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Thread: Adirondack Chair out of plywood?

  1. #1
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    Question Adirondack Chair out of plywood?

    Has anyone milled an Adirondack chair before? I have the design I want to use, I'm just wondering if there's a plywood I can use that will last outdoors. Would something like Baltic with a good urethane finish actually last year after year outside?

  2. #2
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    no matter what finish you use will fail after several years. now if you paint it that would be different. now if you could keep it out of the sun then that would be different. a underwater grade marine plywood would be the best but it is even more expensive.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I know finishes always fail no matter what... I guess compared with a good hardwood (like teak or something) is there any sheet good that can stand up to the outdoors?

  4. #4
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    If you could live with paint as a finish...how about MDO?
    It IS what they make most of the highway signs out of.
    Joe speaks highly of it for durable signs.
    scott
    Scott Plaisted
    2013 Desktop/spindle/VCP 9
    Maine

  5. #5
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    I could live with paint as a finish. It would be super cool to see some nice baltic endgrain though. It doesn't look like it's meant for outdoor use though.

  6. #6
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    Back in the cable drive days I did files for a plywood Adirondack chair that a bunch of people built, but as you guessed it was a massive hassle to finish it so that it would hold up. Someone made one out of imported marine ply and sealed the edges with epoxy which really turned out nice, but at $100+ a sheet for the ply it was hard to justify the cost with teak and iroko versions going for not much more than $100.

    There was a ShopBotter making them out of sheet plastic at one point that seemed like a good solution. Maybe another of the old timers will remember who it was?

    Bill

  7. #7
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    if you sealed the ply with epoxy then the water issue is taken care of but not the sun issue.

  8. #8
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    I found the files...they're dated 2001!

    Feel free to play with it but be aware that they are from the very early days and speeds and cutting depths are probably very wonky. They are quasi-parametric, using the actual measured thickness of the plywood as an input, but they don't have the commands for turning a router on so you'll have to add that...that was all done manually in those days.

    And it zeros at the table surface instead of at the top of the material, the way you young whippersnappers do things these days!

    adirondack.zip

  9. #9
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    I couldn't recommend MDO or any other plywood. Hey here's an Idea! How about good old wood! Then, sand and paint it. Should fill the bill.

  10. #10
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    I bought one of these, as I have no time running 50 hrs in shop and 24 more on weekends building my new shop

    https://www.menards.com/main/outdoor...6526223535.htm

    Thought about duplicating and buying some of the wide variety of plastic lumber available now. Problem is, at this sale price of $99, the plastic lumber would cost more!
    Regardless, I think this material is a great option. Never stain. Never paint. looks as good as a painted piece.

    Ultimate question is, do you just want to make a few chairs for yourself, or are you researching a possible product line for production?
    That's going to govern material selection more than anything.

    Let us know what you end up going with.

    Jeff

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