I managed to figure it out. I have used Western Red Cedar, and I am in the process of wood plugging all of the screw holes that I have countersunk.
It takes a lot of extra time, but it really makes the chair look great when it is done.
I have found that Red Cedar really cuts easy, but at the same time, it really marks easy, so be careful when using it.
I may used pressure treated Hemlock for the frame and legs next time. The cost of Cedar is pretty high as well.
I will probably make a few more chairs for family and friends. This was a fun project.
Rob Stevenson (Comox, British Columbia, Canada)
Adirondack chairs and Greenhouse.
I just wanted to send along pictures of two recent Buildeazy projects that I completed.
My wife and I love to spent time outside in our ever expanding garden so we thought a greenhouse, using your plans, would be a great addition to our planting hobby. (See photo of the greenhouse https://www.buildeazy.com/greenhouse/).
The greenhouse plan was simple, well laid out and easy to understand. I am sure that we will enjoy it for many years to come.
The second project was a pair of adirondack chairs.
I searched the web and viewed many different styles of adirondack chairs, yours however was most like the chairs that I remember from years ago at a family lake house.
I used several pieces of 1x12x12 cedar that I had in storage to complete these chairs and side table.
After finishing with 3 coats of clear satin spar varnish they are not only good looking but will hold up to the elements for years to come.
We are currently searching your plans for our next project. Thank you for providing such a great website!
Kevin and Valerie Cowan Upstate South Carolina
Hello, This was my first major project for me. I would like to thank you for your plans that I found very helpful. My chair has a plaque on the upper back brace which reads”Made in Canada by Grampa D” -2008
We’re expecting our first Grandchild this year in August.
It will be very comfy holding the baby.
Thank You Larry D. Ontario,Canada.
Hi, Thank you for the wonderful plans. I really enjoy making the Adirondack chairs. I make them with pressure treated wood for legs and bottom and with pine for rest, I have made for 14 so far and give them to friends and family as gifts.
Bob Letendre, Swansea MA
Hi There — this is a comment on the “Adirondack Chair” project.
I just built this chair — it’s a nice design, and not too tricky. When it was all done, though, my wife and I both found that there was too much backward “lean” to the back. So I did a certain amount of jiggering, and tilted the back up by several degrees; it’s more comfortable for me this way.
To build the chair with less lean, there are three changes that you need to make to the plans as printed.
1. On the Chair Frame, when cutting out the “notch” that will hold the lower back brace, you need to cut out less, at a less steep angle. Where the plan suggests a 106 deg. angle, use about a 95 deg. angle, and only cut down 1/4″. Then cut along a line from that point to the middle of the frame, as on the plan.
2. The arms should be 3″ shorter, so 28 1/2″.
3. The angle cut at the back end of the arms needs to be 20 deg. instead of 32 deg.
That’s it. Make these 3 changes, and everything fits together as the original, but the back is 11-12 degrees more upright.
One other person commented that the chair could be a little narrower; I’d agree. Also, if you reduce the overall width to 23 3/4″ or less, then you can get 4 slats out of an 8 foot 1 x 2, rather than three. So all you have to do is reduce the width of:
a) the lower back brace
b) the upper back brace
c) the slats
d) the front spacer
e) the back spacer
by a consistent amount (1-3″). There’s enough room between the back slats and the arms at the top to make this change without changing the curved cut of the top and bottom back braces.
Have fun with it! I’m really happy with my chair, now that I’ve jiggered it into shape.
Kirk Ormand Oberlin, OH
Hi Buildeazy Team,
Thank you very much for your perfect plan!
In Hamburg I’ve seen these chairs in a similar design 20 Years ago.
Here in Germany they call them a ‘Hummel Chair’. In 2008 I decided to build some wooden chairs and I remembered the look of those chairs.
My internet search brought me to your homepage. The material I used was the rest of my Siberian Larche constructed terrace.
The first chair is finished, the second will be ready next weekend. I’m very satisfied and proud to built them.
Kai, Hamburg in Germany
Here is a chair I built from your plans which I modified slightly. I used Eastern Red Cedar and they turned out beautiful. Thank’s for such a good looking chair.
Ben Hewett North Carolina
I found these plans very easy to follow. I used western red cedar. It took me about 5 hours per chair. My wife loves them.
I also built a matching table. Thanks for the great website.
Just completed my first two chairs from the excellent plans.
I used some mahogany I acquired years ago.
I fitted a wedge between the arms and upper rear support as I only used single thickness arms.
Just a big thanks from sunny cape town south Africa…just built the Adirondack chair …had lots of fun doing it…and wow how comfortable and sturdy. Thanks for a great plan Wayne Haylett CT ZA
more great plans lads,, my wife wont see me again this weekend !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! keep it up ! Paul Mcdermott
Hello from Upstate New York my fellow wood workers !
Owning a construction firm I started creating items for my wife that she and I wanted in our home (Entertainment Center, Dinning Room Table and Chairs, etc). Only being 30 minutes away from the Adirondack Mountains we are always on an adventure in our spare time. Going to the Adirondack Museum in the summer last year we discovered these nice rustic chairs. My wife begged me for a few months to make a set for our new deck over looking the St. Lawrence River. I thought it would be a special gift to give her on Christmas. With only 12 hours total on both chairs they were beautiful. I woke up about 4 am on Christmas morning and put them in our living room . The next morning I was relaxing in them watching TV in one of the chairs. She came out and just cried ! SHE LOVED THEM !!! Now they stay in the living room because they are so comfy.
Thank You So Much !!
John and Leslie Alexandria Bay, NY
Just built two of the Adirondack chairs. Cool plans ! I used 5/quarter treated decking that I had laying around. Here is a picture of one of the chairs. You may use the picture as you wish. – Click on image to enlarge.
Eddie Brater lll. Harrison Ohio.
Thanks for the plans!
I built a couple of these chairs last year and they are a real hit with everyone who sits in them.
Steve Brockton, Northampton, England
I have just finished my chair and I am stoked with the results! thanks to you guys! Steve and Di
Hello from Glasgow Scotland just finished the chair and its looking very smart with its new coat of olive green preservative. apart from misreading the chair frame angle of 106deg. I cut it at 160deg. which turned the side frames into the back and front stretchers so all was not lost! and a bit of a struggle at the final assembly “only one pair of hands im afraid”it turned out great I would recommend this project to anyone now for the two seater version and some decent weather to try them out so thanks again for everything . Danny Fay Scotland
This is a Fabulous Project For Me. I’ve seen this chair being made on all sorts of programs and wanted so badly to be able to make one myself. Now I can. Thanks for the plan. Andrew
I have completed 2 of these chairs and what fun I had doing so. The chair are in my tv room because of its comfort. Have orders to make more so it goes to show great plan, great project and great comfort.
Brent Nicol Cape Town Somerset West
I had been itching for about a year to make one of these, I now have completed two, and plan to make a half dozen more for the family members, everyone that has seen them, then sits for a spell, just love them. Found the plan very easy to follow, and the chair assembly was/is a piece of cake.
John North Island New Zealand.
Greetings from sunny South Africa – this time from the whale watching capital of the world : HERMANUS !!
I have also just completed the Adirondack chair using – as a basis – your fantastic FREE plan ! And what A beautiful chair it turned out to be !! I am really so pleased with my Adirondacks ( I made two ! )
After some thinking, looking at pictures of other Adirondacks, and planning in my head, I made the following
Changes to your basic plan :
6 Back slats instead of 4
Raised the Leg to 600
Instead of using a 45mm arm with an angle at the back, I opted for a 45mm upper back frame cut at an angle and fitted below the arm at the back
A more flowing pattern for the arm brace
Increased the chair frame size to 180 X 30 X 1000
The above changes made for a really handsome chair – and I am rightly pleased ! Thank you, Buildeazy, for Helping me with a lovely project !
Please put me on your mailing list for forthcoming free plans !
I have just finished building my first Adirondack chair, based on your specs. Your design was the best, by far, of all the designs I was able to locate on the internet
I have to tell you that it turned out beautifully. The proportions were just about right. The only change I would suggest is that the chair be narrower by about 2-3″.
Thanks for furnishing such detailed drawings.
Hey thanks a lot for the Adirondack chair plan, It worked out fantastic although I haven’t decided on a finish for it yet.
I added a few modifications to the plan because I really needed the chair to fold for storage, just thought maybe some others may also be interested in how I did this although it isn’t rocket science as I’m sure you would agree.
During the build I wasn’t really sure if the mods would work properly, but I can assure you they do.
I could have went with another design that folds as part of the plan but decided against it due to liking your robust design so much. Over the moon for my first wood project, now for some footrests and a table to match.
I attach photos of my Cape Cod Chair. Before and after painting (white with duck egg blue seat and back).
This is the most technically difficult wood working project I have undertaken and I had 1 or 2 head scratching moments. I started out with the version 1 of the plans which I had saved years ago (it took me about 8 years to finally pluck up the courage to attempt it) then realised that there are new instructions that are easier to follow.
It is built from ‘5th’ planed ‘Red Wood Pine’, which I understand is scotch pine (not Sequoia!) which is readily available in the UK, cheapish and fairly durable but very heavy. I would have loved to have used cedar, but good cedar is expensive and difficult to obtain in the UK.
I had never used a table saw before and bought an extremely cheap and nasty one specifically for the project. I was worried about cutting the 32 degree angle on the arms but that worked reasonably well with new sharp hand saw and a bit of care.
Thanks for a great project.
Hi, just wanted to say Thank you very much for being so generous with your plans for the Adirondack Chair.
I really enjoyed building these chairs and your plans are so easy to follow. Cheers.
Thank you so much for the plans for Cape Cod Chair.
I am not a builder by any means but managed to put together a very comfortable chair using the plans.
Family now requesting me to build them one..but first i gotta have time to enjoy my chair..
Nico – Auckland, New Zealand
Here’s my handiwork! Great chairs! I used eastern white cedar 1x and laminated two pieces for the arms.
I needed to add an extra brace near the top of the backs in order to keep the boards straight, but it worked out fine.
Stain is Behr clear redwood. Thanks for the great plans!
Hi, Thank you very much for your perfect plan!
Years ago I’ve seen these chairs in a similar design and wanted to purchase them.
Now I built my own four Adirondack chairs of your design.
The picture the latest chairs just fit for me and the family.
H Kornaat The Netherlands
Greetings, Buildeazy Team.
I bought the plans for the Adirondack Chair a few weeks ago. Siwsan said she wanted a pair, so what could an obedient and well trained husband do but say, ‘Yes, dear’?
A fairly easy build, the first one took a few days, the second,less than a day.
Now to make a pair for my brother and wife, in Rtorua?. Such is life, but they are very dear to me, these two.
Problems during the build, nothing major, really, the photos (Included) will show a slight change in the front of the arms on one of the chairs. A semicircular front will become the standard from now on.
Also, for short people, the front leg will be reduced by 50mm not, as one might suspect, from the bottom of the leg, but the top. This to keep the ground to seat height correct.
For the next two, I shall cut the angle where the top back support attaches to the rear of the arms, first, before I cut the taper to the arm itself. Much easier to do it this way, and increases safety when cutting, as it means the Compound mitre saw will always be cutting to my right, and controlled by my stronger arm.
The top and bottom back support rails will be installed dry, uncut and then scribed as to the cuts needed to provide full support for the four back rest upright boards. Then, of course, glued and screwed into their permanent position. The off cut from these will be an infill piece to close the gap between the last seat rail and the front of the back boards.
The tops seat rails were rounded on the edges, somewhat roughly, and smoothed to provide an even contour at the contact areas for the users legs.
Because these chairs will always be outside, and enjoying New Zealand?s stronger sunlight, with the hole in the ozone layer, and tempered by a high rainfall in our specific area, all joints are glued with a foaming gap filling polyurethane adhesive and screwed with stainless steel screws. Attaching the front legs to the seat sides is the only joint not glued, but held with two galvanised coach bolts.
All in all, a well thought out design. I will take progress photos of the next two, describing each process and why.
Salut je suis un artisanat algérien
Hi I am an Algerian craftsman
No name given
I used your plans for the Adirondack Chair and drew it up in AutoCad with a few minor changes. I extruded the parts and assembled them according to your plans and created a couple bmp’s and thought I’d send them to you.
Hope I didn’t infringe on any copyrighted material.
Thanks for an easy build. The video on YouTube was great too. I was stuck on how to get the arms together.
Jesus L. –
Great build. I made one change that made the chair a bit more sturdy in the arm rest area. Instead of using nails to attach the arm rests with the legs, I chose to attach 2 pieces of wood (on each side) of 3 x 2 1/4 with screws (pictures attached). It’s not visible from the top or sides of the chair and looks fine even when you squat down to look. This gave the arm rests a very sturdy hold to the legs. I used a piece of scrap from the 1×6 wood left over. Overall it’s a great looking chair and now I’m in trouble because the better half wants a second one and a matching table. I’m thinking stain/sealer to keep the wood grain look. What do you think?
CLAUDIANO ARAUJO –
Adirondack chairs never dies! Best chair by far.
I have made a few, about 20 years ago. It is time to make a few more to my varenda.
Looking at this specific project, I have the feeling that the arm was set way too high. Wonder how it deteriorates the general conform of the chair.
These plans were simple to follow for me. Western red cedar was used. I spent roughly 5 hours on each chair. Thank you for the useful information.