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Novice Women Woodworkers

Julie's build Instructions Plans

Build an Adirondack chair   By Les Kenny

[Table of contents are below]

1.2. The seat slats

The easy way

We are going to rip (cut lengthwise) all our seat slats out of 1x6 boards.
Obviously it would be a lot easier and faster to just purchase the slats or battens the right size (or near enough) and just cut them to length.
It would be much easier but usually more expensive.


Our way (the harder but cheaper way)

Ripping (cutting lengthwise) the slats out of a wider board.
This is solely a cost saving measure.

In the previous section you cut 5 pieces of 1x6 stock @ 22-1/4" long
You will need to cut those boards lengthwise into strips which will be the seat slats.
Make the slats 1-1/4" wide.

This can easily be done with a bench saw, but - In the absence of a bench saw and with only a make shift work surface and a circular power saw, a way to do this is to secure the 6" wide piece of board on packers, to enable the slats to be ripped (cut lengthwise).

adirondack chair piece ready for cutting

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The board is secured on top of packers to avoid the saw cutting into the work surface.
It doesn't really matter if the blade cuts slightly into the packers.

Make the packers around 1" wide and 1" thick by at least 8' long.
Have three packers, one each end (of the board to be ripped) and one in the middle. They run across (under) the 6" wide piece of board.

You can nail the packers to the work surface with little thin nails, say 1-1/4" long or there abouts, to hold them in place. They will easily come out when finished.
Just ensure the nails will not be in the way of any cutting line. Have one nail each end of each packer.
Also fix the 6" wide piece of board to the packers with the same sort of nails.
Fix toward the edge of the board (the edge closest to you). See the drawing above.

That will hold the board firmly while you cut the seat slat.
You will get four slats out of each board. The last strip (where the nails are) can be discarded.

When the 150mm wide board is nailed in place on top of the packers, with a straight edge draw a line along the board 32mm in from the back edge (the edge furthest from you).

Set the depth of the blade on your power saw to a depth slightly more than the thickness of the board you are about to cut. Then rip (cut lengthwise) along the line.

Repeat the action until you have cut four seat slats. Discard the remainder.
Rip five 150mm wide boards to extract 18 seat slats 32mm wide. There will be a little bit left over.

This way you can cut along the lines by eye (as above) but it will probably be a less than perfect straight line,


Alternatively you can use an edge guide on the saw to ensure a straighter line. An edge guide is usually a standard accessory that comes with most circular power saws.
Simply set the edge guide to achieve the required width of the cut. You will not need to draw cutting lines using this method.

Circular saw with edge guide
circular saw with edge guide

Circular saw without edge guide
circular saw without edge guide

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