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Always Be in the Shade in a Drivable Adirondack Chair

2015-02-21 15.13.42

Missouri resident Richard Brull, who describes himself as an “entrepreneur for a living,” as well as a “master electrician by trade,” decided to make a set of Adirondack chairs that are “slightly more” mobile than usual.

Featured at Kansas City Maker Faire

Inspiration, according to Brull, hit “after a long day in the shop. One evening I was sitting in a normal (non-powered) Adirondack chair on one side of my shop and the beer fridge was on the opposite side. I thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if this chair could just drive me over to the fridge so I wouldn’t have to get up to have a beer?’ These chairs are the result of that problem.”

Powering the chairs are 24 volt motors powered by two 12 volt batteries. Speed control is accomplished with a handle controller meant for electric bikes, which are twisted in a manner similar to a motorcycle throttle. A relay allows the chair-bike to reverse as shown in the video later in this article.


It should be noted that the steering works in such a way that when you push the yoke left you turn right and vice versa. Brull “made it this way so it would steer like a fishing boat with an outboard motor in the back [for a] laid back island-like feel.” The chairs certainly have an island feel from the paint job, and the way Brull Sr. and his son Ted apparently like to relax in them!

The video below, featuring Make:’s founder Dale Dougherty, is a great illustration of one of these chairs in action. I especially enjoyed the reverse demonstration accompanied by the cry of “There’s a baby behind you!” Looks like danger was avoided!

You can see even more interesting stuff from Brull at his projects and workshop site, featuring, naturally, a very impressive shop! If that’s not enough for you, he plans to be at the 2016 Bay Area and Kansas City Maker Faires, so be sure to say “hello.”


Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook