Rocking Chair Build #1: Stop wanting, and start doing!

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Blog entry by Topapilot posted 09-13-2011 07:14 AM 1968 reads 5 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Rocking Chair Build series Part 2: Things to remember for chair #2... »

Hey gang! It’s been a while, but I’m back in the shop making scrap and creating a ton of dust. Over the years I’ve made bookcases and tables galore, all with straight lines and square corners. Then I started making some G+G pieces with rounded edges, cloud lifts, and ‘pillowed’ plugs. I’ve been wanting to continue this progression and make something with no straight lines at all: a Maloof-style rocking chair following the steps from Hal Taylor.

Today I picked up ~50 bf of 8/4 walnut ($410 for those of you keeping score at home). The build also requires Ash, but here in SoCal that seems to be tough to find. I hope I don’t end up driving a hundred miles to get $20 worth of wood…

I had purchased Hal’s plans (all 262 pages of them) over a year ago, and when I finally got serious about the build, I read other reports and decided to get the templates and video as well. I’m glad I did; I probably could have scaled up the ones in the book, but there are enough of them that this made it faster and eaier.

In addition there are two glueing forms for the lamanated parts; the rockers (back form) and the back braces (front form).

I began the layout:

I finished the evening rough cutting one back leg:

Hal recommends not getting too finicky with the shape around the seat and arm joints as I’ll be taking lots more material off later.

Thanks for reading,

3 comments so far

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3264 days

#1 posted 09-13-2011 12:31 PM

Thanks for posting this series. I’ve been interested in building a a rocking chair ever since I found Hal’s website. The rockers I’ve seen here that other people have built using his plans have all looked fantastic. I’ve got some tiger maple that would make a beautiful chair.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View sras's profile


4811 posts in 3156 days

#2 posted 09-13-2011 11:54 PM

I’m looking forward to your story! From what I have seen Hal has a great set of plans. Good luck!!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2720 days

#3 posted 09-16-2011 05:33 AM

Nice looking walnut.. and at a premium! Can’t wait to see how this turns out

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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