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Rocking Chair: An Online Course #1: Need Reference to a Good Book on Chair Making

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 01-18-2016 04:49 PM 1041 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Rocking Chair: An Online Course series Part 2: Woodworking Begins »

Last week I surprised myself by signing up for an online woodworking course. I am expecting this course will help extend my woodworking skill set. Building a rocking chair will be a leap into unknown territory for me. I do not even know the terms or names given to chair parts. I am reassured that I will come out of this experience okay because I will get guidance from a master woodworker. I won’t be alone in new territory.

I signed on a week late. I am expecting the full scale drawings to arrive soon in my mailbox. I have a good idea of how much lumber I need so I will be making my run for 4/4, 6/4 and 8/4 rough sawn lumber this morning. This way I can begin making templates and cutting chair parts right away when the plans arrive.

The rocking chair will look similar to the one in this photo I found on the internet.

CHAIR MAKING DESIGN BOOK

First, I am asking for help from experienced chair makers here on Lumberjocks for a references to a good woodworking design book on chair making. I have placed other good books in my library on tables, finishing, joint making, etc. I just never thought I would be into chair making this early in my woodworking experience.

GRAIN DIRECTION FOR LEG LAYOUT ON LUMBER

Another question or issue I need help with is understanding the best wood grain direction for a chair leg. When laying out a leg to cut from 8/4 lumber what grain direction issues should I be concerned about? Especially at its foot where the leg curves a bit before being connected or joined to the rocker? You can see that curve in the rear leg of the chair photo above.

These are the kind of answers I am hoping to find in a good library reference book on chair making. Help and advice would be much appreciated.

-- --- Happy Howie



6 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2572 posts in 1722 days


#1 posted 01-18-2016 10:43 PM

Howie, I like Chairmaking & Design by Jeff Miller. When you select the stock for the legs, try to find pieces where the grain in the board bends in the same direction as the leg. That way you have maximal long grain where it is needed. Another option is to make a bending jig and glue laminates into the desired shape or you could steam bend straight stock. HTH

-- Art

View HappyHowie's profile

HappyHowie

328 posts in 1410 days


#2 posted 01-19-2016 02:59 AM

Thanks Art. I will order Miller’s book. I also saw on a search a Fine Woodworking Magazine book entitled Designing and Building Chairs. I will order that one too. Thanks for the help.

I will be making my rocking chair with cherry. I bought my lumber today. It rained in the valleys and snowed in the Wasatch Mountains, just the way we prefer it. Well, you can tell my lumber got wet.

I am expecting the full scale plans in my mailbox tomorrow. Then I will begin making my templates.

-- --- Happy Howie

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1437 posts in 3023 days


#3 posted 01-30-2016 05:27 AM

I absolutely LOVE the design of that chair! Can you please share a link to the online course/source for plans?

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View HappyHowie's profile

HappyHowie

328 posts in 1410 days


#4 posted 01-30-2016 06:15 AM

Captain Skully, you can find all you need at the following address. I have had a great experience with Kris and Tom. They have been very helpful to me. Good luck.

www.epicwoodworking.com

-- --- Happy Howie

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1437 posts in 3023 days


#5 posted 01-30-2016 04:58 PM

Thank you very much Howie for getting back to me so soon. I wish I’d found these plans two years ago when my wife was pregnant. This would be perfect for my son’s room! Better late than never, I guess. This will also help me scratch my Maloof itch for a while.

Also, thanks for taking the time to blog about your build. It’s always very inspiration to see others’ successes and share in the challenges, and learning from the mistakes we all make.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View HappyHowie's profile

HappyHowie

328 posts in 1410 days


#6 posted 01-30-2016 05:54 PM

The rocking chair we are making will look like the photo shown above, but it will be five inches taller. That feature will make it more comfortable with a head rest for taller people ; those that are taller than six feet, for example. If you are six foot eight, then you may want to adjust the plan to be even taller than this new plan we are building.

This new plan will be just right for me since I am taller that six feet, but less than six eight… If I made a rocker for my son James, he would need a taller one. He is a big boy at almost 6’ 8”.

-- --- Happy Howie

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