So today is the last day of assembly. After the epoxy sets up overnight, the leg/rocker joints gets sanded and then the chair gets final sanded and finished…
After that I proceeded to sand the head rest through to 500-grit along with the tops of the back legs.
So after both rockers have their stacks glued on we then take a final measurement and trace where the legs hit the rockers. We draw lines that tell us the angles the screws will take through the rockers into the legs. The rockers then get drilled out on the drill press and the bottoms get touched with a countersink. Then we mark the curves on the rocker stacks and band saw the transitions:
After that the rockers go through the router to round over both the top and bottom. The bottoms need to be rounded over so that as the chair rocks on a hard surface the rockers are not splitting and cracking. Then the tips get cut to profile on the band saw. Then I sand the rockers through to 500-grit.
Next we clamp the rockers to the bottom of the chair and drill the screw holes into the legs, when the drills get done a piece of stock is actually clamped to the rockers to “pull” them flat to mimic them rocking on a flat surface:
After that comes the trial fit to the chair. The rockers are set on the table and the chair is set to rest on the rockers. At this point the leg to rocker joints need to be made perfect. Hal’s book talks about passing a sheet of sandpaper between the leg and rocker to sand the legs til they are perfectly flat and matched to the rockers. Personally I am able to use the ROS and in about one to two minutes per joint achieve a perfect match-up, this is the joint with the chair just resting on the rocker:
So after I am satisfied with all 4 joints we flip the chair over on the work surface. I mix some epoxy and “prime” the leg joints. Being end-grain they tend to suck up the epoxy. I keep the legs well epoxied for about 15-20 minutes, then scrape off the excess. I then let the chair rest for an hour while the epoxy starts to cure. Then I mix some fresh epoxy, apply some to the joints and drive the 4” screws through the rockers and into the legs:
After the epoxy sets up over night I will use the ROS to finish sanding out the leg to rocker joints and then final sand the whole chair and apply the first coat of finish. I use Deft Danish Oil, the first application I use paper towels and apply liberal amounts to the chair, keeping the whole thing looking wet for about 15 minutes, then I wipe it down with fresh paper towels. I let the chair rest a week and then hit it once with a 1000-grit sanding and then do a quick wipe wet and wipe dry with paper towels. After the second application the chair is done.
Thanks for reading and I will post another entry with the final chair pics after the finish process is done next weekend.
Here is the project link for the completed chair.
-- Rich, WNY, www.nyrockingchairs.com