|Project by Scott Shea||posted 01-18-2014 09:50 PM||2196 views||8 times favorited||4 comments|
My wife had a ghetto wrought iron chair that belonged to a patio furniture set that she had inherited on the front porch while I was deployed. It annoyed the hell out of me for a lot of reasons, but to me it was a tacky eye sore. I had just received the 2014 Grizzly catalog and in the plans section I found plans for a simple but functionally elegant rocking chair. Off to Bellingham I went and I returned with the plans (They are only a 1 hour drive from my house). It looked like a weekend project, so off to the garage I go to build.
I decided to build two chairs at the same time. I started with a 4”x6”x120” Douglas Fir beam that I bought from the Big Box Store for about $17. A box of 2” and 3” nails, a small bottle of glue, and I walked out of that store for under $30.
Using the new band saw, I re-sawed the beam down to give me 2×4’s and 1×4’s for the project. I realized somewhere half way through that I did not have enough material to make two chairs, but pressed on to complete one chair anyway. I had a 1×4 piece of pine that was free of knots that I would use for the back (it sticks out well in the photos). The pine and doug fir made for an excellent color contrast.
All cuts were completed on the band saw. The plans were pretty straight forward and left very little in the area of question for assembly. The compound curve of the rocker was accomplished with the band saw, but finished and perfected with a belt sander.
For the second chair, I decided to not buy a whole other 4×6 beam, and instead bought two 2×4 Hem Fir’s, which from what I read was similar in strength to the Doug Fir. Again, pine was used for the back of the chair. The bottom slats are Doug Fir, but most everything else was Hem Fir.
Initially, I planned to paint both of these chairs white using marine paint. I changed my mind prior to the painting process, and instead opted to use spar varnish. I had never used varnish before. I wasn’t too worried about runs and such simply because this was an outdoor chair. I thinned the varnish with about 20% mineral spirits and placed the can of varnish in a hot water container prior to applying the varnish.
Overall, I’m very pleased with how these came out. I made a couple of mistakes here and there, mainly from rushing to assemble the chairs. I mostly followed the plans for assembly, with a few deviations here and there. I think these look a hell of a lot better than the nasty wrought iron furniture that my wife had parted out previously.
I plan on making a cedar table made from pickets to compliment this porch set, and possibly use some more Doug Fir on that to make it match a little more. The Doug Fir came out a lot pinker than my liking, however, that is the wife’s chair. This is a very easy project that anyone could do with very few tools (it could be built using nothing but hand tools). I believe that each chair cost around $25 in material and finish to complete. Thanks for checking it out!
-- I make sawdust. I think thats a fair assessment of my finished products!