The Haycock Adirondack

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Sweet seating that marries comfort and style

The Adirondack chair is synonymous with the best of summer: You know, relaxing in the shade with friends and family, or simply sittin’ back on a warm evening with a drink in hand. These iconic chairs with their rear legs that lean forward to become part of the seat structure come in many forms, and are made of everything from construction lumber to injection-molded plastic. But some Adirondack chairs aren’t that comfortable. Others are so deep and low that they’re hard to get out of. Many are huge, heavy, and difficult to move.

That’s why we took notice of this design by Haycock Township, PA-based architect and furniture maker Ric Hanisch. Its curved and tapered geometry combines ergonomics and style to create a chair that invites relaxation but that sits high enough to easily rise from. It’s comfortable, compact, and portable enough to move around easily. The comfort lies partially in the outwardly tapered configuration of the seat and arms. The seat’s shape mimics the natural splay of relaxed legs, while the arms keep elbows comfortably close to the body. Also, the back splats angle rearward to create a slight curvature for your back, and include a release gap for your spine. The overall effect is that of your body nestling into the chair. Nice.

Having few square corners, this project involves a fair amount of cut-to-fit work, which makes the build enjoyably challenging. You’ll see. We built ours from thermally-modified poplar (see p. 52) for durability and light weight. Other good outdoor woods include cedar, cypress, and mahogany.

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