Watch this video to see two completed rocking chairs as I share my final thoughts about this wonderful Thos. Moser design.
The arm spread of the first chair was too wide for my wife. The back flexes slightly and ideally the arm is positioned to lightly brush against the side of the back spindle.
I had already drilled the holes on the second seat blank, so I plugged those holes and drilled new holes with less splay. Unfortunately, I failed to splay the inner most arm spindle hole enough to clear the outermost back spindle. This forced me to position the back of the arm directly against the front of the back spindle. There is a very slight chance of pinching with this configuration.
I designed two different arms for the modification. The right arm is straight on the inside edge. It provided the narrowest arm spread, but was not visually pleasing. The left arm was my choice. The blank is 1/2” wider and allowed for a slight curve on the inside edge.
Close-up of the right arm. Notice the very slight radius cut at the end of the arm. This not only looks better, but is more comfortable to wrap your hand around while rocking. I missed this detail on the first chair. I’m considering cutting the radius and refinishing the arms on the first rocker since it’s the one I use!
View of both arms.
View of top crest.
View of back.
View of side.
Close-up view of side.
I applied three coats of Minwax Wipe-On Polyurethane to both chairs. It provided good build-up without looking like plastic. I used a small cotton rag for application and this was perfect for all of the nooks and crannies in a project like this. I may apply wax after the finish has cured a bit longer.
Part of the way through the first chair, I began to experiment with Titebond’s Liquid Hide Glue. Wow, I can’t say enough about how much easier complex assemblies are when using this glue. Parts don’t seize up and there is plenty of working time to twist a spindle here or there at your leisure. Excess glue clean-up is pretty easy as the glue scrapes and sands quite well. It doesn’t leave a white spot under the finish like yellow glue does. Apparently, parts can be disassembled with the application of heat and moisture if repairs need to be done down the line.
We absolutely love these chairs. I’m building two small foot stools that will tuck under each chair. I also plan to build a shaker-style end table with tapered legs. This furniture is the first thing guests see when they walk through our front door. I like that!
-- Mark, Minnesota