I spend a lot of time outside, and there’s nothing quite like hanging out in the backyard with friends and family at a picnic or bonfire. Anyone who’s ever had a kickback in the yard knows one simple truth: Adirondack chairs are always the first to be claimed. I don’t disagree; the slightly-reclined and ergonomic cut makes them so comfortable that you hardly want to stand up to grab another drink or burger.
My admiration for these outdoor chairs led me to want to design my own with a paracord seat. This project ended up taking me much longer than I would have imagined, but I learned a lot about the processes necessary for a built like this. Check out how I build this Adirondak Paracord chair in my video or check out the step-by-step instructions below.
Special thanks to Timberland Pro for sponsoring this build!
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Start off by breaking down the lumber. For this project, I chose 2x4 cedar from my local home store. I’ve included a free SketchUp model for reference on this build, which you can download and use for your angles and measurements.
Once cut, I mill everything to 1.5″ thick. I then glue up the stock for the arm and legs, since they’re wider than the existing 2x4. I use titebond 3 for its waterproof nature and longer work time for glue-up, clamping until the wider stock is dry.
Once the glued-up stock is out of the clamps, I put them back to the jointer and planer to square to final thickness and dimensions. I then layout the angles for the leg joint on a piece of scrap plywood that is equal to the overall height and width I want for the legs. I cut these on the miter saw.
I mark out the location for domino joinery on the legs. Because of the difficult angles, I join everything flat on my work table with wedges. Once the legs are dry, I cut the angles for the top and bottom using my track saw, then trace the angles on the rest of the legs
I then move on to the armrest. I layout and cut everything before glue-up to avoid using any awkward angles on the bandsaw. I cut the arm angles first, then the angle on the backrest. I use two screws and a thin piece of cut off to draw my arch for this -- which is a really helpful tip for getting a perfect curve on any project.
For the seat pans, I lay everything out first before cutting and drilling. Using a ¼-inch Forstner bit, I cut the grooves for the Paracord straps to fit. I then clean them up with a rasp.
Next, I cut the curve for the front and back. I cut lap joints on the table saw so the paracord can sit flush to the seat where they’re mounted on the legs.
I start by assembling the seat parts using glue and countersunk stainless steel screws. I then begin weaving the seat using Paracord. To weave the seat, I measure out 24 lengths of the seat width and wrap the Paracord chair tightly in 12 consecutive loops. Then I go in and add the perpendicular weave, knotting off both with hinge knots and singeing the ends. The seats took almost 600ft of paracord each and almost 2 hours to weave.
I measure up where I think the seat is at a comfortable lounge height and fasten them into the legs. Here you can see why we cut the laps in the pan sides for the Paracord seat clearance -- we have a perfect fit.
I move onto the back slats which I also cut 2x4 stock, jointed and re-sawed. I layout the back and draw a curve along the slats and cut them on the bandsaw.
After cutting the curve on the bandsaw, I attach the slats to the base curve for the bottom of the back slats. I start in the center and use a ¾-inch spacer and a single screw in the center.
I attach the bottom of the back slats with countersunk screws. I then countersink the slat backs based on where they line up with the back of the arm. Then I attach the arms and the back slats. I work from the center out, splaying them evenly by eye.
I cut a random curve that I like for the arm wrests, copy that outline to the other arm, then sand the whole chair. To finish her off, I apply a satin spar varnish for some help against the elements outside.
There you have it - an Adirondack Paracord Chair! Special thanks to Timberland Pro for sponsoring this build. If you like this project, check out some other home projects!
Get the Sketchup for this build here:
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Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.