Building a Thos. Moser Design New Gloucester Rocking Chair #23: Final Thoughts

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 02-22-2013 05:22 AM 3860 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 22: Assembling the Arm Rests Part 23 of Building a Thos. Moser Design New Gloucester Rocking Chair series no next part


Watch this video to see two completed rocking chairs as I share my final thoughts about this wonderful Thos. Moser design.

Arm Modification

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.

Detail Photos

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.

Final Thoughts

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

8 comments so far

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2500 days

#1 posted 02-22-2013 08:24 AM

Isn’t it amazing that he posts a spec sheet for most of his work in his web site?

Nice chairs, excellent work.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View DustyMark's profile


346 posts in 2095 days

#2 posted 02-22-2013 01:54 PM

Thanks. Yes, their on-line spec sheets are very helpful and their published books explain the finer details of construction. (I’m currently using their latest book to build the Dr. White’s chest without the hidden compartment.) David Moser even offered me advice on how to align the 14 back spindles for insertion into the top crest of these rockers. A serious hobbyist isn’t likely to buy somebody else’s furniture and a small commercial shop probably couldn’t compete with them. They’ve built a unique niche in the high-end furniture market. Kudos to the Moser family!

-- Mark, Minnesota

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3095 days

#3 posted 02-22-2013 02:33 PM

Wicked job, I enjoyed all your posts. I love most of thos. moser pieces what a great company, good to see in this day and age.

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View DustyMark's profile


346 posts in 2095 days

#4 posted 02-22-2013 07:00 PM


Thanks! I checked out your website…wow you make awesome chairs. Works of art that I’m sure support and conform to you body like no other.

I had about 250 board of lumber delivered today for future projects. I invited the driver in to try out the rocker. He said it was a lot more comfortable than it looked. Your chairs flat out look comfortable.


-- Mark, Minnesota

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3359 days

#5 posted 02-22-2013 08:13 PM

You did some wonderful work on these chairs Mark. Your blog was really interesting to follow. It will surely inspire others to take up making this style of chairs.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View DustyMark's profile


346 posts in 2095 days

#6 posted 02-22-2013 10:04 PM


Thanks, hopefully I’ve shared some useful tips that I’ve learned the hard way.

-- Mark, Minnesota

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2564 days

#7 posted 01-22-2014 07:21 PM

Amazing. Cograts on some fantastic looking chairs.

-- I never finish anyth

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2132 days

#8 posted 08-01-2014 06:20 PM

I’m not sure what I’m more impressed by, the blog or the chair. Both are simply fantastic. Bravo. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your work process!

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

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