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Hal Taylor Rocking Chair

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Blog series by NY_Rocking_Chairs updated 1651 days ago 11 parts 44806 reads 31 comments total

Part 1: Week 1

1886 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 5 comments »

After having received several requests for a detailed blog of a rocking chair build I spoke with Hal Taylor and received his permission to do this. This chair is based on his first book and set of plans. He has a new book with updated plans which I am getting soon. This is not a full-time job for me so I will be posting one week at a time since I get to spend maybe an hour every other night on the chair. Week one sees the planing and cutting out of all the blanks. I purchase 40-50 bd...

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Part 2: Week 2, The Seat

1882 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 4 comments »

As you all saw in Week 1, the seat started out as 5 boards glued together. The next step is to cut the seat down to its rough dimensions on the table saw. After that the back corners are cut out, again on the table saw. The front leg joints are cut out and then all 4 joints are rabbetted on both the top and bottom of the chair. The front curve is cut with the band saw. Here is the seat after those steps: Here is a close up of the back leg joint on the seat, notice the rabbit gra...

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Part 3: Week 2 continuted, the arms

1882 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 4 comments »

The next step is for the arms to be carved out on the table saw. Building this nifty jig allows you to setup things very easily and pass the boards across the blade at the correct angle and keep your fingers out of harms way. This picture shows the table saw setup with the guide, the jig and one of the arm blanks mounted in the jig. I have permanently marked my table saw for where the guide board goes as well as the number of turns to take on the blade height handle. The process here ...

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Part 4: No update this week, Head Cold and spring planting

1875 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 0 comments »

Sorry folks, was not able to spend any time in the shop this week. Wouldn’t you know I spend 400+ hours working outside during the winter and never get sick and as soon as it turns warm I get slammed with a head cold? So I was sick all week and this weekend is spring planting for the veggie garden. We don’t do a lot but it all has to be done by hand. Hope to get the back and front legs done this coming week. At least the chair isn’t being delivered til mid-July.

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Part 5: Week 4, Leg joints and lots of sanding...

1868 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 6 comments »

Hello again… Due to backing up septic tanks and clogged pipes I was not able to get into the shop until Saturday. I accomplished everything on my list for the week and will continue Sunday with more sanding of the seat, leg shaping and then glue the legs and seat together by mid-week next week. For now, on to today’s progress: Started out with a 1 1/2 hour sanding marathon. 45 minutes per arm:Here is a picture of the 1st arm sanded next to the arm that has not been tou...

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Part 6: Back and Front Legs

1862 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 1 comment »

Seems every week there is a real life setback, this week was no exception with my wife succumbing to the head cold I had two weeks ago. She is better now. On a shop note I have another commissioned job that is due the same time as this, so instead of having a nice 6 week buffer on the chair, I now have 6 weeks to finish the chair and complete the other project, time to kick it into high gear. So this entry concerns the front and back legs, their shaping and gluing to the seat. Start...

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Part 7: Front leg joints and arms attached

1860 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 5 comments »

Ok. So on Friday I glued the four legs to the seat. Now it is time to clean up all the joints and make them look great. So after glue up, our front leg to seat joint looks like: So I break out my trusty Lancelot carving disc on the right angle grinder (see seat carving) and ever so gently get rid of the excess material, not trying to get perfect, just close. On the top and bottom of the seat where the leg needs to flow into the seat I use a spindle sander on the power-drill t...

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Part 8: Week 6 - Back Braces and Head Rest

1855 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 2 comments »

Welcome again to another edition of Hal Taylor Rocking Chair building… After attaching the arms and shaping their joints I flip the chair over and sand out the leg-seat joints on the bottom. This way even when the customer flips the chair over or is laying on the floor looking up at the bottom of their chair, everything looks spectacular. I keep some 1” thick styrofoam pads that I can put work on without worrying about scratching or marring it on my work surface… D...

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Part 9: Rockers shaped and attached...

1854 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 3 comments »

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… Starting out I took my belt sander to the top of the back legs to give them the same slope as the head rest: After that I proceeded to sand the head rest through to 500-grit along with the tops of the back legs. For the rockers, the rockers are placed in their position on the legs and we mark where the legs hit the rocker...

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Part 10: New book and toys, err I mean tools

1726 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 1 comment »

Hal’s new book and plan templates arrived the other week. Since I am gearing up to complete two customer chairs by xmas this was a welcome change. The book is longer, contains some new hints, details and is actually simpler in many ways than the original plans and book. A couple of problems I ran into is that some of my original jigs and fixtures were changed in the new book and I had to refer to the older book in a couple of places for setting them up, or make new jigs. Since I am ...

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Part 11: New book and design chair completed

1651 days ago by NY_Rocking_Chairs | 0 comments »

I finally completed my first chair using Hal’s updated plans and book. Having already built 8 other chairs I did not read the new book cover to cover so I cannot comment on the contents of the book. There is a lot more detail and some of the hazy areas from the first book were definitely cleared up with better description and more pictures. The primary design differences are the arm shape, the arm to front leg joint now gets an adder piece that needs to be carved down and shaped an...

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