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Making a rocking chair - Part 4

The front legs have been roughly shaped and these blocks screwed and glued onto the top of them. These blocks provide a good joint between the front legs and the arms. It is important to get the angle and height of them right so that the arm fits neatly onto them.

Here I am gluing the front legs into place.

Once the front legs are glued onto the seat the next area to concentrate on is the headrest. Cutting this to exactly the right size so that it drops into place between the two back legs. Following Hal's plans for the back legs gets the headrest at the correct height to make it comfortable for the occupant.

Once I have the headrest in position I use this piece of wood which you can see in the middle back brace space in this picture to draw lines on the headrest to indicate the angle which the holes should be drilled to take the tops of the back braces. I then take the headrest off and drill 10mm holes about 25mm depth into the underedge of the headrest.

Now I sand and shape all the maloof joints and make them smooth and curvy.

The tools I use for sculping and shaping are:

- Angle Grinder. Very course shaping and has to be used with extreme care as it rips the wood off very quickly!

- Microplane rasps. Excellent tool for shaping.

- Drill with drum sander on it.

- Spoke shaves.

- Travisher

- Sandpaper!

- Powered respirator. This is very dusty work!

Once done the joints are all lovely and curved. The shaping of the sides of the front legs is certainly the toughest to do.

Next job is the back braces. They are laminated in a form as shown in this photo.

These wedges are inserted between the laminates of the tops and bottoms of the back braces. The wedges are 2mm thick at one end and reduce to nothing at the other end. This makes the back braces increase in thickness at the top and bottom where they are needed to be stronger.

The back braces are then shaped at the top and bottom to fit the holes in the seat and the 10mm holes in the headrest. They are then sanded and oiled as they are ready to go.

Here they are in a test fit into the chair. I don't glue the headrest on yet as it is easier to finish sanding and shaping the back legs first.

The arms have been glued in place now (sorry forgot to take a photo of the glue-up). Next is the shaping of the blocks between the arms and legs and shaping of the underside of the arms. This is tricky to access, so I suspend the rocker upside down on a plank clamped to my bench. This gives quite good access to all the areas that need shaping.

Here one of the arms has been partially shaped.

Still some work to do on this, but it is almost there.

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