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Cole Rocking Chair

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Forum topic by TObenhuber posted 02-02-2017 01:31 AM 1115 views 3 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TObenhuber

156 posts in 1430 days


02-02-2017 01:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: humor resource jig tip question trick oak carving tool planer chisel drill press miter saw router spray gun blade clamp plane sander grinder disc carving milling shaping finishing joining sanding laminate laminating sculpting arts and crafts rustic modern cole rocking rocker chair

Has anyone built the Cole Rocking chair? I am going to give it a go.

I have already PM luv2learn about it. He gave me some great tips on where to find affordable grinding disks, the space required, the patience needed, and the general comfort of the chair. THANK YOU luv2learn!!!

I have been working my way through milling some roughly 28” red oak logs over the past year or so. I need to finish milling them soon but as far as I can tell. The dirt and grim is only about 2” into the log. Mostly on the bark and the wood underneath is still good. Its just slow going with a small Husky 450 Rancher.

Shortly after the first cut last year. Ends of the massive logs are now sealed with paint.

Some of the boards fresh off the mill.

I have milled them to be a finished dimension of ~8/4. I think 1 7/8 might have to work for this project because I didn’t actually plan for this chair a year ago when I was making the first cuts. Presently, the wood is already down at ~15% moisture and will continue to dry a bit longer in doors. I currently have about 76.5BF nearly dry and ready to go. They will be resting inside for a few weeks. There are a few more board feet at the cabin. My metro DC area pick up truck (Older Audi A4 Hatchback) can only fit so much in one load.

With this lumber, I want to make something that can last. The fallen tree is roughly 150 years old. Here in Virginia, that puts it back to its sapling days during the civil war. I find that fascinating. Having recently read The Soul of a Tree by George Nakashima, I am feeling a little nostalgic and want to make something that can bring life back into it this old wood.

Anyways, have any of you made this chair? I would love to hear about it before I start. I understand this will be a long project, I’ll have to get a sculpting disk or two, and be patient. Any other recommendations would greatly be appreciated. As the old saying goes, enjoy the process.

Lastly, I already received the permission from my wife. Had to be sure she didn’t have other plans for me as far as the lumber went. You know. Happy Wife!!! Blah blah blah.

Link to Cole’s page where you can get the free plans:
http://www.chairguy.net/site/Free_chair_plans.html

Thanks!!!

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla


16 replies so far

View oldwood's profile

oldwood

111 posts in 1082 days


#1 posted 02-02-2017 04:58 AM

Great project for that old wood,
As for the grinding disc. don’t overlook the 4” ones from HF. I was wanting one of the $40-$80 but tried these and they do a pretty good job for less than $10.
Good luck with the build and keep us posted on the progress.

4

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2682 posts in 2141 days


#2 posted 02-02-2017 05:59 AM

Travis, this is going to be one beautiful chair. I can see it already!!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

156 posts in 1430 days


#3 posted 02-02-2017 06:22 AM

Luv2learn and oldwood, thanks for the encouragement. This is probably going to be a long on going forum post but I will continue to circle back to it as I go. I enjoy time lapse and I generally post them to my Facebook and Instagram page. I will be sure to link them here for all to see as well. I’ll do my best to make the glue drying and sanding look interesting. LOL!!!

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

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TObenhuber

156 posts in 1430 days


#4 posted 02-03-2017 03:27 PM

To start with, this project has a little bit of prep work before the wood working can begin.

The first directions on Cole’s site are as follows:

Step 1. Take a screen grab of this rocker template.

Step 2. Create a 24”x 48” _ 1”sq. grid on a piece of ½” MDF.

Step 3. Using the screen grab as a guide, work up the drawing to scale. Why?

Why draw?

The reason we want to work the drawing up instead of just using a template is that unless you can draw it you can’t sculpt it. This stuff ain’t square boys and girls. This is a 3D space mass study and you have to get your head wrapped around the 2D part before you go crazy with your shaping tools.

Working the drawing up forces you to better understand what the shape is and why it is drawn that way. It allows you to change the 2D shape to fit your sanders and grinders. If you draw it and you like the proportions, you have a much better chance of making that happen when you get to the 3D sculpting part.

I like to say – draw the silhouette to get 2 dimensions and let your shaping tools give you the 3rd dimension.

So hang in there… just take it one square at a time and pretty soon the rocking chair shape will start to make sense.

With this being said, I might have decided to cheat on this part with all respect to Mr Cole. So sue me (please don’t). For me, a larger template spray adhesived to my template material sounded better. I understand the logic behind what Cole is saying. If you are considering this rocking chair build, I would think you have the artistic side in check. If not, you might take Cole’s advice on the templates. It would be better you realize this project isn’t for you while making the templates before you commit to the larger project.

My method for the enlargement used a free enlargement website. I was skeptical of clicking on this site based on the name The Rasterbator but it was safe. At least if not, let the viruses stay on my computer because I now have the PDFs ready to share with you. You can PM me for the PDFs. A few clicks and I had my screen grabbed image in a PDF to the 1 inch by 1 inch square dimension specified on the templates. Easy.

Screen grab of the website home page if you need it for something else. Click the hyper link above to bring you there.

Now I am able to print the PDF to full scale on my normal printer using 8.5”X11” Standard Letter sized printer paper. The PDF will give you a print 24” X 48”. Cheaper than going to Staples or Office Max. The plus side also is I don’t have to leave home to talk to the wonderfully silly printer folks and try to convince them the squares need to be 1 inch by 1 inch. Winning all around.

The only thing for the paper template you still need is 40 sheets of paper, the ink necessary in the printer, regular scotch tape, and a place large enough to layout your sheets to line them up. The template does give you little marks to help line them up precisely. The pages are also numbered like battleship. A1, C3, D5…etc. I imagine you don’t have to be exact to the 1,000th of an inch at this point but every little bit helps.

I received some assistance in the layout.

I used the glass topped coffee table with a flash light underneath to help me line up the pages.

I put some tape on the front and back of the template to make it stay together as one page better. Not 100% necessary considering I will spray adhesive this to some scraps soon enough.

I trimmed the edges and rolled them up to be stored until I can get to the shop. Working night shift and the cold weather is helping me stay patent in my quest for drier wood. Twirling thumbs in anticipation.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View sras's profile

sras

4665 posts in 2967 days


#5 posted 02-03-2017 04:45 PM

Interesting! Looking forward to seeing your progress.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View rustynails's profile

rustynails

722 posts in 2367 days


#6 posted 02-03-2017 04:54 PM

I have never seen a plywood rocker before. I like it!

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

156 posts in 1430 days


#7 posted 02-03-2017 05:11 PM

I think its a very interesting concept as well. Thanks for the support.

Luv2Learn did an OSB Rocker of the same style. I can’t imagine the literal dust storm he must have had during the sculpting phases. I’ll bet the hardwood won’t be much different but hopefully a few less ply/osb chemicals involved. Luv2Learn is my current inspiration considering I have stumbled across his post several times over the last year or two. Finally have the right wood at the right time.

Link to his build below:
http://lumberjocks.com/luv2learn/blog/40157

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

360 posts in 2920 days


#8 posted 02-03-2017 07:08 PM

That is a cool way to do most of the shaping of a sculpted rocking chair. Most of the shape is already in place as soon as it is glued up.

I really like the looks of the solid wood chair. And the plywood version on his web site looks nice. Arauco plywood from Home Depot might work nicely. It has reasonably thick plys without a lot of voids.

It also looks like the arms could be sculpted into the back of the chair. The supports could be made a bit thinner and it would still be a lot stronger.

-- Steve

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

156 posts in 1430 days


#9 posted 02-03-2017 11:41 PM


I really like the looks of the solid wood chair. And the plywood version on his web site looks nice. Arauco plywood from Home Depot might work nicely. It has reasonably thick plys without a lot of voids

It also looks like the arms could be sculpted into the back of the chair. The supports could be made a bit thinner and it would still be a lot stronger.

Good to know about the plywood. I don’t know if I will have enough wood for a second hardwood version if that’s ever in the plans but if I like it enough the first time maybe plywood will work. I’ll keep it in mind.

Interesting idea about the arms rapping around to the back. If there is ever a second one I might have to consider that. Thanks

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

156 posts in 1430 days


#10 posted 02-07-2017 12:11 AM

Today was all about templates. At least starting templates.

Knowing I need some template material I went to the BORG and took a look to price things out. I saw Luv2Learn made his templates out to hard board. I looked to see the reason behind that. Turns out it was probably price. It was cheap to use the 1/8” hard board vs any plywood options. Then I strolled by the cull rack and much to my amazement, there was 75% of a full sheet of 1/8” hard board. WIN!!! I made it out of the BORG for under $3 for hard board and under $6 for spray adhesive. I did get some Fir for a commission project but not related.

Having already made the paper templates, it was time to start cutting. I trimmed around the template before I spray adhesived it to the hardboard.

Then spray adhesive time.

Then the cutting began. I initially started on the bandsaw. This worked well but my little 10” could only do some much. The rest was cut on the jigsaw. Not an advertisement but that green saw is actually pretty good. Just make sure you tighten the base plate at 90 degrees. For the hardboard, you need to use a fine tooth blade.

I would have liked to finish more templates but at least this one is done. It’s a start.

More template making to follow. Stand by.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

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TObenhuber

156 posts in 1430 days


#11 posted 02-17-2017 07:21 PM

Continued my progress today as the wood continues to dry inside under my stairs. Its fairly dry in there. I also added a heater to help dry out the wood a little bit faster. I do have it on a switch I can easily turn on and off when I leave the house. The heater is new and shouldn’t have any problems but there is a smoke detector down there just in case.

The heater typically keeps everything down there in the low 80’s when I’m home. This is better than the 60’s I see in that room when the heater isn’t running. This on top of the 30% humidity, its winter with the heat running, my Nest Thermostat keeps showing should get the wood dry fairly quickly. I also have a dehumidifier that runs down there almost all year round keeping the moisture down around 40%-50%. I hope its better than keeping it outside where it was under a deck.

While I wait for this to finish. I am going to finish cutting out the patterns. Then I’ll route them down to be exactly the same. This should have me ready for when the wood gets down to the 10% range. Some of it should be there fairly soon I hope.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View HowardInToronto's profile

HowardInToronto

72 posts in 1540 days


#12 posted 02-26-2017 04:21 PM

That is one wild-looking rocking chair.

I’ve never seen it before and I look forward to seeing your take on it.

And that OSB version seems really interesting – I know this is heresy but I find my way to man-made materials more naturally.

Thank you for this info. Please make sure to keep us posted on your progress.

Howard

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

156 posts in 1430 days


#13 posted 02-26-2017 09:28 PM



That is one wild-looking rocking chair.

I ve never seen it before and I look forward to seeing your take on it.

And that OSB version seems really interesting – I know this is heresy but I find my way to man-made materials more naturally.

Thank you for this info. Please make sure to keep us posted on your progress.

Howard

- HowardInToronto

Thanks for the support. It means a lot.

I am pretty stuck waiting on the huge boards drying. I need to route the patterns still but the bigger snag is currently waiting on the boards to lose their last 5% to 10% moisture content. I am having a tough time waiting but this is a project I want to be an heirloom. I think it will be worth it.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2682 posts in 2141 days


#14 posted 08-17-2017 04:01 PM

Hi Travis how goes the rocking chair project?

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

29174 posts in 2704 days


#15 posted 08-17-2017 04:27 PM

This rocking chair is a beautiful piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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