Adirondack chair, woodworking plans and jigs.

How to make woodworking templates from Adirondack chair plans

A few days ago I bought some plans of an Adirondack chair, which is a really nice and really comfortable garden chair. These typical Canadian wooden chairs are also known as Muskoka chairs. A few months ago I made my own version of these garden chairs with pallet wood. And a few years ago, before I had the “Woodworking with DIY tools” channel on YouTube, I made some Adirondack chairs from plans I had found on the Internet. Now I finally found those woodworking plans again, and to be able to use them as many times as I want, and to make it easier to make these Adirondack chairs, in this post I’m going to make some woodworking templates (<- see how to use them) from the plans of this chair.

Read all articles: Adirondack Chair

You can find many Adirondack chair plans, but for me this is the most beautiful one. You have the link to the plans of this garden chair at the end of this post.

Instructions for assembling the Adirondack chair

The plans I bought also show how to assemble the Adirondack chair. But I have my own tips and tricks. So in a future project we will see how to use the templates I am making in this post to cut the pieces, and how to assemble this garden chair.

Good quality phenolic plywood

So now, to make the woodworking templates, I bought a good quality phenolic plywood board. It is 1 cm thick.

Now I cut the pieces of paper from the plans at half a centimeter from the line. And with stencil glue I glue the pieces to the phenolic plywood board. Although on a couple of larger pieces I decided to cut against one of the long straighter lines. And I fitted those straight lines to the edge of the plywood board. This saves me cutting and adjusting those edges of the templates.

Now I can use the jigsaw to cut all the pieces. But since it would be difficult to make clean and precise cuts, it is better to cut at about 3 millimeters from the lines. And later I will adjust the pieces to the lines with my homemade sanders.

How to cut woodworking plans on plywood

As I said, when cutting the plans of this Adirondack chair I try to stay within a few millimeters of the cut line. But to make sure I don’t cut the line at any point, in some parts I separate up to half a centimeter from the line. Although the biggest problem is that the edge of the paper, not being glued well, sometimes lifts up and the saw breaks it instead of cutting it. So I have to be very careful not to cut the line.

Adirondack chair templates before sanding the edges

So, after cutting all the pieces from the plans, I still have quite a bit of work to do. And now it’s time to adjust the woodworking templates as best as possible, sanding the edges right down to the lines.

On drum sander I sand concave curves to the line

So, now first I use my homemade drum sander. And the first thing to do is to sand the inside lines, or concave lines, right up to the line. So I have to be patient and go little by little. And if the paper rises I have to lower it with my fingers to see how I’m doing.

In addition, I have to sand against the drum sander as I move the workpiece to one side, to try to get a smooth and continuous sanding and to avoid wavy marks in the edge.

But when sanding the straight edges with this drill press drum sander, I sand only to within a couple of millimeters of the line. As it will be easier to sand those straight edges on the disc sander. And with the outer, or convex, curves, the same. They are easier to sand and adjust with the disc sander. So in these two cases I just use the drum sander to approximate to the plans line.

Adjusting convex curves on a home-made disc sander

So now I use the homemade disc sander to finish adjusting these woodworking templates. I only need to adjust the straight edges and the outer curves. As for the outside curves, they are fairly easy to sand and adjust on the home disc sander.

Adjusting woodworking templates on a disc sander

But the straight edges of the templates are more difficult to sand well. And if we have good Adirondack chair plans, but we don’t make good woodworking templates from them, we will run into problems during fabrication.

My trick is to sand only on the edge of the sanding disc. Without pressing towards the center of the disc, but leaving a very small angle between the piece to be sanded and the sanding disc surface.

And finally I pass the entire edge of the piece against the sanding disc, from left to right. This way I eliminate small irregularities. If everything is okay, I should be making a straight and smooth edge in the template.

Woodworking templates for making Adirondack garden chairs

And now I just need to sand the burrs with a medium grit foam sanding block. And so I have these woodworking templates ready to make one Adirondack chair. Or as many as I want to make.

See here where to buy these Adirondack chair plans.

Read all articles: Adirondack Chair

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