A place for me to display some of the varied projects that come out of my shop, as well as to "talk" about some of my experiences working with wood.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Rocking Chair Progress Update

Friends that know I am working on a rocker ask me about updates every now and then, so I thought I would do an update entry. I knew this would be a daunting project to start from the outset and I have not been disappointed. While I have quite a few bits done, many, many hours have been spent building more jigs and fixtures to start the build. Exactly like when I built my first guitar, actually building the guitar did not take a lot of time, getting ready took all the time - all that being said, subsequent guitars (and rockers, I hope) will be similar.

To update, I am making the rocker in a petite size for my LOML from cherry and the accent wood in the back braces will be some nice walnut, creating a very nice contrast.  If someone were to characterize my "style" with woodworking it would involve using the colours of the wood to "paint" a picture in the finished piece - like the chairs and stool projects for example. No stain or colour to hide the natural beauty of the material.

Below are a few pictures of progress to date, with a description on each picture. Just click the picture to see a larger version - enjoy the progress report.

The 6 pieces of the coopered headrest have been glued up
and cleaning up the edge with my Marcou smoother - end grain - no prob.
The finished headrest, cut to 1.25" thick and sanded to 120 grit, ready for fitting - just need a rocker to fit it to.
 Note the sapwood in the middle will tie into the sapwood joint in the same place on the seat. 

These 8 walnut strips will be the back brace fronts. They are sanded to 180 grit
and thicknessed to .080", notice the figure progresses across the
strips giving a nice effect - there are only 7 back braces, an extra in case of butchery.

The rockers themselves (the part that rocks on the floor) is made up of  9 pieces
of 1/8"s trips glued into shape. Here are 5 billets of cherry ready to be sliced into
rocker lams. Notice the marks and colour coding so I can reassemble them after cutting.

After cutting the strips on the bandsaw and thickness sanding them to .125",
they are put back together so I can build rockers ready to be glued up.
BTW - there are enough lams here for two rocking chairs. This was almost 6 hours work
to get from the last picture to this one.
Lots of clamps in the gluing form as well as the gluing support on the top
to avoid marking the rocker with the clamps.
Lots of glue, lots of mess and 24 full hours in the clamps and you get...
The first finished rocker removed from the form and the edges cleaned up on the jointer.
Notice the walnut strip inserted to provide an interesting contrast to tie into the walnut in the back braces.

My routing setup for the seat joint, block added to corner to avoid tearout. Hal Taylor likes to do the seat in a vertical position, I find this easier and safer for me. The results below are identical.

Here the seat joinery is complete, you can see the iconic Maloof joint for the back and front legs.
The unique shaped holes for the back braces are also routed in, the seat front profile
has been bandsawn. Ready for carving.

The seat rough carving is complete with the Kutzall on the angle grinder,
considering the plume cloud that this carving generates, I do it outside in the driveway
on a windy day. This was about 45 minutes of carving. Probably another couple of hours work before its a seat.

Another fixture which was a bit of a task, this will be used as a sled to put a cove on the top
of the chair's arms to save lots of carving.

This six degree jig will help to support a number of pieces both against the fence, like this
leg setup, and also in the crosscut sled, which is the next fixture to be built.

1 comment:

  1. Great progress Richard. I love the sapwood centerline - and that is coming from a guy who does not like sapwood:) Yeah - seat carving outside is a really good idea.