My First Rocker #9: Assembled - but not yet ready for prime time - and of course a question or two

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 08-12-2009 03:55 AM 1590 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Getting the back close to ready to go Part 9 of My First Rocker series no next part

So here’s proof – that I’m still around. I’ve taken a long break from the net as I found I wasn’t getting anything done!

I thought I’d just pop on and show you the progress on my rocker. Obviously from the pictures the main assembly is done. I have to do the plugs and final sanding. For those who have done this chair – you’ll notice I used 11 seat slats instead of 10. I did not like the spacing for 10 slats so I changed the spacing and added one slat. I think it looks better.

This is my first rocker – but I’m pretty sure it won’t be my last. I learned a lot doing this – mostly that I really don’t know how to do much other than the square stuff. Need to work on that for sure. I’ve got some gaps and some “goofs” that need to be fixed somehow or another. (The most obvious goof in one to many holes in the leg—- got a little drill press happy – but I figure I’ll plug that hole and top it off with a 2009 nickle – that way it will look like I meant to do that. You’ll keep my secret – right?)

I honestly don’t like the way the chair sits – it’s way too straight for me. The seat itself is very comfortable – but the back is not. I think my next rocker will definitely have a curved back.

I actually kind of surprised myself that I got the rockers to rock just right. I have some major gaps in the areas where the legs and rockers come together.

Overall I think I did OK on this chair. I can probably pick it apart to the point of making myself want to throw it on the log pile, but I’m not going to. I really am proud of myself for getting it made and it rocks—- and that’s what its supposed to do!

With no more delay—- here’s my chair



Now my questions——my seat slats came off a little oddly. They are the same size, same thickness, etc. When I laid them out on my bench – they sit just fine – there is no hills and valleys that make the seat uneven. But when I put them on the seat rails – I have those hills and valleys and the slats are uneven. Can’t figure out for the life of me why that happened. The rails are even, square, etc. Any ideas why that would happen?

Being as this chair is solid cherry – I’d like for it to get a dark patina to it. I’m thinking of putting it out in the sunshine to start that process. Have any of you done this – if so, how long would you leave it outside?

Thanks for looking all. As always, any and all comments welcomed and encouraged.

(Yes – I just noticed that demented looking animal in my picture. Gives me the chills!)

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

12 comments so far

View woodnut's profile


393 posts in 3475 days

#1 posted 08-12-2009 03:59 AM

great rocker and good to hear from you again. Keep up the good work. Be safe and make sawdust.

-- F.Little

View lew's profile


11266 posts in 3179 days

#2 posted 08-12-2009 04:17 AM


How are you doing!

The chair looks great! You don’t think the slats may have warped some between the cutting and the assembly?


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2764 days

#3 posted 08-12-2009 04:18 AM

well betsy , it sure looks good from here ,
i’ll have to take your word for the “flaws”,
as i can’t see them .
any first has always got problems .
i do know however that chair backs need to be
“open” at the top by 2 1/2” to 3” to feel comfortable
( leaning back by that much from seat bottom )
it makes the back legs need a wider board to do ,
and might change the center of balance of the rocker
my first chairs are like siting in a square corner

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3362 days

#4 posted 08-12-2009 01:31 PM

Nice chair Betsy. I’ve always wanted to make one but felt a bit intimidated by it. (I keep thinking of Mel Gibson in the movie The Patriot) Like David, I’ll believe you if you say there are flaws because I’m not seeing anything. Good work.

As for tanning your cherry, I made a small wheelbarrow out of cherry and within a few days of bright sunshine it turned a really nice color. I’m betting your chair will look gorgeous when it tans.

-- Working at Woodworking

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 2911 days

#5 posted 08-12-2009 03:06 PM

Good to know you are alive and well!! Really like your rocker. I think maybe the hills and valleys are due to twist developing in your slats. If your wood wasn’t totally acclimated to your climate, this will happen when you cut the strips. Still, I bet you will be the only one that notices.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Betsy's profile


3336 posts in 3319 days

#6 posted 08-12-2009 07:08 PM

Thanks guys. Those seat slats—- I had them in my shop for at least two weeks before I cut them, and then another week or so before I installed them. So not sure what’s going on with them. But like Rich said – I’m probably the only one who will notice!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View bhack's profile


349 posts in 3143 days

#7 posted 08-12-2009 10:22 PM

Betsy—If you look at my projects you will notice I built two of these. I had a great time in building them because I learned so many lessons. You did a wonderful job. Love the nickle idea. I agree about the back also, but we still enjoy an iced tea on the porch and rocking in them.

-- Bill - If I knew GRANDKIDS were so much fun I would have had them first.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3128 posts in 3136 days

#8 posted 08-13-2009 06:10 AM

It’s really nice to read your update. (For the computer being touted as a time-saver, it really can waste time, can’t it?!)

I think the rocker is a really ambitious project and doubt that I will ever get that far, so I really admire you for such an accomplishment. It looks great. Can’t wait until you finish it and post it as a project.

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Betsy's profile


3336 posts in 3319 days

#9 posted 08-15-2009 06:53 AM

Thanks for the kudo’s all. I appreciate the encouragement – I really do!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3317 days

#10 posted 08-15-2009 07:44 AM

I spent the first 18 years of my life sitting in one

the next 20 years pretending how to “perfect it”

and you beat me to it

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3000 days

#11 posted 08-23-2009 05:08 AM

Grand chair thanks for poping in.

-- Custom furniture

View Betsy's profile


3336 posts in 3319 days

#12 posted 08-23-2009 05:54 PM

The cat IS from Chernobyl!!! It’s not just her eyes that looked possessed! – thanks for the kudu’s guys.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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