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Build Your Own Ski Chair

To make an Adirondack ski chair you’ll need a circular saw and a metal-cutting carbide blade (the blade costs $3 at Home Depot), a drill, a handsaw or band saw, a tape measure, a level, and three pairs of skis. The skis should be 180 centimeters or longer. 

The skis will form the back and seat of the chair. You’ll also need some wood to create legs, arms, and back braces to attach to the skis. Go for Port Orford cedar, cut for five-quarter decking, because it’s the hardest cedar out there. 

You’ll need a set of plans, which cost $40 from SkiChair.com (or buy a less expensive wood plan from FurnitureDen.com and tweak it for skis) and include templates and detailed directions to ensure accuracy. 

After you shuck your bindings, cut what will be the two center skis of the chair back to 37 inches long, measuring from the tip. Cut the next two skis to 33.5 inches from the tip and the last two to 30 inches from the tip. 

Cut all six tails to 17.5 inches, measuring from the tail. (Save these if you’re going to build an ottoman.) Take the leftover middle pieces and cut to 21 inches. These are for the seat of your chair. (File down any sharp edges...or pray your guests have had recent tetanus shots.) 

Use the templates from the plans to drill holes into the seat pieces using a #8 bit with a countersink. Each piece should have four holes: one in each corner. These will hold screws for the wood frame. 

Make the seat back. Take the four longest cut sections (the ones with the tips) and drill a hole in each corner of the cut end of the skis. Drill two more holes in each ski, 12.25 inches up, measuring from the cut end toward the tip. These will hold screws for the back braces of the chair. 

Your remaining cut sections with tips are the left and right sides of the seat back. In the bottom corner of each ski, drill one hole first. The hole should be nearer to the center skis of the chair back. To ensure a solid fit, you’ll have to drill each section’s remaining holes—the other bottom holes, as well as the upper ones—freehand as you attach the chair to the wood frame pieces. 

Assemble the chair. Put decking screws (square heads, 1 inch, stainless steel) through the holes you just drilled, tighten ’er up, and have a seat. 

Tips from Michael Bellino, “chairman of the boards” at SkiChair.com, which makes furniture, wine racks, and other goods from old skis. He has roughly 100,000 pairs of skis in stock.


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