Armless Rocking Chair

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Project by Dan posted 01-24-2013 01:03 PM 3609 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


412 posts in 2185 days

#1 posted 01-24-2013 01:11 PM

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

17611 posts in 1343 days

#2 posted 01-24-2013 01:34 PM

If you study Maloof you’ll have no problems.

Good looking chair.

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View JoeinGa's profile


5256 posts in 1012 days

#3 posted 01-24-2013 01:38 PM

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


3224 posts in 1423 days

#4 posted 01-24-2013 02:54 PM

great looking rocker. welcome to LJs.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Dan's profile


19 posts in 954 days

#5 posted 01-24-2013 03:54 PM

Thanks for all the kind words!

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

View Bob817's profile


659 posts in 1387 days

#6 posted 01-24-2013 04:10 PM

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


1243 posts in 1059 days

#7 posted 01-24-2013 04:35 PM

great job and welcome

-- Joel

View DocSavage45's profile


6518 posts in 1847 days

#8 posted 01-24-2013 04:36 PM

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


113641 posts in 2582 days

#9 posted 01-24-2013 05:17 PM

Looks good.
I second the Charles Neil recommendation.

-- Custom furniture

View DocSavage45's profile


6518 posts in 1847 days

#10 posted 01-24-2013 05:39 PM

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


14610 posts in 2339 days

#11 posted 01-24-2013 06:19 PM

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

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dan's profile


19 posts in 954 days

#12 posted 01-24-2013 07:49 PM

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


1103 posts in 3329 days

#13 posted 01-24-2013 11:59 PM

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


1555 posts in 1945 days

#14 posted 01-25-2013 12:44 AM

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


13559 posts in 1695 days

#15 posted 01-25-2013 02:24 AM

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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