Today, I’m going back to a project I completed in June 2005, a rocking chair. The end result looked beautiful (to my eyes) until I sat in it, that is.
You see, the problem with my rocker is that it doesn’t rock. Somewhere along the line, I had made an error, or perhaps a series of errors that resulted in the center-of-gravity being too far forward. The result was that when one sat in the chair, it would rock 1/3 forward and 2/3’s back. Very unnatural, and most uncomfortable.
But that’s not the real point of this story. The point is…
Well, there it sat in our music room for a year and a half. It just sat there, reminding me every time I went into the room that whilst I had created a thing of beauty – it was a failure. Occasionally, it would beckon me t sit in it, and at first I did. But doing so just made me angry – I can’t say who or what was the object of my anger, but I was decidedly angry. This is the antithesis of what a rocking chair is supposed to do. One would expect a rocking chair to drain away the tension and stresses of the day leaving one rested and restored. But no – just just the opposite – anger!
With the passing of time my anger wained and I was simply left with a feeling of disappointment. I was disappointed in myself for having messed up, but I was even more disappointed that I didn’t have the courage to fix it or scrap it. And scrapping it was the most likely next step, because frankly, I didn’t have a clue how to fix it. Friends suggested adding weights to the rear of the rockers, or shortening the rear legs, but none of these well intentioned solutions seemed feasible to me.
The next emotion was fear. Fear? Yes, I was afraid to tackle a restoration, because I didn’t really know how, and I was afraid that I would destroy the only positive that the rocking chair offered me – I liked how it looked in our room. I also feared any interest the rocking chair generated with visitors to our home. I kept moving it out of the way where it wouldn’t easily be seen, but my dear wife would move it back. She couldn’t understand that I had given birth to a ‘still-born’ and just didn’t want people to know.
Then a few weeks back I stumbled across the Lumberjocks site. Wow! What a great bunch of woodworkers – I was stunned. And one of the wonderful outcomes of this discovery was making contact with William Kappel. I contacted Bill about his offer to provide free rocking chair instructions and mentioned my experience. He responded with an offer of help and some detailed suggestions on how to rectify the problem.
That’s all I needed, advice from someone who had specialized in making rocking chairs, but more than that, someone whose specialty was rocking chair balance. So today, I started the restoration. I am fairly confident I can fix my chair. I’ve cut the rockers free of the chair and am now crafting some new ‘rocker-blocks’. It will take me a few days, but at least I’ve overcome the fear-factor.
Thanks William Kappel.
-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://dpb-photography.me/