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Forum topic by Betsy posted 03-04-2009 05:11 AM 866 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3391 posts in 3918 days

03-04-2009 05:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: rocker trammel

I’m almost done with my cabinet project and that will be the last thing on the list of to do’s for friends and family. So I’m trying to line up some of the projects that I’ve been wanting to do for me. I’ve got some turning projects to do, knobs and light pulls, etc. Taking a bowl class in April.

One thing I always wanted to do was build a rocking chair. I’ve been looking for a simple pattern, without too many complicated joints, etc. I found one that I think I like and that I can do.

The pattern is in the May 2008 Wood magazine – page 37. Most of the pattern is quite easy to follow and complete. The one LARGE issue for me though is the rockers.

The plan in the magazine comes with a paper pattern for the front, rear and middle portion of the rocker. It tells you to use a trammel to drawer the 49.5 and 52” radius to connect the pattern pieces.

I certainly understand the function of a trammel. But what I don’t fully understand is how to position the trammel to make the curve.

Do you locate the center line of the pattern then put the pivot point of the trammel either 49.5 or 52” from the pattern? I’m sure I could do a lot of trial and error – but thought I’d ask to save some effort.

Thanks in advance.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

2 replies so far

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3777 days

#1 posted 03-05-2009 01:51 AM

That’s right, Betsy.

If the rockers are a consistent width, once you draw the arc you can align the bottom edge or top edge of the pattern to the arc. If the rockers are wider at one end then the other, I would draw a center line along the rocker width and align that to the arc. It may not really make much difference if you don’t. You might try it just to see.

Looks like you may have a use for one of those large pieces of plywood you were going to have cut up. They would make an excellent work surface for this.

Looking forward to seeing the chair. I have always wanted to make a rocking chair but could never find a pattern I liked. I think I want to make a ladder back type but with a carved seat- not the taped shaker seat.

Good Luck!!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3918 days

#2 posted 03-05-2009 01:54 AM

Thanks Lew. That’s what I thought – but thought I’d ask to be sure.

And I do have a piece of ply ready for this job!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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