Inspiration 1.0 - Walnut / Curly Walnut rocking chair

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Project by Canadian Woodworks posted 01-19-2011 08:14 PM 3147 views 9 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Inspiration 1.0 – Walnut and Curly Walnut custom rocking chair

This sculpted custom rocking chair is built from 2’’ Canadian Black Walnut and special piece of Curly Walnut. This is a Medium version ( 5’ 5’’ – 5’ 10’’ ). We’ve used a rare and beautiful piece of Curly Walnut as the highlight on the front and back of the rocking chairs flexible back braces.

- Beautiful curly Canadian Black Walnut form fitting flexible back braces
- coopered headrest
- exposed Maloof joinery
- hand carved seat, arms, and joints
- Truly a unique and beautiful custom rocking chair that is about as comfortable as they come

Well another chair all finished, this one was a joy to work on the walnut was beautiful, cut and sanded like butter. We used ash as the 2 middle lamination’s sandwiched between grain matched curly walnut we found while digging through our Walnut supply.

The entire chair is sanded up to 500 grit using an abralon pad then burnished with a sheep wool pad before our 3 part oil-resin ( blo , tung , poly ) finish is applied. This chair really sucked up the finish we put just over 500mL of finish and only used 6 blue shop towels to wipe it down and they were not really soaked in finish. In these pictures there is 2 coats of finish with a light rub down with 0000 steel wool in between coats.

This is one really sits nice, I don’t want to get up once I sit down I’m glad we keep the chairs for a few weeks before they have to go (-: Although I think I say that with every new chair we build seems like there’s some sort of pattern here. Can’t wait to build another we’ll keep you posted.

We have some posts on this rocking chair during the build process on our custom wooden rocking chair design and build blog

We have more detailed pictures of this chair on our rocking chair gallery page also on our site.

Thanks for having a look, I hope we inspire all you jocks who are on the fence about building on of these to give it a go! I’m sure any templates or plans you decide on will produce a great experience and chair, but in my case I do recommend the templates and plans from Hal Taylor.

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

14 comments so far

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3080 days

#1 posted 01-19-2011 08:22 PM

Paul, that is a gorgeous combination of walnut! I especially like the swirling within the seat.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3099 days

#2 posted 01-19-2011 08:43 PM

It’s always a surprise when you begin carving the seat out, the surface can only show you show you so much, but once you carve down almost 1’’ things can be very different, in this case there was the swirling thing going on.

It’s amazing what nature provides, and what all us lumberjocks do with it.

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View MayflowerDescendant's profile


414 posts in 2816 days

#3 posted 01-19-2011 09:12 PM

Paul, Another wonderful piece. Amazing craftsmanship. Thanks for sharing and inspiring others.

-- Glen - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View swirt's profile


2786 posts in 3001 days

#4 posted 01-19-2011 09:24 PM

Looks beautiful and comfortable Paul. Inspiring me a bit more…. but I am still too chicken to try it yet. It is on my woodworking bucket list ;)

-- Galootish log blog,

View Dale 's profile


415 posts in 3210 days

#5 posted 01-19-2011 09:28 PM

Paul, that is absolutely beautiful, you’ve done it again.

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

View chewbuddy13's profile


150 posts in 3314 days

#6 posted 01-19-2011 10:43 PM

Very nice job as usual.

View McLeanVA's profile


491 posts in 3463 days

#7 posted 01-20-2011 12:40 AM

That is absolutely stunning. Incredible craftsmanship. It has such great flow to it. Love the wood choices.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View Gator's profile


383 posts in 3705 days

#8 posted 01-20-2011 01:05 AM


Another beautiful chair.. you and Joel do great work. I am inspired !!

My plans and template arrived today from Hal… and I will order the video soon… I have a couple other projects I am working on, ( bedroom suite for LOML) so this will take a while to build as I select wood, get more router bits, get my confidence up…etc.. so beware.. the questions will start coming… soon… LOL


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View B13's profile


463 posts in 2722 days

#9 posted 01-20-2011 06:01 AM

Outstanding! A+ Is It hard to bend walnut? thanks!

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3099 days

#10 posted 01-20-2011 06:19 AM

Good to hear Gator, good luck!

The rockers are 1/8’’ thick strips, never had an issue so far with bending, the back braces are 4 pieces about 2.25mm per lamination also no issue so far. We do choose stock that does not have any crazy grain patterns or any knots or other imperfections.

I think we use more glue when we glue up the back braces and rockers then the entire rest of the chair.


-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View MJJ's profile


6 posts in 3726 days

#11 posted 01-22-2011 11:15 PM

Great looking rocker! I particularly like the tails on the rockers. Can you provide any insight on how you shaped them?

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3354 days

#12 posted 01-22-2011 11:26 PM

Beautiful work.

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3099 days

#13 posted 01-23-2011 12:10 AM

The rockers are made with 9 strips of 1/8’’ walnut bent laminated in a form, been making them about 4’’ longer then the form. I then put clamps on the ends to pull them down to start a negative curve. Then we use a radius I think 30’’ for these to shape the negative curve even more, but making it more flowing, we remove material top and bottom. We really have to make a new form with our style tails very soon, i’ve kinda been adjusting them bit by bit on the past 3-4 rocking chairs, but I think were very close to how we want them now.

The ends then get a curve traced onto each they are ground to match, the entire rocker except the last 12’’ gets a 3/4’’ round over, we finish the ends off by hand tapering the 3/4’’ round over till it disappears into the end of the rocker, we do a heavier round over on the outside of the tail. Each set of tails have there own soul to them, although there all pretty close from chair to chair.

I’ll make a time lapse sometime soon of the process….. stay tuned!

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View bvdon's profile


482 posts in 3044 days

#14 posted 01-29-2011 07:28 AM

Beautiful work.

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