Teak Westport Chair

We’re expecting quite a few photo submissions of our latest cover project, but this reader’s write-up of the project’s progression provides some useful tips for future builders of this great piece.

A few days after getting my August 2011 issue, out of nowhere, my wife asks me if I can make a couple of Adirondack chairs. Hmmmmmm … is she reading my magazine? Also, she would like it made out of the left over Teak flooring we had installed. Sure, I can do it.

Now, I work 95% in old barn wood, I’m not a big fan of exacting dimensions and plans, but I figure “what the heck” I can do it. So I glued up a bunch of the different length boards that are tongue and grooved, so it’s pretty easy, then, that’s where the “easy” part ends!

After about a week of re-sharpening blades, drill bits, and replacing broken countersinks, it’s done!

Not as beautiful as I would have liked, I hate any fasteners that show, and I don’t think plugs ever “disappear” so I asked my wife to pick out some screws she wouldn’t mind looking at in the finished project.

I didn’t realize how brittle the teak was, so a few “braces” had to be put on. Even with correct sized pilot holes, screw lube and gentle persuasion, I still snapped off many screws. Oh, well; it was a frustrating learning curve!

My beloved 20 something year old Skil jigsaw, started smoking after a few of the long cuts in the Teak, I had to go buy a new one, (picture enclosed) the old one still works, it’s just time for it to retire. It was the first woodworking tool I purchased in the 1980’s after I started my 20 year’s in the U.S. Air Force. Now I’m retired, so I figured the jigsaw deserved the same.

No kidding about the 1 degree off here and there the author mentioned in the building article! My old rigid portable table saw must be more than a few degrees off! Teak does NOT bend!

My wife LOVES the chair, she was in a motorcycle accident 10 years ago, and her knees are painful all the time, and the angle of the seat makes it easy on her knees, and easy for her to get up after watching the ducks in our pond.

Thanks for a great magazine, and challenging projects!!

Michael Mulvey

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Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

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