When I was a budding entrepreneur (does that ever change), I decided to build an Adirondack chair based on a plan in a woodworking magazine. I built the chair and immediately thought that I should sell the chairs. Before doing that, I decided it would make more sense to recreate a version of the plan from the magazine and to actually create full sized templates for each part. What spurred me to do so was the fact that transferring the pattern from the magazine page to my wood required a 1″ x 1″ grid and then marking the points. I was very literal in the translation of the plans, so this was painstaking for me. In the beginning, I varied very little from the plan. After building hundreds of Adirondack Chairs, I finally have an understanding that the parts can have a fluid line that doesn’t have to be exact, it just has to look right.
My first foray into selling an Adirondack Chair plan was via a classified ad in the back of a wood magazine. Fortunately, a few orders started coming in. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the plans completed. The number of orders that came in were enough to cover the cost of the ad plus about $20. In 1997, $20 was nice extra money for me. Ah… I still needed the plan.
I have always been computer savvy, so I knew that I wanted to create this item on my own via my PC and my home printer. Since the longest piece for the plan was 40″, I needed to find a printer that could print continues feed for at least 4 pages. I was fortunate enough to have a printer that could accommodate this. I would take a run of continuous feed paper (the perforated kind), tear off the tractor feed strips and feed it into my Epson inkjet printer. In addition to that, I needed to find a drawing program that was easy enough for me to learn quickly and would be able print the 4 continuous pages so that I could provide a full sized template system to my customers. I was fortunate enough to locate a 2d design program from the folks at Ashlar Vellum (http://www.ashlar.com/). They don’t still produce the product, but back in the day, they offered a “lite” version of their program called “Drawing Board” for free. It was my lucky day.
Once I created my templates and was able to print, I was in business. The instructions to build the chair were rather simple and only about four pages long. The material list and cut list were the only additional items needed. My first orders did have to wait about 10 days until I had a full Adirondack Chair Plan to ship, but back in the days of mail order and personal checks, that was not unusual. We sold many sets of these Adirondack chair plans for about four years. After that, we became a reseller for another plan company (JerPat’s).
If you are looking to build your own Adirondack Chair, you can choose from any number of free plans around the web. The following 4 posts should set you in the right direction. There are 11 Adirondack Chair plan varieties to choose from on the 4 pages below:
- 8 Free Adirondack Chair Plans
- Adirondack Chair Plan from Jet Tools
- Greene and Greene Style Adirondack Chair
- One of my favorite Adirondack Chair Plans from Cal Redwood
Good luck with your own project. Here is a picture of one of the first Adirondack Chairs that I produced from my original plans.