2x4 Modern Adirondack Chair

Submitted by Ana White on Sun, 04/26/2020 - 12:09
Difficulty
Intermediate
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Our MOST POPULAR Adirondack Chairs! For about $30 you can build your own modern Adirondack chairs!  This is an easy build that shouldn't take too long, and the chair is super comfortable and sturdy!  Free plans by Ana-White.com

the best adirondack chair plans ana white

Why I Built These Chairs

I've been wanting to add some comfortable outdoor seating to our yard in uncovered areas, but it gets to be alot to manage cushions and pillows, trying to keep everything dry, bringing the cushions in when it snows, finding somewhere to store it all ... 

I didn't want to go with plastic chairs, as they blow away in the wind, and I'm forever chasing them down and eventually, picking up pieces of plastic and throwing them away.

So I thought, what if I could build the most comfortable Adirondack chairs ever, that don't need a cushion, that are too heavy to blow away in the wind?  

2x4 modern adirondack chair

2x4 Modern Adirondack Chair Features

  • 2x4 frame is sturdy and solid
  • Building plans are easy to follow and assemble (about an hour a chair)
  • About $30 in lumber per chair
  • Very comfortable without a cushion or pillow
  • Modern styling still has the "Adirondack" look and feel, but with clean lines
  • Can be painted or stained any color

How I Built My Chairs

In this video I go through all the steps to build my 2x4 Modern Adirondack Chairs

Free Adirondack Chair Plans

The free plans for this chair follow.  Please share a photo when you are done so we can see how your project turned out!

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2X4 Modern Adirondack Chair

Dimensions
Adirondack chair dimensions
Dimensions shown in diagram for modern Adirondack chair

Preparation

Shopping List

3 - 2x4 @ 104-5/8" long (OR 4 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long or 92-5/9" long)

1 - 1x10 @ 10 feet long*

4 - 2-1/2" Kreg Pocket Hole Screws

24 - 2-1/2" long self tapping exterior screws (look for the screws with the star bit heads, can be up to 3" long)

30 - 1-1/2" long self tapping exterior screws (same type as the longer screws, can be slightly shorter or longer (up to 2"), these screws are just used to attach the seat boards to the frame)

*If building more than one chair, you only need 9 feet of 1x10 boards per chair.  So for two chairs, you could purchase one 8' long 1x10 and one 10' long 1x10.

Cut List

5 - 2x4 @ 19-1/2" - legs and horizontal supports

2 - 2x4 @ 31-3/4" - arms

2 - 2x4 @ 33-1/4" - both ends cut at 20 degrees off square, ends ARE parallel, long point to short point measurement

2 - 2x4 @ 32-3/4" - back supports

2 - 1x10 @ 22-1/2" - seat

3 - 1x10 @ 19-1/2" - back 

Cutting Instructions

It may be easier to pre-finish your boards before cutting.

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Work on a flat level surface.

Instructions

Step 1

As shown in the video, cut the chair stringers at a 90 degree angle at the foot of the stringer with a circular saw.

Build the arms with the 2-1/2" long screws and exterior wood glue.

Make sure the two arms are built the same but in mirror as shown in the diagram.

Step 2

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on both ends of two of the 19-1/2" long 2x4s.  Attach with 2-1/2" screws to the Adirondack chair frame.

Step 3

Lay the seat boards on the 2x4 frame and attach with three 1-1/2" long screws per end of each 1x10 to the seat frame.  Leave about 1/4" gap in between the seat frame for water drainage.

Step 4

Place the remaining 2x4 @ 19-1/2" long under the back of the chair as shown in the diagram.  

Place one seat support in the chair and hold flush to the bottom of the stringer.

Attach with screws to the stringer and to the back support.

Move to the other side of the chair and repeat with the second back support.

Remove the 2x4 @ 19-1/2" long.

Step 5

Attach the 2x4 @ 19-1/2" to the base of the chair with screws.

Step 6

Starting at the top and working downward, attach the seat back boards to the back of the chair.  Make sure you leave a gap at the base of the back to allow for good water drainage.  Evenly split the gaps for best visual presentation.

Finishing Instructions
Finish Used
Use an exterior appropriate finish.

Comments

tp_clough

Sat, 07/04/2020 - 16:10

I used pressure treated pine to build this chair , wasn’t to hard for me, a beginner . Did you use regular pine ? Seems to cost more then what you said . I couldn’t find 1x10s so used 1x4s. , going to try to build another but make the back a bit longer , would like something to rest my head on. Thx for sharing T.

trentonstanley

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 19:00

I built these using 1x6s for the seat and back because that's all the lumberyard had in cedar. The seat ends up being 1 inch shorter so the angle on the back is just a little shallower but they still work and look great. And because I used cedar mine cost a little more than double Ana's estimate, but it was worth it. They're beautiful and comfortable and way more solid than I expected. Thanks for a great plan, Ana!

rajasaab

Thu, 07/16/2020 - 07:56

So i built these and they are awesome. The only problem i have is that the arms are not staying stable as you sit on it and rest your arms and lean back the back support slides. Any thoughts on shoring up that back support piece?

zaremba111

Thu, 07/16/2020 - 14:45

Drive 2 3" Screws through the front side of each back support. Drive them parallel to and lined up in the middle of the armrests stright into the back support. It should add additional strength and prevent the sliding you are getting. I would suggest you use another board under the back support to make sure you are level. See step 4 again. You most likely missed the screw to the back step.

gajakannan

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 21:40

Hello,
I'm new to wood working. I can't seem to follow the cut ana made using circular saw and speed square. Can you please explain?

Thanks

BPJacobs

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 06:30

These chairs are awesome! I have built 6 so far with 2 as gifts. I modified them slightly because I did not have a pocket hole jig so I added another 2x4 to attach those pieces. The plans were very good and the chairs were simple to build. Very Happy!

gajakannan

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 19:10

clarification, since this is gonna be outdoor i am looking for a pressure treated outdoor lumber not a regular pine wood, unless someone tells me i can use the regular pinewood and put oil based coat?

davidcschneider

Sun, 11/15/2020 - 18:34

Hi Ana,

I love this website. I feel like there is nothing I can't make.

I just built this chair. Really easy and I want to make more. But I wanted to change the main support legs to a 2X6 and I was wondering if I had to make any adjustments to the 20 degree cuts that need to be made. My gut says no but I thought I would ask just in case.

I am going to fire them so that the groves in the wood show. I sand the groves smooth and then stain it. It comes out really cool. I don't think I can post a photo but I you look at my photo, I posted some shelving I made.

Anyway, thanks for this awesome website and if You have that information thanks in advance.

David

GooseUK

Sun, 02/28/2021 - 10:38

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing project, video and instructions.
Me and my wife did a double sized one.

Pargie

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 12:35

Love the design, only thing that would make this look better is if it was foldable for winter storage in the garage. Anyone have any ideas on small tweaks or hardware (door hinges?) to make this compact?

Greg T.

Tue, 03/23/2021 - 05:48

Great project. I wanted to make two for my 3 and 4 year old kids so i halved all the measurements and the chair came out tiny. Any suggestions on adjusting plans to smaller scale would be great. thanks.

sdmspringer

Mon, 04/26/2021 - 13:34

This was my second ever building project, and I so much enjoyed the process and the end product! The chairs are also sooooo comfortable!

npselvan84

Fri, 05/28/2021 - 23:38

I like the plan and I was looking for such a plan for a long time. But one quick question, I see the lumber price 1x10 10 feet as $28. Where do you get the lumber cheaper than Lowes or HomeDepot?

Hagrid

Sat, 06/12/2021 - 17:13

This was fun. Took 1hr 30 minutes to build using only 2x4’s. It’s heavy but that’s ok with me. I may add wheels to either front or back legs for mobility. I tweaked it for another hour and 30 minutes from feedback from my wife and daughter. I ended up increasing the recline but then cut 3” off front legs ( and bottom of back support ) to get it where we all liked it. Now we just need to decide on paint, stain, etc. thanks for sharing this plan. Keep Crushing!

jendon

Tue, 07/06/2021 - 08:31

I built two of them and they are so comfortable. I am now going to add the 2x4 outdoor side table to go between them or as a foot rest. My parents even enjoyed them and you can get out of them very easily do to the strength. I did study the video and plans for those angle cuts, just to make sure I was doing them correctly. Thank you, Ana for those helpful tools for is beginners.

WesleyY

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 07:27

Just built these last weekend. I'd recommend that when attaching the 2 boards to the seat in step 3, take the 19.5" board and put it between the two back legs to maintain the distance. This will ensure that the spacing is correct when attaching that board in step 5.

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