Rocking Chair Build

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Blog series by Topapilot updated 11-29-2011 06:31 AM 11 parts 29062 reads 21 comments total

Part 1: Stop wanting, and start doing!

09-13-2011 07:14 AM by Topapilot | 3 comments »

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...

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Part 2: Things to remember for chair #2...

10-08-2011 07:02 AM by Topapilot | 1 comment »

Hey all,I’m still going on the rocking chair. At this point I have the front and rear legs cut and shaped, the seat is glued up and the notches are cut out (I’m awaiting a router bit to cut the rabbit, and the kutzall to shape the seat), rocker and back brace lams are cut and ready, headrest billits ready, and the gluing jigs are finished. If you are planning to try one of these, I suggest you read the book far ahead before cutting wood. I’ve found a few places wher...

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Part 3: Laminations and seat

10-18-2011 07:03 PM by Topapilot | 1 comment »

I have been busy on the rocking chair, just not busy posting updates. I’ve made 8 back braces two at a time on the glue up form. The back braces are walnut, ash, ash, walnut (4 layers) and are sequenced; the braces will have lams 1-8 of the same billet visable left to right as you look at the chair. From the back it will be that way as well. Here’s the glue up: The rockers are glued up one at a time, with an ash lam in the #4 position of 9 total lams. The lams are sequ...

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Part 4: Headrest

10-18-2011 07:17 PM by Topapilot | 0 comments »

The headrest is made up of 6 billets, 4.75 wide by 8 tall. They are glued together to form a curve. This means they need an angled edge to create this curve. I used a Wixey angle guage to make a pair of coopering jigs for the jointer. They are 4 and 5 degrees. Using the cut offs from the jig I glued up pairs of billets: With three pairs of billets glued up, they were too curved to clamp together so I used pinch dogs top and bottom. These worked great. Finished, they ...

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Part 5: Starting to shape the seat

10-18-2011 07:33 PM by Topapilot | 3 comments »

I threw caution to the wind and took my new Kutzall to my seat. Most of this is by eye, which is a leap of faith for me, but I think it might turn out ok in the end. I strongly suggest doing all of this work outside! I moved in later when the sun was on me and now my shop is covered in dust. I felt I had one “good” side, and one less good, so I made a template of the good side and transferred the shape to the other side. And I saved the template… Much san...

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Part 6: Update on Arm Shaping

10-26-2011 07:12 AM by Topapilot | 1 comment »

I just sent an email off to Hal asking questions on some of my progress, and I realized I had taken some pics that I had not posted. I built a jig to cove the arms; it is designed to hold the arm billets in place with three threaded rods, and to hold the jig at an angle to the saw blade. Here are pics: This shows the jig in action on the table saw. The square frame holds the billet in place with three rods. the rods are epoxyed into wood handles and run through threaded inserts screwed...

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Part 7: Fixing mistakes, or How to look like a Pro!

11-06-2011 07:14 AM by Topapilot | 4 comments »

Hey Kids,I’ve been busy in the shop, and havn’t posted an update in a while. I wanted to do one about some mistakes and how they were covered up, or, I mean, how I created an anomoly in order to demonstrate some advanced wood working skills. First, you must realize you’ve messed up your project. Exibit A: These are the rear legs of the rocker. The thick section is where the leg joins the seat. The legs are designed to tilt out at 6 degrees (narrow seat, wide headre...

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Part 8: Router extension

11-07-2011 06:38 AM by Topapilot | 3 comments »

This modification to my router table allows me to use a round over bit on the legs, even though they are much wider mid-way along the length. It consists of a riser block mounted to the table using two of the four standard mounting holes. Using all four would have been possible, but I wanted to be able to instal and remove this for normal operation. By using only two bolts, the router mount does not fall off the bottom of the table during change over. The riser block is two pieces of ...

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Part 9: An hour of prep, 10 minutes of panic...

11-14-2011 08:09 AM by Topapilot | 2 comments »

We’ve all been there: you do the dry fit, you set up your clamps and cauls, you clamp it up dry, you remake your cauls and clamping blocks. Then you do it again. Then one more time, just to make sure. You clear everything from the area but the tools and parts you need. You go through the steps in your mind for the 20th time. Then you open the glue, and it all goes to sh!t… If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve spent the last two months building this roc...

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Part 10: Headrest cutting jig

11-29-2011 06:14 AM by Topapilot | 2 comments »

Hey team,I’ve behind in my project updates, so I’ll try to put up a few short posts covering what I’ve done in the last few weeks. With front and rear legs attached to the chair seat, it’s time to cut out the curved headrest. If you remember, I glued up 6 pieces 8” tall with a 5 degree bevel on the edges to create a arc of wood. We want the finished headrest to be a smooth curve front and back on a 28.5 inch radius. Naturally, I built a jig: In...

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Part 11: Cutting the Head Rest

11-29-2011 06:31 AM by Topapilot | 1 comment »

In the last post you saw my fancy-schmancy headrest cutting jig. Well, I couldn’t come up with any reasons not to use it, so I loaded up my one and only headrest blank, fired up the saw, and started cutting… Here you see the back side of the headrest after the first cut. As you can see, the blade blew out the back side as I went along, but I figured I could sand it out… It’s a bit hard to see, but this picture shows the blade position just after exiting...

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