Picture of Lessons Learned - Mid-Century Rocking Chair

This Instructables will summarize the lessons learned (in some cases, relearned) while making a set of these groovy chairs.

The plans for the chairs were included in the book Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects by Mark Frauenfelder, which is where I got them.


So, here's a short list of what not to do...

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Plywood Lessons

Picture of Plywood Lessons

First Lesson:

When drilling plywood, it's a good idea to take precautions in order to prevent the drill bit from splintering the wood as it comes out the other side.

I just did a quick internets search for "drilling plywood" and all sorts of links came up. It seems I'm not the only one who should have known better.

The silly thing is that I noticed the splintering after drilling the first hole, but I just kept on drilling the rest of the holes anyway, without doing anything different. I guess I was in a hurry, since these chairs were supposed to be a surprise for my kids.

Of course, patching the splintered holes ended up adding a significant amount of time (days) to the overall project, as compared to taking five minutes to find a suitable second piece of sacrificial wood to place underneath the piece being drilled.

Step 2: Coating Lessons

Picture of Coating Lessons

I love me some Minwax Polyshades!

I use this stuff all the time, so it's not surprising that I thought I knew what I was doing.

You know when the directions say to apply thin coats? That is sage advice.

I managed to produce some pretty funky ripple effects, and basically made a mess of things, by applying it too thick and heavy... even had to redo a few sections.

And when coating something with multiple colors, take the time to mask off areas that you are not wanting to cover. Otherwise, you end up having to wipe/sand/etc., those areas a second (or third) time.

Love how you explained all this, it was really funny xD Um...This chair though..Is it....Comfortable? I'd think you have lines all over your butt! I love this though, it makes me think of a more sophisticated version of those fold up metal frame chairs with only bungie cord to hold you up xD

Thanks for the comment. Yeah, it's actually very comfortable. Lines on one's butt isn't really such a big deal... makes for an interesting conversation starter?

LOL i suppose xD hah, next challenge: hammock :D

yuqingyu11 months ago
lvhui11 months ago


crispernakisan (author)  lvhui11 months ago

Did it require many tools? Not very many. I used a jigsaw, belt sander, and drill. Oh, and a screw-driver and wrench for the screws. And wood glue.

it needs patiences
ZaneEricB11 months ago

Desipte the hardships and life lessons....they look great!...I guess now its time for round two and putting those newly acquired sage tactics to work!

Great job!!

crispernakisan (author)  ZaneEricB11 months ago

I appreciate the kind words. And now that I have documented these lessons, I should be more likely to remember and apply them, right?

rolltidehank11 months ago
Looks great! Is it comfortable?
crispernakisan (author)  rolltidehank11 months ago

Thanks... and yes, the chairs are very comfortable. Just the right amount of support and rock-a-bility.

baecker0311 months ago
not all cat5 cable is the same. you might want to consider solid core vs stranded for the future.
crispernakisan (author)  baecker0311 months ago

Good point... unfortunately, the big box of unused Cat5 cable I have in the basement is indeed stranded.

tofugami11 months ago
It came out great. Makes me want to test drive it. I liked that you included what not to do also.
crispernakisan (author)  tofugami11 months ago

Thanks... hopefully others can save some time and reduce the number of potential headaches by not doing what I did.