osage rocker

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Project by okwoodshop posted 09-16-2009 03:23 PM 1665 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was lucky enough to find an osage tree large enough for this project,(biggest one i ever saw), after drying for a couple years i thought it ready and dove in. For some reason my moisture meter would not register at all on this wood. Oak and cherry right beside it read just fine??? Anyway it seems to be dry enough. this is my first osage project and it is a different kind of wood for sure. I would like some advice on finishing the chair. i was thinking maybe a satin poly but i want the wood to darken over time, ( it almost glows when fresh). My grand daughter sure likes it.

13 comments so far

View Dale 's profile


415 posts in 3207 days

#1 posted 09-16-2009 04:17 PM

That is a very nice rocker, great job. I never saw anything made from osage. Where did you get the plan, or is it your own design.

-- Dale West Central Pa. Do it all, before last call.

View woodpeckerbill's profile


205 posts in 3300 days

#2 posted 09-16-2009 04:23 PM

Great looking rocker. I would suggest using super=blonde shellac. Get the flakes and mix your own with D.N.A. It is very forgiving to work with, acts as a sealer and a top coat. Dissolves into itself just as laquer does. When all done with that, let cure a spell, then give it a good waxing. I work alot with osage orange from time to time. Get it from downed trees. Ain’t bad to work,sure is different. Real pretty wood. You really did yourself proud on this rocker.

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3294 days

#3 posted 09-16-2009 04:26 PM

is that a hal taylor chair? i saw the other 2 chairs you have in the chess board project, they all look great. i love the use of alternative woods

have you tried to sell any of the rockers youve made?

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3201 days

#4 posted 09-16-2009 05:27 PM

thanks to everyone for making me feel welcome, the rocker is another step in trying to do it right. I have been all over the internet trying to get info on rocker making. I started out making the mission rockers but i like the wood seat and curved lines better, I intend to start building rockers like sam maloof, hal taylor,bill kappel and others as soon as i study them a little more. Laron Algren has been a big help also. I have never used shellac but I plan to try several finishes on some scrap , would it allow the wood to darken naturally or does it have a tint of it’s own? maybe some bow makers have used alot of osage. someday i would like to order books ,videos, templates from some of the chair makers above but for now i will have to guess and reguess as for selling my family usually gets my stuff unless friends or neighbors order something,

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3440 days

#5 posted 09-16-2009 08:04 PM

Beautiful work.

Looks great!

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View Huckleberry's profile


218 posts in 3879 days

#6 posted 09-17-2009 12:11 AM

Awesome rocker! Love that you made it out of Osage. And the Maloof style is one that I wish I could try and pull off. Good post!

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

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3312 days

#7 posted 09-17-2009 03:19 AM

Great looking Rocker. Very nice and welcome to LJ’s.

-- John @

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3604 days

#8 posted 09-17-2009 03:21 AM

that’s one fine chair super work it looks great

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View WoodyG's profile


33 posts in 3200 days

#9 posted 09-18-2009 03:10 AM

Love what you have done with OO…I made fence posts of it when I was a kid on a working farm. LOL…
I found a company in my area that handles the product line of “Mohawk Paints” and they have experts and product to get you through about anything or so it seems to me…I am still an amatuer, however.
Good Luck

-- WoodyG

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 3903 days

#10 posted 09-19-2009 01:30 AM

very, very nice chair. You did a great job on the rocker.
It looks like you tried to match up the grain on the arm rests, thats a very nice touch.

Osage orange will naturally darken and turn a warm brown. As for finish, I would use a “witches brew” type finish. Rub on about 3 or 4 coats. That should give you the protection and enhance the beauty of the wood.

One other thing, if you are going to make a beautiful chair like that, you need to change the name of your material to bois d’arc. Its sounds much more interesting. LOL

View DaytonB's profile


154 posts in 3893 days

#11 posted 09-21-2009 05:30 PM

Great job man. I grew up in SE Kansas and Osage orange, or hedge as everyone in that area calls it, is one tough wood and probably the most common around there. I built a lot of fence post with it and we burned a lot of it for heat. Dad’s favorite recurve bow is O.O.

It won’t matter what finish you use, the wood will darken to a warm golden brown no mater what.

The finish I like to use is a wiping varnish (aprox 1/3 poly. 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 100% tung oil) it’s very easy and leave a great satin sheen. wipe it on and wipe off all the excess. About 5-7 coats, one/day, will do it.

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3201 days

#12 posted 09-21-2009 08:01 PM

daytonb, that sounds like what i am looking for. i will let you know when its done and thanks to everyone

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4427 days

#13 posted 09-22-2009 02:48 AM

Beautiful rocker. nice job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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