Stokes Rocker

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Project by MackTheSaw posted 12-08-2008 04:43 AM 1833 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My grandmother and her brother inherited their parents’ farm in Illinois. Her nephew lived there for years, and in 1986 he cut down a large walnut tree on the property. He had it sawn into lumber and kiln dried, then used half of it for a large dining room table and brought the other half to my grandparents’ house in Omaha, where it took up space in the garage for 18 years. Sick of it, my grandfather asked a local furniture maker to take a look at it and bid on making it into something nice. He said he could make a nice coffee table, and the price was $3000.

My grandfather thought that was nonsense, that one should be able to make more than that with half a walnut tree, and $3000 seemed like a lot for a coffee table.

I heard about this, and it was right about the time the furniture-making bug was burrowing under my skin. I was a sculptor, and I had some good woodworking experience, but I’d never made much proper furniture. I made my grandfather an offer: I told him I would make one piece of furniture for each of his three sons, following their specifications and helping them through the design process. In return, he would buy me a plane ticket to Omaha, a 10” Grizzly contractor’s saw and a lunch-box planer, pay for shipping of two boxes of tools and supplies, and feed me lunch for a month. He took the bait, and I set up shop in his garage in May of 2004. Conveniently enough, all the wood was already there. In four weeks, I built three pieces of special heirloom furniture, including this rocker.


8 comments so far

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3763 days

#1 posted 12-08-2008 05:02 AM

WOW, you are of to a rocket start. Great projects, well done, look forward to what you come up with next.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Dean's profile


44 posts in 3811 days

#2 posted 12-08-2008 05:29 AM

That looks like a chair I would want to sit in! Nice job!

-- "Skol, Vikings"

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4218 days

#3 posted 12-08-2008 06:14 AM

Beautiful design and result.

Welcome to lumberjocks !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View MackTheSaw's profile


38 posts in 3827 days

#4 posted 12-08-2008 06:22 AM

Thanks guys for your props. Mtnwild, if you’re interested, you can check out my web site:


View Huckleberry's profile


218 posts in 4088 days

#5 posted 12-08-2008 01:02 PM

Nice chair and what a away to get started I would like to see the other two pieces. Do you by chance have them on your web site?

-- I cut it twice and the damn thing is still too short!@#$%

View MackTheSaw's profile


38 posts in 3827 days

#6 posted 12-08-2008 04:01 PM

Yes I do, Huckleberry. They are the linen chest and the wine cabinet in the “storage” section.


View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4535 days

#7 posted 12-08-2008 06:44 PM

A very well crafted rocker, & I enjoyed your little story.

If you put your web address like this, in your profile,

you won’t have to copy, & paste. You have a very attractive website.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View MackTheSaw's profile


38 posts in 3827 days

#8 posted 12-09-2008 04:32 AM

Thanks Dick and Barb, for the compliments and for the tip about the link. I’ll change it right now.


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