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The Adirondack Chair

Updated on January 16, 2015

Adirondack Chairs

The traditional Adirondack chair usually features a rounded back and contoured seat and is made of wood - usually pine or cedar. The 'Adirondack' style has also inspired other pieces of Adirondack furniture, including love seats, rockers and gliders.

Adirondack chairs are popular at outdoor cafés because they provide seating that allows food and beverages to be placed on the flat armrests, offering individual seating without the need for tables.

Modern Adirondack chairs can also be made from engineered wood or plastic lumber in addition to the traditional wood.

The Classic Adirondack Chair

The Classic Adirondack Chair
The Classic Adirondack Chair

History of the Adirondack Chair

Adirondack Chairs
Adirondack Chairs

The Adirondack chair was developed in 1903 in Westport, New York on Lake Champlain by Thomas Lee who needed outdoor chairs at his summer home. The name 'Adirondack chair' refers to the Adirondack Mountains near Westport. In Canada the chairs are sometimes referred to as Muskoka Chairs - named after Muskoka, Ontario, a rural cottage area north of Toronto.

Lee's original design called for the Adirondack chair to be made from eleven pieces of wood cut from a single board. The back and seat were straight, but were set at a slant to allowfor better sitting on the steep mountain slopes of the Adirondacks. The Adirondack chair also features wide armrests - considered the hallmark of an Adirondack chair.

After the final design of what he called the "Westport plank chair," Lee offered the design to a carpenter friend in Westport named Harry Bunnell. Bunnell realized the chair was ideally suited to Westport's summer residents, and in 1905 - without asking Lee's permission - he filed for and obtained U.S. patent #794,777. For the next twenty years Bunnell manufactured the plank chairs; these "Westport chairs" were made of hemlock in green or medium dark brown and all were signed.

Building an Adirondack Chair

Step-by-step assembly of an Adirondack chair made from beautiful aromatic red cedar.

Bear Adirondack Chair
Bear Adirondack Chair

Bear Chair Co. offers high-quality, handcrafted Adirondack chairs that are guaranteed to last longer.

Western red cedar and white pine options, both durable and weather-resistant, are shipped unfinished for natural weathering or a finish or paint of customers choice.

Bear Chair Co. offers true natural love in each of its beautifully produced chairs.

 

Wooden Adirondack Chair Kits - Do it Yourself - the easy way.

Kits offer the opportunity to create yoour own Adirondack furniture, without having to cut and mill your lumber. Pieces are measured and precut for easy construction.

Caring For Your Adirondack Chair

Caring For Your Adirondack Chair
Caring For Your Adirondack Chair
Howard SWAX16 SunShield Outdoor Furniture Wax with UV Protection, 16-Ounce
Howard SWAX16 SunShield Outdoor Furniture Wax with UV Protection, 16-Ounce

Designed to keep furniture from cracking, drying and oxidizing due to exposure to sun, temperature variations or moisture. SunShield combines UV inhibitors with a blend of carnauba wax, beeswax and orange oil to protect the natural beauty of outdoor wood furniture.

 

With proper care, your Adirondack chair will provide you with years of comfortable enjoyment.

Wooden Adirondack chairs are subject to weathering - the impact of sun, wind and moisture upon the wood. Temperature, humidity and precipitation all have a big impact on the life of your wooden Adirondack chair. Some woods, like cedar and cypress, are naturally more weather resistant than others such as pine.

Painted Wood: If you choose to paint your Adirondack chair, use a good primer over the clean, bare wood. A good-quality exterior grade paint will cover and protect the wood, but will need to be refinished every one-to-three years. Oil-based paints will usually last longer than water-based paints, but are more difficult to use and clean up and are more toxic to the environment. If your chair is in a particularly wet environment, you may want to use a mold inhibitor as well.

Stained Wood: After treatment with a top-quality wood stain, your chair will need little more than regular cleaning and a light sanding and restaining every few years.

Recycled Plastic: These are the most maintenance-free option. all they will require is regular cleaning to prevent staining.

Cleaning and Care: Whatever material your chair is made from, cleaning and care is pretty much the same:

1. Wash with a non-abrasive soap.

2. Use a soft bristle brush.

3. If you use a pressure washer, be careful with the setting. I made this mistake and gouged the wood on my chairs.

4. Allow chairs to dry before storing for the winter.

5. If possible, store chairs over the winter in an unheated, protected space.

6. Use an Adirondack chair cover, if you can't store the chair inside.

When spring arrives, just set out your adirondack chair and enjoy!

Weather Wrap Adirondack Chair Cover
Weather Wrap Adirondack Chair Cover

Made from super heavy-gauge, reinforced vinyl. Weather Wrap Adirondack Chair Cover is vented with a breathable panel to promote air circulation. 32" W x 42" D x 42" H; Color choices: Green, Clay.

 

Adirondack Chair Covers

Protect your investment in your Adirondack furniture with these specdially designed Adirondack Chair covers. An Adirondack Chair will help protect your furniture from the weathering effects of sun, rain and wind.

Enjoy your Adirondack chair for years to come with a little help from these covers.

Recycled Plastic Adirondack Furniture

Recycled Plastic Adirondack Furniture
Recycled Plastic Adirondack Furniture

Adirondack Furniture Made From Recycled Plastic - Durable and Practically Maintenance-Free

Recycled Plastic Adirondack Chair
Recycled Plastic Adirondack Chair

Recycled plastic adirondack chair with comfortable contoured seat and wide arms. Companion Adirondack ottoman makes the perfect foot rest. Colors: white, black, green, brown.

 

Recycled plastic Adirondack chairs have the same shape and form as the Adirondack chairs, but offer additional advantages.They allow you to enjoy the comfort of Adirondack chairs while being gentle to the environment.

The plastic used in recycled plastic Adirondack chairs comes from recycled milk containers and water bottles among other items. This recycled plastic is decontaminated and mixed with the necessary agents to produce a high-density polyethylene that is durable and can be shaped into a variety of forms.

These recycled plastic Adirondack chairs are eco-friendly and also very cost-effective because they are made of up to 90% recycled plastic; they will last years before needing replacement.

Because they are made using a stronger plastic than regular plastic chairs, recycled plastic Adirondack chairs are more durable, and are better able to withstand the damaging effects of weather. Since these chairs don't splinter, rot, chip, or show the signs of decay like wood (they are also mildew resistant), water-proofing treatments, painting, or other maintenance aren't needed. They are safer for children and pets because there are no chips or splinters with recycled plastic Adirondack chairs.

Colors, textures and styles can be combined to offer the chair that's perfect for your setting... your application... your décor. Easy to move, they provide a hassle-free way to rearrange your outdoor entertainment areas. They also save space since they are stackable.

Should You Choose Recycled Plastic Adirondack Chairs? - The benefits of choosing recycled Plastic Adirondack chairs.

Kid's Adirondack Chairs

American Plastic Toy Adirondack Set
American Plastic Toy Adirondack Set

The 2 traditional chairs stand 17 1/2" tall and can be used separately or together with a connecting table. The set comes with a bright, colorful 38" umbrella that features a metal shaft, protective end caps and a storage strap.

 

What do you think about Adirondack Chairs?

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    • Unlimited11-11 profile image
      Author

      Tom McHugh 4 years ago from Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA

      @jericho911 lm: Thanks for the visit and Squidlike.

      Not only do they look great, but they're comfortable too.

    • jericho911 lm profile image

      jericho911 lm 4 years ago

      I've always thought they look great on any patio !

    • profile image

      webmavern 4 years ago

      These chairs look so stylish and comfortable. Just add some sun, a glass of wine and a good book and you're in paradise!

    • Unlimited11-11 profile image
      Author

      Tom McHugh 4 years ago from Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA

      @Kailua-KonaGirl: Thanks for visiting and commenting on my lens.

      It's funny; this is a beautiful area here, but one of my favorite places in the world is the Big Island of Hawai'i. Thanks again.

      Tom

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 4 years ago from New York

      Adirondack chairs are the best. So are the Adirondack mountains. I miss the area!