|Project by lobro4||posted 04-28-2010 12:30 AM||3636 views||9 times favorited||13 comments|
I wanted to build a rocker but I was missing a few tools that would make it awfully tough to do in my garage shop. I don’t have a big band saw for starters and I knew that having a big free-standing belt sander would make it simpler. The solution? Go to a woodworking school! So the end of January 2010 I went to American Sycamore Retreat in Cloverdale, IN. (More on that in a later paragraph.)
The wood is quartersawn white oak. The rockers are bent lamination from four 1/4” strips. You can see in the one picture how great the glue line looks and it was really cool to watch them come together. The back legs are rough cut in one piece on the band saw and then flush trimmed using a pattern made from 1/4” ply. Lots of mortise and tenon joinery throughout. The seat frames are blind but there are through tenons on the lower braces. Cutting mortises on the curved back pieces was tricky but was aided by a pattern included with the plans and by saving the cutoffs to use as a brace. Almost screwed this part up… have to lay them out in mirror image to get them to match! The through tenon on the arm is a faux tenon but sure looks real enough. The seat was made by a nurse I work with who still does boat and RV re-upholstering on the side. I really lucked out there. Sanded to 120 grit. The stain is Old Masters Dark Walnut. The top coat is spray on post-cat lacquer done by a finishing shop here in town that I have used for many projects.
As for American Sycamore retreat, it is now closed. Some of you may or may not know Michael Van Pelt who ran the school. I do not know any details as to why he closed up shop but he is now referring all his customers to John Garrison who lives a few miles away. BUT, going to a school or workshop is something your ought to try. I got a great rocker out of the deal and even learned a little bit about woodworking and about myself.
In the end, I think it’s a lovely piece of furniture and hopefully we will grow old together.
-- Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU!!