|Project by MJCD||posted 11-21-2014 01:22 AM||1686 views||6 times favorited||10 comments|
This is the second rocking chair I’ve built, with the first one being a ‘proof-of-concept’ piece – made from Pine & Douglas Fir. This one, the second, is from Ash and Sapele (Mahogany). The design is based on Hal Taylor’s work, and I’m a committed fan of his process and approach.
About 40 bd ft of 8/4 Ash, and some leftover 8/4 Sapele was used – due to the sculpted nature of the chair, much of the wood is cutaway (and can be used for other work, if squared-up). Ash is a beautiful wood to work – it mills clean, and finishes to a bone-smooth surface. The finish is Deft Lacquer Sanding Sealer (1 coat), with 3 coats of Deft Brushing Lacquer – I can highly recommed these two products.
The chair relies on extensive bandsaw work, with the need to change blades from 1/4” to 3/8” or 1/2” – the transition points between parts require tight radii, with long cuts required to rough-cut the major pieces. Significant Angle Grinding, with various cutters, is also required – it is amazing what you can do with practice and patience, and the appropriate cutters (carbide tipped, of course). Table Saw work is essentail from cove-cutting the arms, and ripping the laminations for Back Braces and Rails (the rockers, themselves). Hal Taylor rockers utilize the Maloof joint for the Legs-to-Seat transition, and Whiteside Router bits are recommended for these.
Methods of Work
There is a process – there are no straight edges and few flat planes on the finished chair; as such, it is important to work the rough wood in a sequence which utilized reference edges. Hal Taylor’s process does this very well, and I recommend his process for those who wish to undertake this – it is highly rewarding!
I have approximately 100 hours in this – I’m not fast, I’m not yet a confident woodworker (many of the tools and processes, such as the Angle Grinder (which scares the hell out of me) and the extensive and precise bandsawing are a significant change from my casework background). All-in-all, this is a great project – one that will provide generations of enjoyment.
I’ve been asked for additonal rockers from friends and family; and I expect to make probably 5 or 6 more – when I have the shop time.
Hal Taylor has an active Forum on Yahoo! – made-up of really nice people trying to advance their passion: many, like me, are new to rocking chairs, and the Forum has a great feel to it.
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