What Is The Best Wood for Adirondack Chairs?

What is an Adirondack Chair?

The Adirondack Mountains in northern Upstate New York are where you will find the best wood for Adirondack chairs. The seat is a substantial wood board that extends behind the backrest and slants backward to form the seat’s rear legs. Attach the front legs to the front border of the “seat,” then rise several inches above it and make a 90-degree connection to the armrests. 

Two adirondack chairs

How to Build an Adirondack Chair

Assemble the Base

Measure the length and width of the front legs. Make the back legs, which serve as seat supports. Fasten them together with a crosspiece that overlaps the angled ends of the seat supports. Connect the crosspiece to the front legs.

Start Making the Seat

Cut the seat slats to the same length as the front crosspiece to begin the seat. One of the slats has a bend cut into the center of it. By angling the jigsaw blade by 10 degrees, you can bevel this cut to match the seat back’s recline. 

To create a 134-inch (340.4 centimeters) curved gap between the two that will sandwich the back slats, make a similar cut in another slat. Glue or screw the supports to the back seat slat.

Make the Back

Cut two back bracing with a 25-degree angle and the same curvature as the rear curved seat slat. Cut one to the combined width of the two arms and the seat. To fit the breadth of the back, cut the other. You should fasten the longer back brace to the top of a 1-inch (2.54 centimeters) wide wood riser before screwing it to the side of the back leg.

Attach the Arms

Cut two rounded-fronted arms. Attach a support block to the outside of each front leg, rounding the end over. Attach the front legs and longer back brace by screwing the arms on.

Attach the Slats

You should prune slats with rounded ends. Between the arms, arrange them in a fan. Attach the slats to the back and seat slat braces on the back of the seat, putting the shorter brace as high as you can. Fasten the remaining seat slats.

The Pros and Cons of This Chair

The Pros of Adirondack Chairs

The Adirondack chairs come with several advantages over other chairs, which include the following:

  • Suitable for any surface. Thomas Lee, who designed the Adirondack chair, desired something cozy and durable for the rocky terrain of the Adirondack Mountains. Due to this fundamental need, the Adirondack chair’s design is perfect for any terrain. Because of this, you may find them everywhere, from beach bungalows to mountain lodges, on concrete patios and timber decks.
  • Creative yet practical. The Adirondack chair blends aesthetics and functionality, according to numerous designers and furniture specialists. The images are clean, elegant, and seductive. They easily blend in both traditional and modern settings. This chair is very useful; it comfortably fits persons of all ages.
  • The ideal lounger for lounges. This chair’s ability to recline into a lounge position is another reason why it’s so fantastic. The sloped seat of the Adirondack chair forces the user to lean back and unwind. The large seat and back provide good support for a variety of people. Customers can relax comfortably by setting a drink or food on the wide armrests. Customers can effortlessly sit up thanks to the design’s knee support.

The Cons of Adirondack Chairs

Despite the above advantages, the Adirondack chairs have their share of drawbacks. These include:

  • The chairs are relatively expensive
  • Adirondack chair plans are complex

What Considerations Should I Take When Choosing a Wood Type?

Strength and Durability

Adirondack chairs are frequently damaged. First, owners care for them extensively since they love them so much. As the seasons change, many individuals also enjoy moving their Adirondack chairs from one location to another. You, therefore, need exceptionally durable lumber that can withstand severe misuse.

Weather Resistance

Adirondack chairs must be incredibly weather-resistant to be outdoor furniture. If not, you’ll have to replace it sooner rather than later. Finding timber for all-weather Adirondack chairs with excellent dimensional stability is essential. Also, take into account wood species with excellent rot resistance.

Insect Resistance

Adirondack chairs fall under the outdoor furniture category, which must be resistant to insects and pests to last a long time. You must take precautions to keep pests like aphids, termites, caterpillars, and wood borers away from the outdoor Adirondack chair. Choosing naturally insect-resistant wood can assist.


Since you need to bend and move around a folding Adirondack chair, consider using sturdy but highly workable wood varieties that are simple to saw, cut, and curve. You also want simple wood to polish, screw, and nail.

Aesthetics. Since Polywood Adirondack chairs are mostly for leisure and relaxation, it is hard to ignore aesthetics when choosing wood. Therefore, you must consider the chair’s finish as well as the color and grain of the wood. However, it’s more crucial that the Polywood Adirondack chair you choose supports your way of life and enhances your décor.

Ease of Maintenance

The best Adirondack chairs are simple to keep up with and clean. For instance, you must thoroughly clean it before storing it indoors for the winter. To extend its life, you should regularly paint, stain, or oil it. Consequently, you want to pick simple wood to preserve and care for.

Adirondack chairs

The Best Wood for an Adirondack Chair


Acacia has a Janka grade of 1,750, making it a durable hardwood. Acacia furniture typically lasts more than 30 years. Acacia also needs little maintenance and is scratch-resistant.

However, its resistance to rot and water is what we adore the best. The ideal wood for outdoor use, including Adirondack chairs, combines outstanding strength and high levels of moisture resistance. The Acacia tree is likewise quite lovely. It has exquisite figured grain patterns and a medium to dark brown color.


  • Strong and durable
  • Moisture and rot-resistant
  • Beautiful grain pattern
  • Low maintenance


  • Sensitive to temperature variations
  • Unpredictable grain pattern


Cypress chairs are something you’ve seen before. One of the greatest timbers for outdoor furniture, including picnic tables and patio chairs. It operates admirably even when in contact with the ground and is particularly resistant to deterioration. Old-growth Cypress also produces stunning rustic furniture.

For the reasons listed above, Cypress should be a top contender for your Adirondack chair project. Although it only has a Janka rating of 510, which makes it more prone to dents and chips than hardwoods, it is quite robust and has high compressive strength. 

The final two considerations are crucial when evaluating how much weight a piece of wood can support before cracking. Additionally, Cypress has a strong bending point.


  • Exceptional strength
  • Excellent for rustic decor
  • Highly rot and decay-resistant
  • Highly resistant to insects


  • It chips and dents easily
  • It has a distinct odor

Douglas Fir Wood

By now, you may have realized that the best Adirondack chairs are from expensive wood. So what if you have a limited budget? We advise you to try Douglas Fir possibly. Light brown with a tinge of crimson or yellow describes Douglas Fir. It also has dark growth rings, which give it a lovely appearance.

What’s more, it’s softwood. Proper care makes it a highly sturdy softwood that can live for many generations. But the cost and accessibility of Douglas Fir are its main draws. Both its price and availability are very favorable.


  • Durable
  • Moisture resistant
  • Decay and rot-resistant
  • It’s non-toxic


  • Dense and heavy
  • Not very strong


Another rot-resistant wood is Eucalyptus. Due to its high oil content, you can protect it against rotting. With proper care, most Eucalyptus furniture lasts 25 years.

However, eucalyptus stands out as a potential material for Adirondack chairs because of two characteristics in particular. First, Eucalyptus is resistant to external conditions and doesn’t dent readily, much like hardwood.

Second, it ages to a beautiful reddish-brown tint that gets darker. The only drawback is that eucalyptus doesn’t do well in cold climates. As a result, it changes size with the seasons. You can still stain Eucalyptus wood, though, to offer extra protection.


  • Strong and durable
  • Highly sustainable
  • Consistent grain pattern
  • Beautiful reddish color


  • Shrinks and swells
  • Susceptible to pests


A Brazilian hardwood called ipe, pronounced “e-pay,” also grows in a few other South American nations. It is incredibly robust and has a rich, deep red color when cut. Ipe is, in fact, eight times stronger than redwood and three times stronger than oak. Therefore, it is obvious that it produces remarkable Adridorack chairs.

Ipe furniture is robust as well. With the proper care, many units can survive for 50 years without treatment and for many generations. The sole distinction is that when left unfinished, Ipe wood fades into a stunning silver hue. 

Ipe wood is naturally resistant to decay and insects, which is something else you may want to know. Therefore, you never have to worry about termites eating your Ipe furniture, for example.


  • Pest and termite resistant
  • Doesn’t require treatment
  • It is very hard and durable
  • High dimensional stability


  • It isn’t easy to work (pre-drilled only)
  • It’s hard to find


Lightweight Adridorack chairs are popular because of their portability. Moving a light chair from one location to another is simpler as you follow the sun. However, Mahogany is a good option if you need a harder wood type for heavy Adirondack chairs. Mahogany is a sturdy, long-lasting hardwood that weighs a lot.

Despite having a Janka strength rating of only 1,070 pounds (485.3 kilograms), it has remarkable bending and compressive strength. It resists chipping easily and can support heavy loads without cracking.

Furthermore, it has a high level of resistance to insects, decay, and wetness. And lastly, Mahogany has a rich reddish-brown color and a lovely grain pattern. It takes paint and shines incredibly well, which is strange because it’s very malleable.


  • Mahogany is a beautiful wood
  • It’s tough and durable
  • Highly workable and finishes well
  • Moisture and rot-resistant


  • Mahogany wood is expensive
  • It’s dense and very heavy

Red Oak

The US is home to Red Oak as well. It flourishes in Canada’s southeast and south-central as well as the eastern and central states. The hue is the primary distinction between Red Oak and white oak. White Oak is lighter than Red Oak, which is strange. Redder than red oak. 

However, White Oak is generally darker. Consequently, a redwood Adirondack chair has a stunning appearance by nature. More importantly, the chairs are extremely sturdy since Red Oak is nearly as robust as White Oak. 

The fact that Red Oak doesn’t naturally have a high level of dimensional stability is its single notable drawback. To extend the life of the wood, you must treat it and provide it with proper care. In any case, it’s yet another fantastic option for Adrindorack chairs.


  • It boasts natural beauty
  • It’s strong and durable
  • Less expensive than white oak
  • It’s highly available


  • Not highly weather-resistant
  • Requires significant maintenance


Another great wood for building Adirondack chairs is Teak. To begin with, Teak is a softwood, unlike cedar. It is, therefore, far more durable. The tight wood grain plays a big part in how durable it is. With proper care, the wood components can indeed last a lifetime.

Teak is also incredibly water-resistant. It generates organic oils that fend off dampness and precipitation. Because of this, teakwood resists decay even without pressure treatment. The ability to withstand moisture and humidity makes Teak the ideal wood for outdoor furniture. Additionally, it is acid and termite resistant.

Above all, Teak is innately attractive and low-maintenance. It is available in the desired deep golden-brown shade that easily complements the indoor and outdoor design. The straight grain pattern and the variety of textures also enhance the aesthetics.


  • Teakwood is naturally beautiful
  • It’s solid and durable
  • Highly resistant to weather elements
  • Resistant to termites and insects


  • Teakwood is expensive
  • It’s not widely available

Western Red Cedar Wood

On the east and west coasts of the US, Cedar is a stunning softwood that naturally grows in shades of pink, reddish brown, and chocolate brown. With a distinct texture and color, lumber is very dimensionally stable.

But the Western Red Cedar shines out in particular. It is a highly sturdy wood with a 4560 psi compressive strength and a 7500 psi bending strength. These characteristics enable it to carry enormous weight without losing its shape. However, its excellent weather resistance is what sets it apart.

Natural oils produced by Western Red Cedar help the wood resist rot and deterioration by retaining moisture and liquids. Cedar wood is additionally resistant to warping and bending thanks to natural cedar oils.


  • Red Cedar fades gradually
  • It requires high maintenance


  • Relatively expensive compared to smaller kits
  • 8 carving knives may be overwhelming for beginners

White Oak

One of the most often used hardwoods in the US is Oak. It has tight grains and is dense, powerful, and long-lasting. And most significantly, it’s made of local wood! As a result, it is more accessible than, say, mahogany.

Due to these characteristics, it is the standard option for high-end woods. White Oak is one of several species that frequently stands out. Depending on the region where the tree is grown, the specific colors might range from dark brown to beige. It often has a delicate feel and tight growth rings in the end grain.

White Oak is one of the greatest timbers for Adirondack chairs since it is tough, sturdy, and attractive. Furthermore, it’s a native American in high demand.


  • Strong and very durable
  • A high collection value
  • Excellent staining qualities
  • It’s a gorgeous hardwood


  • Rare white oak is expensive
  • It is hard, heavy, and difficult to work

How do I Finish the Wood Surface?

Finishing Adirondack chair wood surfaces depends on the type of wood used for the project. However, generally, consider the following;


Varnishes are the more popular kind of wood treatment. They might be colorful or clear. Resin, solvent, and oil are the components of varnish. It has a tough, long-lasting, and protective finish. You can treat both the wooden object’s exterior and interior with it. 

It usually has a glossy surface, but flattening agents can achieve satin and semi-gloss finishes. Varnishes dry slowly, provide excellent UV protection, and are more effective when applied over colors.

Oil Finish

Unfinished wood looks better with oil wood treatments. The wood’s natural oils start to dry out as time goes on. Oil finishes take the place of natural oil and improve the grain. With an oil finish, the oil penetrates the wood rather than just forming a film on top of it. The wood appears richer and more translucent as a result. You can use oils in two ways: drying and non-drying.

When you expose drying oils to oxygen, they transform from a liquid to a solid. You can frequently use the drying oil with linseed oil. Vegetable and mineral oils are examples of non-drying oils. You can use these on indoor and exterior surfaces, primarily for treating wood.

Wax Finish

Since wax finishes only offer temporary protection, woodworkers are not particularly fond of them. Wax is simple to apply, but you need several coats to achieve the desired result. After finishing the application, buffing is necessary.

You can find wax in stick, liquid, and solid forms. For wood treatments, you can obtain wax from various plant, mineral, and animal sources. You can make it in many color formulations. Even the toughest waxes are softer than varnishes; however, they can be hard or soft. They, therefore, offer minimal defense against dings and wear.


A beetle produces the natural wax known as Shellac. On wood, apply a solution made of the collected wax and alcohol. There are many different color options for Shellac. On hardwood surfaces, Shellac works well to conceal scratches. It is simple to use and dries quickly. The result is a glossy surface on the wood. The presence of water can harm Shellac.

Wood Dye

Wood dye in solvents like mineral spirit, alcohol, or water, dyes—colorants—are dissolved. Wood dye functions similarly to how fabric dyes do. They alter color without covering up the grains. Use a brush, sponge, or sprayer to apply it. Oil- and water-based wood dyes are types of finishes.

Wood Stain Finish

A wood stain treatment alters or enhances the wood’s color and the grain’s visibility. When the look of the wood is inconsistent, you can use it to improve the color and achieve uniformity in the woodwork. Where the stain is darker than the color of the wood, wood stain finishes work best.

Colorful wood stains are readily accessible. The number of coatings applied to wooden Adirondack chair surfaces will determine the final result. This treatment does not shield the wood. To protect the wood, You must put a final layer of wood finish after doing the wood stain.

Water Based Finish

Oil-based finishes smell more than water-based finishes do. They produce a very tidy and transparent finish. They include urethane, alkyd, and acrylic resin

They have a thin consistency and are simple to dry as the water evaporates after application and the liquid sticks to the surface. Water-based coatings are simple to maintain and give the surface a natural appearance.

Wood Preserve

To keep the wood from rotting and insect damage, use wood preserve. It has a matte or semi-gloss finish and comes in various colors. 

You can apply it on the wooden Adirondack chair’s surfaces outside. Choose a wood treatment that matches your specific demand, type of wood, and color now that you understand the numerous wood finish varieties. Choose a wood finish that best fits your needs because those that soak into the wood are challenging to remove.

Adirondack chairs in park

FAQs on Adirondack Chair Building

How Thick Should Adirondack Chairs Be?

Most Adrindorack chairs have 36 to 42 inches (91.44 to 106.7 centimeters) in height, 30 to 34 inches (76.2 to 96.5 centimeters) in width, and 35 to 38 inches (88.9 to 96.5 centimeters) in depth. Typically, the frames are 1 1/2 inches (3.81 centimeters) thick. However, we advise a thickness of 3/4 inches (1.91 centimeters) if you’re referring to the slats.

Is It Cheaper to Build or Buy an Adirondack Chair?

Of course, building Adirondack chairs is less expensive than purchasing them. All the supplies required to create a complete Adirondack chair cost around $130, and buying supplies for two chairs costs 20% less. The same chairs, meanwhile, sell for more than $230 per unit on Amazon.

Can We Use Plastic to Build Adirondack Chairs?

Yes, you can use plastic to make Adirondack chairs. However, Adrindorack chairs are available in various materials, including plastic, aluminum, and wood. However, because they are more fashionable, most people choose wooden Adirondack chairs. Additionally, compared to other materials, wood is more environmentally friendly.

Final Words

For demands related to sunbathing and relaxation, Adirondack chairs are ideal. However, only if you make the right choice. We suggest wooden cabinets because they are fashionable and environmentally friendly. If you like hardwoods, some of the best woods for Adirondack chairs include Teak, Mahogany, and Oak; if you prefer softwoods, Cedar, Yellow Pine, and Cypress. Read our article and find out The Best Way To Make Stairs for Bunk Beds.

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