Rocking chair rockers

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Forum topic by Moosesman posted 07-17-2013 12:56 AM 6573 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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162 posts in 2652 days

07-17-2013 12:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question

I am making a rocking chair and I’m not using any plans. Just looked at some pictures to go along with
What I already had in my head. I think I’ve got the measurements where I need them. I been kinda measuring me and
My wife and coming up with something in between. The only thing I been scratching my head on is the seat height. I
Have read that 14 1/2 is a good medium size but seems shy to me. When you sit in the rocker you would want it to sit back a little naturally. Would 14 or 15 be the measurement from rocker to top of seat at front of chair and then let the radius of the rockers establish the back legs. I have noticed that the back legs are shorter on a lot of the rockers I see. I know that a good rule for rocker radius is the seat height times pi. I read this online. Or 42 inches I’ve seen is a good standard for 14 or 15 inch seat height. I maybe making this too complicated. I just hate to mess up on the last thing. Haha that wouldn’t be na fun. Just thought I might try and get some feedback from the pros.

-- The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication: that is why so many bad artists are unable to give it up. Jean Cocteau

5 replies so far

View ART LACKEY's profile


113 posts in 3526 days

#1 posted 07-17-2013 01:48 AM

I used to work for the Hitchcock Chair com. in Riverton ct. we built all the prototypes and one rocker in particular was a low Windsor bow/back chair that didn’t want to sit right.when you sat in it ,it was like you were going to fall forward out of it. it sat too flat. So we moved the legs a little forward and at the same time we shortened the back legs. then when you looked at it from the side the seat had a good slant to it so when you sat in it ,it would naturally lean back. that little chair was my favorite. a real joy to sit in,in fact i have two of those chairs in my house. check out—HITCHCOCK CHAIR CO. on the web and look at there rockers.

-- Old turners don't die, they just turn to dust!

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2998 days

#2 posted 07-17-2013 04:49 AM

I am in the process of building my third rocker: One Maloof, two Dundas.

I commend you for trying this on your own.

As Art so vividly described it, the seat angle is critical. That’s why I like the plans. (That said, even variance in the weight of the crest rail can make a difference in how the chair sits, seat angle wise.)

My suggestion is this: form your rockers and plan on a stacked block between the leg and the rocker. This would be shaped gracefully after all is glued up.

Stacking the pieces will allow you to experiment with effective leg length and placement on the rocker. It’s tricky and it takes a batch of masking tape but it can be done.



If you’ve built a boat or a rocking chair, you know what it is like to start a project from a point in space. Everything else comes from the floor or the wall.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View BusterBrown's profile


24 posts in 1963 days

#3 posted 08-21-2013 08:19 PM

I hope I’m not hijacking this thread and if I am I will gladly go away and start a new one.

My wife has asked me to repair her rocker. As you can see in the photo, someone attempted a previous repair with some metal bracing where one of the runners is attached to a leg. That assembly is giving way and I’m thinking about making and installing new runners. A couple questions come to mind:

- Are the runners ‘simple’ curved pieces or are they twisted as well?

- Would any hardwood work or are there special types best suited for runners?

- How are they typically attached? Some type of peg or mortise and tenon arrangement? I’m thinking about sawing the runners off at their attachment points, drilling holes in the legs and new runners and then attaching the new runners with pegs and wood glue. Could this work?

View RichardDragin's profile


7 posts in 3490 days

#4 posted 08-27-2013 03:27 AM

The radius for your rockers should be 39”. I like a seat angle of six degrees but it can vary depending how “laid back” you want your rocker to sit. The legs should be about 12” from the rocker to the top of the seat.

View Wayne0802's profile


7 posts in 580 days

#5 posted 03-20-2017 04:35 AM

This is one I just finished. The legs are equal length. This is a porch rocker. Not sure what kind you are building but the height should be the same. At the high point in the seat, it sits 15” and at the low point it is 14”. The lean of the rocke depends on how it is set on the rockers. I do set the back a little lower than the front. Hope that helps.

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