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Forum topic by Steelwinky posted 01-14-2007 08:46 PM 7076 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steelwinky

33 posts in 2802 days


01-14-2007 08:46 PM

First time poster here, hoping for some help from the woodworking masters here. I am a novice woodworker who has decided to build a rocking chair. God knows what the end result will be, but I just gotta do it. Heres my problem, I need help figuring out how to build the joints that connect the legs to the seat. I just can’t quite reverse engineer this joint from the pictures I’ve seen. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Tell me how to do this? http://lumberjocks.com/projects/207, this link shows the joint.

Thanks


17 replies so far

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2889 days


#1 posted 01-14-2007 09:11 PM

Bill the rocking chair guy here http://lumberjocks.com/projects/133

And Mark http://lumberjocks.com/projects/84

And you can go to my site at http://www.ye-olde-cabinet-shoppe.com/ and just below the Lumberjocks Logo there are two different sites that specialize in Heirloom Rocking Chairs

I will admit though, I can’t think of a bigger project. You just happened to pick the best, most beautiful and difficult chairs to make. Good Luck. If you got the skills and the tools, you can do it

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Steelwinky

33 posts in 2802 days


#2 posted 01-14-2007 10:41 PM

Thanks much for the reply. To be honest, I don’t know if I have the skill, but I sure have the time. I may be out of my league, but I just have to try.

Again, thanks very much for the info.

Steelwinky

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Obi

2213 posts in 2889 days


#3 posted 01-14-2007 11:17 PM

Bill Kappel will send you free “How To Build Your Own Rocker” if you e-mail him at bill@kappelusa.com . It might take him a day or two to get back to you, but he’s a nice guy and he sent it to me

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1990 posts in 3057 days


#4 posted 01-15-2007 05:58 PM

Steelwinky: Welcome to lumberjocks. I envy your courage. Enjoy the rocking chair journey. Here are some options for you:

There are also plans for sale from www.haltaylor.com, although I have never viewed them. He also has a class he calls Rocking Chair University.

As Obi noted, Bill Kappel has plans. I have received a set of Bill Kappel’s instructions that he offers for free to lumberjocks. I am amazed at how much work he has put into these instructions and doesn’t charge for them. That ought to say enough about this guy, he is tops in my book. I have not used his instructions to build a chair, but I have read through the many, many pages and found them to be very complete. Bill sells kits if you want to buy the roughed out joints and pieces you will need. This would be a good first step for you, and then you could build another chair on your own after that. I can assure you, that you can’t build too many of these chairs, as people clamor for them, for good reason. You wouldn’t have any trouble finding a home for your second chair.

There are many pros that make Sam-Maloof inspired rockers for a living, and quite a few of them give credit to Sam for the inspiration. They are big business right now. At the Western Design Conference in Cody, WY I attended, there was a lot of Maloof influence at the show. Sam was a judge, so I wonder how he feels about it all. I hope he is honored. I put a full summary of my trip to the conference in the Forum if you want to read more about it, and Sam. http://lumberjocks.com/topics/41

As for the rear leg joints, I posted a few pages of my sketch book showing the joinery I used on the legs in my rocking chair project posting. They are listed in the comments toward the bottom of the list. http://lumberjocks.com/projects/84

My best recommendation would be take the “Sculpted Rocking Chair Class” at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking south of Indianapolis. You will learn more in 8 days there than you could in years teaching yourself, really.

Keep us posted on your progress,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

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Steelwinky

33 posts in 2802 days


#5 posted 01-15-2007 06:45 PM

Mark, thanks for the input. I keep getting the feeling that I’ve bitten of more than I can chew here, but I think I can make this project work

I started this project on a whim, without knowing anything about rocker construction or Maloof inspired chairs. After I started building, I ran into issues that i couldn’t reason my way through, and ended up going to the internet for help. That is when I started seeing all the wonderful rockers that are being built, and it changed the plan I had in my head. So the project became much more complicated.

I had built the runners or the rocker portion of the chair before looking for help. My brother and I cut some 1/4 inch strips of oak and laminated them into a jig we cut out of a 2×12. They turned out wonderful and I thought I had really come up with a new and wonderful thing. I had also allready built the rough portion of the seat. Funny thing is that the parts I allready built aren’t that far off from the parts in some of the plans I’m starting to see thanks to you guys. So I have confidence that I’m on the right track, and god willing, I’ll figure out the joints.

Thanks again, and the link to the Design show in Cody was great

Steelwinky

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Don

2599 posts in 2828 days


#6 posted 01-16-2007 12:05 AM

SW, you might find my blog item here of interest. I posted this after being given help by William Kappel. I sure that you will find him very knowledgeable and helpful.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://dpb-photography.me/

View Steelwinky's profile

Steelwinky

33 posts in 2802 days


#7 posted 01-16-2007 12:53 AM

Thanks Don, I’ll get back with you later about the balance issues of a rocker. I think I have to focus on one issue at a time. Right now its how to make those pesky joints. I’ve been practicing on pine, and have no problem with the cut out on the seat, but i’m having trouble making the round over on waht would be the leg, fit the radius on the seat.
I’ll get it sooner or later, but may need more tools. Yes, thats it, more tools.

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Don

2599 posts in 2828 days


#8 posted 01-17-2007 09:23 AM

Any excuse for new tools justifies the project all by itself. LOL

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://dpb-photography.me/

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2889 days


#9 posted 01-17-2007 04:10 PM

Amen to that Don.

And Winky, I also am starting to build an Heirloom Rocker, but I wanted to research the subject first, because i didn’t have a clue as to how to do it. I wrote Bill Kappel and he sent me plans. I looked Heirloom Rockers up on the internet and put all the links right on my home page so I could “one-click” and have them all at my fingertips.

I also looked at the tools I needed and since I could get an angle grinder cheaper than i could get a band saw, I ordered that and a “Lancelot”, for the contouring of the seat. I also got 40 bf of Cherry for $32.00 it was 6/4 so I just laminated them together for the 2” needed for the chair. But since I have some other projects going that are “paying gigs”, I have to finish them first.

Keep us Posted

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Steelwinky

33 posts in 2802 days


#10 posted 01-17-2007 06:39 PM

I’m gonna have to think about that lancelot. I was going to try to remove some seat material with multiple passes over a dado blade. It was my plan to then buy some of those 50 grit flap disks for a five inch grinder. Any thoughts on that? Also, maybe someone can shed some light on this issue for me. Maybe Mark, since he helped a lot with his drawings. I have cut an absolutely wonderful joint that will be the joint that is on the seat, that the front legs will fit into. I used a 1/2” roundover bit to make the rounded area on the leg that will fit into the rounded contour on the seat, where the rabbet bit made the corner. Problem is that the rounded portion on the leg doesn’t quite fit perfectly. Would a 5/8 inch roundover do the job? I’ve been doing these in pine as practice, so I haven’t screwed up any really expensive stuff yet, but I wanting to move forward. Any more help would be great.

Steelwinky

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Obi

2213 posts in 2889 days


#11 posted 01-17-2007 07:17 PM

In Bill Kappel’s instructions, he has pictures of the seat assembly. There are 5 pieces and three of them are cut on a band saw and then glued together. I don’t have a band saw so I had to find an alternative way to remove the laterial for the seat. I watched David Marks on D.I.Y.Woodworking and he used a simular item with a 4 1/2” grinder. This way you can remove the bulk of the seat, and then sandpaper and a sander to finish it up.

When I get started on the seat assembly I’ll post pictures

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Don

2599 posts in 2828 days


#12 posted 01-18-2007 12:01 AM

SW, have a look at this tool. I used it for carving the shape into my rocker. Depending on the cutting hear or sanding disk you attach to it, its a very versatile machine to remove wood quickly.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://dpb-photography.me/

View Philip Edwards's profile

Philip Edwards

244 posts in 3091 days


#13 posted 01-30-2007 12:11 AM

Steel
I made a Maloof style chair – I’ve put some pictures here on my website to show how I made the joints. Hope it helps.
Another thing for you to check out is Fine Woodworking video “Sam Maloof”. It is fantastic, and Sam walks you through how he makes a rocker from start to finish. Well worth seeing!!!
Hope this helps
Phil

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Don

2599 posts in 2828 days


#14 posted 01-30-2007 12:18 AM

I second that – it’s an inspirational video.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://dpb-photography.me/

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Steelwinky

33 posts in 2802 days


#15 posted 01-30-2007 01:14 AM

Thanks guys, I will find that video. Philip, your pics are exactly what I was looking for. I actually kinda figured most of this stuff out along the way, but I am humbled by the masters on this site. My joints are turning out ok, but not as tight I i would have liked. I may be able to fine tune them some, but overall they are ok. I have the seat mostly done and the front legs also. I have the back legs fitted to the seat, but havent really decided on a shape for them yet. They are still just kind blocky. I’ve made some mistakes along the way. One was that my seat blank was way to thin. Live and learn. The biggest wood project I built before this was a cutting board 20 years ago. LOL. So, if and when I reveal this chair, take that into consideration my friends!

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