Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Making an heirloom...

A few weeks ago, one of my students asked if it would be possible to make a child's rocking chair for his daughter, for Christmas. Since Christmas was only a week away, I had to be honest with him - it's probably not possible!

Instead, we agreed to get the chair built in time for his daughters birthday, which is in mid-January.  

This plan came from a very old issue of Fine Woodworking magazine. I adapted it to make to seat more durable, and the design a little simpler. Here's one I made 20 years ago! 

In fact, here's a class that I taught 20 years ago!

We started with building the seat, using tambour slats for comfort.

 Once the seat was built, 

John started on the back. He chose four slats for his back design.

 The nice thing about this plan is that all of the dimensions can be modified while you're building it. Everything is based on the seat. If you want to make it slightly wider,  you can. A taller back? Sculpted crest rail? Spindles in the back, instead of slats?  

You get the idea... no problema, chica! You're making an heirloom, make it your own!

Here, most of the parts are built and ready for assembly. 

Even though this Cherry looks very pale, once its oiled - it will darken and develop a lovely patina.

John's drilling the holes necessary for mounting the back to the base of the chair. He spent a total of about 16 hours on this, and I have to say - this is an incredible piece. 

  It's pretty amazing to think that a few weeks ago, this was just a pile of cherry, and now it's a family treasure. We drilled a hole in a hidden spot on this chair, and someday, John and his daughter will epoxy a 2014 penny there, to commemorate the year it was built. (We couldn't find any 2014 pennies minted yet!)

Here's the chair with one coat of oil... the color is already deepening.

Nice work, John!


John Frame said...

That is too cool. Really nice work.

Marilyn said...

That's totally awesome. I admire people who have the patience and knowhow to take on such projects. Good work!

Vegas Lupe said...

That rocking chair is such a neat project, and John is getting better all the time. As soon as you get it, please post a picture of little Giana sitting on the chair. That will be truly priceless. :)

ramdin khan said...

Great Blog !!!
You have a nice collection.
Thank you so much for writing such a wonderful post about chairs..
I have also good collection of wood rocking chairs.
Thanks for sharing such nice blog.