Help with a pine rocking chair?

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Forum topic by Bieser posted 03-31-2014 06:24 PM 1716 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bieser's profile


176 posts in 2000 days

03-31-2014 06:24 PM

Ok, I am sure you guys are thinking why make it out of pine? I salvaged some pine from a location that has sentimental value and would like to use it for making a rocker. The pine is 120 plus years old and after cleaning it up a bit I think I have some that’s useable. I know that making a rocking chair out of pine vs. hardwood will have its challenges as far as designing it to last for years. I was thinking of laminating the rockers with ash on the bottom 1/4 inch to stand up to the rocking.

What about the joints? This chair will have a craftsman design. I think this will give it great looks and I could make it the strongest with through tenons. Would it be going over kill if I laminated the pine parts with some form of hardwood on say the inside away from where anyone would see it, to add to the strength of it over time? Would this cause me issues though with wood movement?

I am open to suggestions or ideas.


6 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28924 posts in 2303 days

#1 posted 03-31-2014 07:21 PM

Laminating would work. You could do a Maloof style rocker.

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

View TheCityWoodWorker's profile


21 posts in 1485 days

#2 posted 03-31-2014 07:25 PM

Brandon. I have seen a lot of Windsor rocking chairs made completely of pine with through tenons and they last just fine. If you don’t have enough pine to cut the rockers out of one piece, then Lamination seems like the way to go you could use the ash as accent strips to add strength so they wont flex too much under the weight of someone sitting in the chair. As far as reinforcement for the legs as long as they are substantial enough and not too thin you should be good to go. Have you considered doing a Maloof style rocker and using the pine as a feature by making the back slats out of pine and the arms or maybe the headrest ?


-- The City Woodworker

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28924 posts in 2303 days

#3 posted 03-31-2014 07:26 PM

Look at this.

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

View Loren's profile


10262 posts in 3613 days

#4 posted 03-31-2014 07:50 PM

I think if you use thicker pieces and stouter joinery, pine
will be okay. Keep distorted tissue like knots away from
the joints.

Also, consider that wood is a lot more structurally sound
if riven, so if your wood is straight enough to split you
can make thinner chair parts with it.

View Bieser's profile


176 posts in 2000 days

#5 posted 03-31-2014 08:52 PM

Well. I originally kicked around the idea of a maloof with this chair. They take a lot of wood not sure i have that much. I guess I could do one without carved seat and do a padded to save on lumber. Now you all are talking me back into it. I have an arts and crafts on commission at the moment thought doing two would save me some time.

View thetinman's profile


294 posts in 1504 days

#6 posted 03-31-2014 09:31 PM

I made a rocker out of nothing but pine. It’s been on the front porch for over 15-years and still going strong. It’s more of the mission style. Copied it from a pic on the net back then and painted it black. My experience with pine is that it is strong and resilient even for the rockers. Look for straight grain and no knots (at least in the area of joints). It does tend to stain dark and blotchy unless you seal it well. You could use some of the stain/urethane mixtures. Just finish up with the spar type if it will be exposed to sunlight.

If you don’t have what you like then use what you have. I think you’ll be fine. I tried to take a pic of our rocker but the camera died. Here’s a pic of a similar rocker I found on the net.

-- Life is what happens to you while you are planning better things -Mark Twain

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