Furniture Construction 101

The chairs outside the cottage.

A friend of ours gave us a book called Docks & Projects. The very first project in the book was an Adirondack chair (that's a Muskoka chair to you Canadians). I took an immediate liking to the chair and decided that I should build one. Actually, I figured I should build two.

The first question was what kind of wood to use. I finally decided to go with redwood, mostly because I like the color. And because it was surprisingly affordable. It also endures well outside, although I didn't really plan to have the chairs sit outside much if at all.

This was my first attempt at building furniture. While I enjoyed the outcome and got a lot of satisfaction out of the project, it would be stretching things to call it "fun". The chairs have a LOT of individual pieces, each of which needed to be cut into the proper shape, sanded on all surfaces, and each edge rounded. Very time consuming. On the other hand, assembling the finished boards went fairly quickly. A couple coats of polyurethane to protect the wood and help bring out the color of the wood and they were done.

Yep, still there. The materials for each chair cost about $65 and the labor costs were about $10,000 give or take a few dollars. I don't think I'll be going into business selling handmade furniture! Still, the chairs came out looking nice and they've very comfortable.

Back to my home page