Watch This Video!
Follow this link to a 13-minute, real-time video of the glue-up of one rocker assembly. Note: I made one mistake during the assembly. I clamped the legs after having tapped wedges in place. I should have applied clamp pressure before tapping the wedges in place. The tenons made good contact, so it didn’t matter.
Prepare to Assemble
I use Gorilla Glue to perform complex chair assemblies. It’s quite messy, but allows more time to align parts before the glue sets.
It’s good to have all the parts organized before starting the glue-up. Pre-cut the dowels, wedges, and kerfs. Have the brace holes drilled and the proper screws handy. I use a Frisbee to hold the small parts!
Apply glue to the seat hole.
Apply glue to the rocker hole.
Spray some water on the tenon. This will help activate the glue. Polyurethane glue requires moisture to cure.
Apply glue to the tenon.
It seems unlikely that one could assemble a front leg and back leg into a rocker simultaneously when the angles are about 20 degrees different, but it works…
Push the legs into the seat first. Insert the rear rocker tenon part way. Fit the front rocker tenon. This will put up some resistance, but the kerfs provide a little bit of play.
Push the rocker the rest of the way onto the tenons.
Polyurethane glue allows time to twist parts into place. With the rocker assembled. The rear leg is twisted into position to line up the brace with the screw holes.
Screw and glue the brace into the leg first.
Screw and glue the brace to the seat last.
Wedges are used to further secure the leg tenons. Run them across grain so that they don’t split the rocker.
Wedge positioned and ready to be tapped.
Tapping the wedge with a dead blow mallet.
Apply clamp pressure to ensure the shoulders of the tenons meet flush with the rockers.
Use a scrap piece of wood to ensure you don’t drill through the rocker.
Hole drilled for cross dowel to secure lower leg tenon. Tap in the cross dowel.
A wedge further secures the seat tenon.
The lower half of the seat is assembled! I’m quite pleased with the way it looks. However, I will hold off on assembling the second chair until I’m sure of the fit and comfort of the first chair.
Next, I will clean up the rocker by shaping the area where the legs meet the rocker…
-- Mark, Minnesota