Rocking Chair Summer Camp with Bill Kappel #1: Day 1 of my "Build a Rocking Chair" camp adventure with Bill Kappel

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Blog entry by motthunter posted 07-15-2008 05:09 AM 2082 reads 3 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Rocking Chair Summer Camp with Bill Kappel series Part 2: chair day 2 »

The beginning of “old guy” summer camp started today and my fine camp counselor is a true gentleman named Bill Kappel. I finally found the perfect thing to do with my extra week of vacation this year. I went to rocking chair camp.

For those of you who don’t know of Bill Kappel, he is also known as the rocking chair guy. He makes his own take on the Maloof style rocking chair and does it with style and class. Not only does he make chairs and other amazing wood pieces, but he also offers classes ranging from one on one to small groups. He is a great guy, and I feel fortunate to be working with him this week. You can tell he is good since unlike some hacks I know, Bill laughs at the concept of being called a master woodworker. (even though he just might be one)

For me it was a cross country trek since his workshop is a bit more than 2 hours South of Salt Lake City Utah in a place called Ephraim. I am not sure how to pronounce it, but here I am in my hotel room writing this blog entry. I live in Cleveland, Ohio when I am not traveling so Utah is a big change of environment for me.

Enough fluff.. lets talk about the build. Today was day one and we started making the seat. I chose Mesquite lumber for my chair, and I have to say the figure is amazing. Bill has an amazingly organized and intelligent method of building his chairs that can be broken down into specific and orderly steps. The advice he offers at each step helps understand how the choices are made for each step in the process. He follows a similar procedure to the one I have seen on the Maloof DVD I have, but obviously hands on is the way for me to learn it.

I will take pictures and post them as the days go on. I am also making some video recordings of technique so that I can refer to them when I need to make my next chair. Today was day one and I have several to go. I am confident that when I am done, I will be taking home the best looking chair in my house.

I will keep you posted.

-- making sawdust....

2 comments so far

View mthomp0725's profile


48 posts in 3601 days

#1 posted 07-15-2008 05:35 PM

Sound like a really fun way to spend a vacation. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures!

-- He who hesitates is lost...

View bkap's profile


327 posts in 4221 days

#2 posted 01-17-2012 12:45 AM

Mott, it has taken me a long time to see your postings. Sorry about that. My wife and I have had some health issues, but I am back in business now.
I plan on making some rockers this year and giving classes again.
I love your posts and pictures. I think you may have giving me more credit than I deserve, but at my age I will take all I can get. It makes me feel good that I can be of some help.

-- Rocking Chair Guy

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