First Rocking Chair


Alabama Fats
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is my first attempt at a rocker of any type, man was that a dumb plan or what? Ah well like Mama always says..

A little back story, if you please.

This chair is from one of the American Elms on my property. It was close and leaning towards the house else it would still be standing.

As with most of my wood, I took it down myself and had it milled on sight.

I left this one lay whole for 15 months before I had it milled, I hoped for more spalt than I got though.

Once milled, I put it in my kiln for 30 days and then started cobbling a chair, for 3 months.

Anyway, I made it so my Brother's and my children could rock our grandbabies.

I finished Dec 18, two weeks after my niece had her first child and she is the first to be rocked in it.

She is also the first spit up and make a poopy in it... dadgum kids today ain't got no respect.

My hope is that the chair is used by several generations and just maybe one along the line will take the hint and make something for their grandchildren.

All stock is American Elm except for the Cherry runners.

Everything was milled 8/4

All parts were from single boards, except the seat.

I used walnut plugs to cover the screws.

Finish is sanded to 320 grit and topped with 5 coats of Watco Danish Oil, Natural color.

It is darker than most of the photos show, maybe 3 or 4 shades.

I would do some things different if I do another, some days just didn't feel productive, you know?

I would say that 85- 90% of this chair was hand work. Lots and lots of rasps and files, spoke shaves, scorps, ect..

Ohh, I did read and quote from The Big Book of Cuss Words pretty often so not only did I pick more skills I expanded my vocabulary by....40 or 50%. Huzzah!

Feel free to pick at all the warts, just try not to bleed me too much Please and Thank You.

003.jpg

Mash here for the other pics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a nice piece. I would like more sculpture in the arms for my tastes. But, it seems to do what a chair should, invite you to sit. Also, I LOVE Elm. Beautiful wood and can be easily obtained locally.

Thanks much Vic.

Would you mind explaining " more sculpture in the arms" for me?

I agree that the chair as a whole needs a little more...something. Too thick in places maybe?

I wanted a sculpted look without making a knockoff of Mr. Maloof.

:lol: I pulled that part easily anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking more of the arms. Rather than a flat plane, to slightly curved them so your arms rest more easily on them. This is just one example from Andy Chidwick's site. http://www.chidwickchairs.com/chidwickchairs/pages/basketballchair3.html I'm more drawn to contemporary, so mine would probably be more "delicate" looking than Andy's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw, I used Sutherland Wells polymerized tung oil on the Elm and it was phenomenal to work with and the finished product turned out very well. I've got a couple more pieces of Elm I'm still debated what to do with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking more of the arms. Rather than a flat plane, to slightly curved them so your arms rest more easily on them. This is just one example from Andy Chidwick's site. http://www.chidwickc...ballchair3.html I'm more drawn to contemporary, so mine would probably be more "delicate" looking than Andy's.

Delicate, yep, I think that is what may be lacking. I probably should have thinned things down a bit, maybe a little more definition on the seat and arms?

I think I would thin down/ flatten the back slats more if I do another.

Honestly I over built it so it would stand up under toddler abuse and the design suffered for it.

I just remember my Mother and I being in a constant state of cringe when the bebes were in the same place..oh how we did laugh.

It doesn't show up in my pics but the arms really are like the Chidwick arms, well sort of.

They are "scooped" where your forearm would rest but are way more blended to each edge and have a slight hump where your palm would rest.

They are canted down and inwards towards the seat also..but you really can't tell from the pics.

I'm going to take a look at the Sutherland Wells tung oil, hadn't heard of it before.

About the Elm, did you find it was dense, as in having to sharpen your blades more than normal?

It works really well and took the finish like a dream. I had never worked with Elm before so I don't know if I got lucky or it's all like that.

I have several more around but don't want to take them down unless the blight gets them, or I should say until the blight gets them. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Delicate, yep, I think that is what may be lacking. I probably should have thinned things down a bit, maybe a little more definition on the seat and arms?

I think I would thin down/ flatten the back slats more if I do another.

Honestly I over built it so it would stand up under toddler abuse and the design suffered for it.

I just remember my Mother and I being in a constant state of cringe when the bebes were in the same place..oh how we did laugh.

It doesn't show up in my pics but the arms really are like the Chidwick arms, well sort of.

They are "scooped" where your forearm would rest but are way more blended to each edge and have a slight hump where your palm would rest.

They are canted down and inwards towards the seat also..but you really can't tell from the pics.

I'm going to take a look at the Sutherland Wells tung oil, hadn't heard of it before.

About the Elm, did you find it was dense, as in having to sharpen your blades more than normal?

It works really well and took the finish like a dream. I had never worked with Elm before so I don't know if I got lucky or it's all like that.

I have several more around but don't want to take them down unless the blight gets them, or I should say until the blight gets them. :(

I'm sure that's why my sawyer has them. As far as working the Elm, it machines really well and the facets I put on the ends of Gretchin's Cradle were very easy to do. The card scraper did well, also. After I tackle the two large planks with branch growth, I'll be able to let you know on a broader scale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my first attempt at a rocker of any type, man was that a dumb plan or what? Ah well like Mama always says..

A little back story, if you please.

This chair is from one of the American Elms on my property. It was close and leaning towards the house else it would still be standing.

As with most of my wood, I took it down myself and had it milled on sight.

I left this one lay whole for 15 months before I had it milled, I hoped for more spalt than I got though.

Once milled, I put it in my kiln for 30 days and then started cobbling a chair, for 3 months.

Anyway, I made it so my Brother's and my children could rock our grandbabies.

I finished Dec 18, two weeks after my niece had her first child and she is the first to be rocked in it.

She is also the first spit up and make a poopy in it... dadgum kids today ain't got no respect.

My hope is that the chair is used by several generations and just maybe one along the line will take the hint and make something for their grandchildren.

All stock is American Elm except for the Cherry runners.

Everything was milled 8/4

All parts were from single boards, except the seat.

I used walnut plugs to cover the screws.

Finish is sanded to 320 grit and topped with 5 coats of Watco Danish Oil, Natural color.

It is darker than most of the photos show, maybe 3 or 4 shades.

I would do some things different if I do another, some days just didn't feel productive, you know?

I would say that 85- 90% of this chair was hand work. Lots and lots of rasps and files, spoke shaves, scorps, ect..

Ohh, I did read and quote from The Big Book of Cuss Words pretty often so not only did I pick more skills I expanded my vocabulary by....40 or 50%. Huzzah!

Feel free to pick at all the warts, just try not to bleed me too much Please and Thank You.

003.jpg

Mash here for the other pics.

Like the chair man. Just a couple of things really. I'm intrigued by the joints between the front leg and the seat. Also, my only criticism, if at all, I would have liked to see a better grain match on the seat itself. Execution and finish etc. looks really good.

Like Oliver Cromwell said 'Every one should have a wart or two' and he should know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Nice chair for your first rocker. I think it's a good choice if your kids will be climbing all over it and they will. I spent 2 weeks in Andy Chidwick's shop learning how to make the "Maloof" style chair and can't say enough about his skills and teaching abilities. I think I was his second student at the time and I've enjoyed watching his success with his woodworking school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share