Armless Rocking Chair

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Project by Dan posted 536 days ago 2320 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Armless Rocking Chair
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I’m a long time fan of the site, just signed up today and this is my first humble project submission. I am a huge fan of woodworking and love the site and I love to see what everybody is working on.

I play guitar (pickin’ and a grinnin’) and other than dining room table chairs there is a severe shortage of chairs at my house that I can sit in and play guitar. So, inspired by the Kenny Chesney song, “Old Blue Chair,” I decided I wanted a comfortable rocking chair that was armless so I could sit on the porch and play guitar.

This is my first rocking chair, and I know it is a long way from a Maloof. I didn’t have any rocking chair plans or designs, but I did a lot of reading and looking at Maloof’s chairs for inspiration as well as the work you guys do on this site.

Construction is completely from two 2×8’s and thin laminated poplar boards for the rockers. Total cost is about $30. I used cheap wood because I was looking at this project as practice and am very surprised that I came out with a product that actually resembles a rocking chair. The joints are not 100% Maloof, but they are Maloof-ish, and reinforced with dowels. The back supports are floating and rotate on its axis, so when you sit, the supports mold to your back somewhat. I hope to eventually figure out how to bend a lumbar curve in the back supports, but hey, one step at a time.

My next project will be my first commissioned project. It will be a rocking chair with arms as ordered by my expecting wife who thinks that an armless rocking chair is ridiculous. I will invest in a little better stain grade wood for the next one. (I’m in South Mississippi and not even sure where you go to buy higher quality wood, so any suggestions would be great!)

I may eventually paint this one, but am having trouble deciding on which way to go. I know the rules are completed projects only, but this chair is just for me, and will not be showcased anywhere in the house, so it maybe complete or it maybe not.

One thing for certain, I have caught the bug and hope that I will be back in the future with more projects!


-- Dear God, Thank You for wood putty...Amen.

16 comments so far

View Dale 's profile


400 posts in 1767 days

#1 posted 536 days ago

Thats a great looking rocker, and the seat/leg joints look perfect. Well done.

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

12989 posts in 925 days

#2 posted 536 days ago

If you study Maloof you’ll have no problems.

Good looking chair.

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View JoeinGa's profile


3058 posts in 594 days

#3 posted 536 days ago

Are you kidding me? For a mere 30 dollar investment you made a GREAT rocker! I’ll bet when your “pickin’ and grinin’ buddies” see it, they’re all gonna want one. Excellent job!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Woodbridge's profile


2551 posts in 1005 days

#4 posted 536 days ago

great looking rocker. welcome to LJs.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Dan's profile


16 posts in 536 days

#5 posted 536 days ago

Thanks for all the kind words!

-- Dear God, Thank You for wood putty...Amen.

View Bob817's profile


644 posts in 969 days

#6 posted 535 days ago

That’s a nice Rocker and you say it’s your first WOW! fantastic job just to let you know you said a bad word for this website….. You said PAINT. You have a beautiful wood grain there but if you must paint it why not Kenny Chesney Blue? LOL. Good Luck!

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View jap's profile


1224 posts in 641 days

#7 posted 535 days ago

great job and welcome

-- Joel

View DocSavage45's profile


4684 posts in 1429 days

#8 posted 535 days ago

Really a nice piece. You got the touch!

FYI Charles Neil Woodworking. Charles put out a chairmaking DVD that might be helpful. I have not found anything as informative on this complicated subject in one package. Pluse Charles will answer your inquiries.

Good luck..Pickin and Grinnin..LOL

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2164 days

#9 posted 535 days ago

Looks good.
I second the Charles Neil recommendation.

-- Custom furniture

View DocSavage45's profile


4684 posts in 1429 days

#10 posted 535 days ago

Oh yeah. Is it going to sit inside or out? Seal it really well with dewaxed shellac 5 lb coat. Then it can be stained and if outside spar varnish.

I painted a rocker white, now i KNOW THAT WAS A BAD THING TO DO.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View stefang's profile


12428 posts in 1921 days

#11 posted 535 days ago

Fantastic result Dan. A very good looking chair and it looks very well made.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dan's profile


16 posts in 536 days

#12 posted 535 days ago

Doc, I think I am going to take your advice and go with staining. I really hated the thought of paint, but I convinced myself it wouldn’t turn out since I used low grade wood. Thanks for the input!

-- Dear God, Thank You for wood putty...Amen.

View Gary's profile


1010 posts in 2911 days

#13 posted 535 days ago

Great looking chair Dan.
Try OR have a look over a the WW’ing forums on Woodnet; lot of folks down your way will know where to get good timbers.

-- Gary, Florida.

View mbs's profile


1418 posts in 1527 days

#14 posted 535 days ago

If you want to make one with bent wood then Hal Taylor does a great job with his plans and DVD. Well worth the money in my opinion.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View gfadvm's profile (online now)


10438 posts in 1277 days

#15 posted 535 days ago

2×8s never looked so good! You did a great job on this and your joinery looks flawless to me. I’d just do some amber shellac on it and enjoy.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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