When we visited James and family last fall, Monique came to me and said “Dad I want you to make me two Muskoka chairs for the back Yard.  A bit of a surprise to me since I am not aware that I am a noted as a deck chair builder, but I agreed.  Interesting challenge. As it happens I had seen plans in one of my Home Workshop magazines for Muskoka chairs few months before.  They are virtually the same thing as what Americans call Adirondack chairs.

So last winter I took a brief break from working on the model to build a couple of folding versions of the chair. Existing design plans so no big creation by me.   They had to be able to fold down because we would have to deliver them so they had to fit in the back of the Murano.

Kind of fun but I made the mistake of asking Monique what colour she wanted.  I should have left them as just cedar but she suggested Cranberry so I took the challenge of staining and painting them.  Big mistake as that actually took longer than the actual building.  All the parts had to be painted multiple times before being assembled and as it was winter these parts hung from the ceiling in the basement forever.

Anyway we delivered the chairs earlier in May and they were a hit.  On Pat’s Birthday the family sat around in the back yard as James prepared supper and a couple of lucky people got to sit in them.  Very comfortable.

But then Monique said “Dad, very nice, but now I need two foot benches and a table to go with the chairs”.  So I shrugged and said OK but this time resolved that I would make them from my own design and not use someone’s plans.

If you look at the picture the foot benches are curved.   When I was testing the chairs with a log that was available I noticed that you did not want a flat bench.  There is a curve from the bottom of your calf to the heal.  So I made a curved top to the bench.  The table is fairly straight forward but I used a different plan.  Normally you use a light cedar plank top and crisscross legs.  But I knew my son and his family.  Eventually someone would sit on the table so I made it with straight legs and the framing that you would use on a dining room table.

The material was quite cheap.  I went to the local Home Depot and bought rough cedar boards intended for fences.  Pat and I picked through the pile to find the boards with the least knots.  I dried them out in the basement and ran them through my planer.  Boy does cedar wood every look nice when planed down.  The most expensive part of the construction was the brass screws I used to fasten the parts.

This time I did not paint them but left them natural with just an oil finish.  They will last for years as they are very solid .  Now you may think the foot rests are low but they are built to go with the Muskoka chairs where you sit low to the ground.

table and foot rests