How to use carpentry templates to make a chair

How to use woodworking templates to make the Adirondack chair

In a previous post we saw how to make the carpentry templates from the chair planes Adirondack. Those plans were on 1: 1 scale paper, and I used them to make the plywood templates. In this post we are going to see how to use those carpentry templates to make all the pieces of the garden chair in solid chestnut wood.

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Cut the pieces with the jigsaw

Chestnut wood to make garden chairs

So, to make this Adirondack chair I am going to use solid chestnut wood, so I bought the necessary planks. And I asked them to thicken it and brush it so that they were 3cm thick. In the plans it says that we use 3/4 inch wood, about 2cm thick, but with 3cm thick wood it will be better. Except for the seat and backrest slats, I will use 16mm thick wood that I will prepare myself.


Draw the structure of the chair on the wooden planks

So the first thing I have to do is copy the shapes of the templates onto the chestnut wood planks. At the moment I only copy the parts of the Adirondack chair frame. I will prepare the seat and back slats later.

Cut wood planks for easier work

And now, in order to work more comfortably, I use the jigsaw to cut the planks into smaller pieces. This will make it easier for me to work with them.

Cut solid chestnut wood with the tabletop jigsaw

So to cut the pieces my idea was to use my table jigsaw. But I realized right away that it was too hard for him to cut through this thick solid wood.

Cut with the hand jigsaw

In the end I decided that it was best to use the hand jigsaw. It was going to be a lot of work, but in the absence of a bandsaw it was the best option.

The problem is that it is still a lot of work for the jig, especially considering the amount of cuts that have to be made. So in these cases I usually cut "by jumps." So, I advance the cut a little and go back. And so on until you finish cutting the wood. In this way I let the cutting blade and the motor of the machine breathe. And I avoid that they can overheat.

Cut with the jigsaw a few millimeters from the line

Also, cutting right on the cut line would be very difficult, and you would have to sand a lot later. It is better to cut a few millimeters from the line. So, later I can use the carpentry templates to mill perfect pieces. And after milling, the edge of the pieces hardly needs to be sanded.

As for the cutting blade of the jigsaw, I was testing two or three blades and finally saw that the one that gave me the best results is the one we see in the photos.

How to mill with carpentry templates

So, after pre-cutting all the pieces of the Adirondack chair frame, I can now use the carpentry templates to mill the pieces and make them perfect.

So, it's about putting several pieces of double-sided tape on the part I want to mill. And I glue on top of it the piece of the corresponding plywood template. I have to press the plywood well against the double-sided tape to make sure it's secure. And I also need to make sure that the piece of chestnut wood slightly protrudes all around the plywood template.

Use a bearing cutter to copy the templates

And now I can use a bearing milling cutter to copy the exact shape of the carpentry templates into the solid chestnut wood pieces.

Then, it is a matter of carefully pushing the workpiece-plywood jig assembly until the plywood contacts the bearing of the copying mill. And I'm moving the workpiece-plywood jig assembly keeping the bearing glued to the jig. This way the milling cutter mills the workpiece to leave it exactly the same as the carpentry template that you are using at any time.

Milling small parts can be dangerous

But although the task of copying the shape of the carpentry templates on the wooden parts of the chair is simple, when milling small parts it can be dangerous. You should do some support, or use pushers to do this task more safely.

And speaking of the small parts, in the plans of the Adirondack chair there are some pieces that serve as support for the front part of the armrests. But there are no brackets for the back of these. So, as the armrests are quite wide, and surely people will take advantage of them to sit on them, I think it is best to put a support on the back as well. I made some a little smaller than the ones on the front, but basically the same shape.

How to make the seat and backrest slats

Cut chestnut slats on the table saw

To make the slats for the seat and the back of this wooden chair I will use a 4cm thick wooden plank. And I am going to cut it, on the table saw, into strips somewhat wider than the slats for the seat and back.

Make slats with chestnut slats

Now, on the same table saw, I cut those brown wood slats into two equal slats.

Thicken the slats to back and seat the chair

And with the homemade thicknesser, thickness the slats to make them 16mm thick.

And finally I can use the carpentry templates of this wooden chair, to mill all the slats I need for the backrest and seat. As I did with the parts of the structure, I draw the parts I need on the slats, I pre-cut them with the jigsaw, and I finish giving them the exact shape with the help of the templates and the milling cutter with bearing.

How to cut and mill the Adirondack chair parts

This way I have all the pieces of this Adirondack style wooden chair.

Of course, I didn't bother so much when I had a pallet chair a few months ago.

Retouch the sides of this wooden chair

Curved front of wooden chair

One detail I forgot about is that the seat slats do not "sit" well on the front of the sides of this wooden chair. And it is that the front of the sides has a pronounced curve, so the slats dance on top. That is why I decided to make three flat areas so that the slats fit well.

Mark three flat areas on the template of the Adirondack chair

I could go directly to cut the three flat areas on the sides of the wooden chair, but I think it is best to leave the carpentry templates ready. So I draw the flat areas that I need on the corresponding template. I have to make them very slightly wider than the seat slats.

Modify the carpentry templates with the disc sander

And now I modify the template on the homemade disc sander.

So I can finally use double-sided tape again to stick the template to the sides of the wooden chair. And I re-mill the front of both sides. The result will be two sides exactly the same with the three flat areas I need for the seat slats.

And we only need to see how to assemble all the parts of this Adirondack chair, but we will see that in a future post.

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4 comments on "How to use the Adirondack chair joinery templates"

  1. Hello Sergio, magnificent everything. Only you have the "then" phrase. You can also use "then", "after" or "next". The rest, perfect.

    1. Enredando No Garaxe

      hahahahaha, and look I check the entries, but still. In some videos it also happens to me 😀 Greetings

  2. Excuse me could you please tell me how to print those plans as well as you did, so that it comes out in real size

    1. Enredando No Garaxe

      Well, I went to a copy shop and there they made me copies with a plotter. But surely you will find a tutorial on the internet where they explain how to put marks on the plans to print them in A4 size parts and then join the sheets with the help of the marks 🙂

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