Building a Thos. Moser Design New Gloucester Rocking Chair #22: Assembling the Arm Rests

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 01-08-2013 02:16 AM 3289 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 21: Making the Arm Rests Part 22 of Building a Thos. Moser Design New Gloucester Rocking Chair series Part 23: Final Thoughts »

Watch This Video

The assembly of the arm rests is pretty straight forward. Click this link to watch a real-time video of me assembling the second arm rest.


Custom-made : 1 a. The freedom to take a perfectly designed piece of furniture, make your own modifications, and mess it up. synonyms see Dusty Mark.

While making decisons on my rocking chair build, I thought it was good to spread the arm rests out considerably further than Moser’s design. With the chair completely assembled, I realize that was a bad idea. The wider spread is comfortable for a man, but it is not comfortable for a woman. I will have to build the second chair with the normal spread. Unfortunately, I already drilled the holes in the second seat blank for a splay that put the arms out wider. I’ll need to glue up a second seat blank.

This front view shows the breadth of the arm rests. I think the lines of the chair are hurt a bit by the wide span of the arm rests when viewed from the front.

The lines of the chair still look good from views other than head on. Other design issues I’m considering are the overall recline of the seat/back and the shape of the rockers. I lost some curve to my rockers when I leaned them over to 15 degrees. I may need to rocker them more to compensate. All of these are very minor details that I will only pursue because I’m extremely picky about chair comfort.

Next, I need to sand and finish this beautiful chair. I plan to try Minwax Wipe-On polyurethane for the finish.

-- Mark, Minnesota

2 comments so far

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5254 posts in 2616 days

#1 posted 01-08-2013 02:46 AM

Great blog Mark. Thanks for the courage to star in your own video. That was a helpful demonstration.

Like the band-aids.

I am a bit confused on the technique used to drill the compound angles. Do you use a jig, angle gauge, or eye ball it?

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

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346 posts in 2064 days

#2 posted 01-08-2013 03:09 AM

Thanks Scott.

The band-aids were stocking stuffers. I kept slipping with my back saw when I was sawing the kerfs in the spindles. I messed up my fingers pretty good. I should have put a glove on that hand.

The angles in the arm rests are the same as in the seat. I use the drill press with my compound angle table attachment to drill the arm rest holes. The challenge is figuring out where those holes should be located in the arm rest. That’s where the cardboard template comes in handy. By tracing the landing point of the top of each spindle onto the cardboard, I determine the locations easily. I then drill 1/2” holes in the cardboard. I use the cardboard to trace the actual holes onto the wood. I set the drill press to the correct angles and center the drill bit on the hole outline traced from the cardboard template.

-- Mark, Minnesota

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