Adirondack options

Date:27 September 2012 Tags:, ,

Q I’ve checked out cedar Adirondack chair plans online and would like to know what other kinds of wood I can use to build my own chairs.

A The nice thing about Adirondack chairs is that you can build them out of nearly any wood. Meranti and balau are easy to work with and highly weather-resistant, especially if stained or coated with a clear preservative. I’ve even seen these chairs built out of pine. With pine, though, you should pre-treat the wood with a paintable water-repellent preservative that also provides protection against wood-boring insects. And when using pine, be particularly careful to soak the end grain to reduce the chairs’ tendency to wick moisture from the ground or a wet surface. I’d follow the pretreatment with a quality alkyd primer and topcoat paint or an exterior alkyd wood stain.

Another option is pressure-treated timber. With that material, you wind up with a chunky, timberyard look that some people really like. Let the wood dry thoroughly before using the chairs, to avoid any chance of skin irritation from the treatment chemicals (especially important with kids).

You should use hot-dipped galvanised or stainless-steel fasteners with any outdoor woodworking project, but they’re essential with pressuretreated timber, which aggressively attacks steel fasteners, causing them to corrode.