I wanted to make a rocking chair for my wife. But now I really think I am going to make a second one for me. It is the first time I make a rocking chair and I am really pleased with the way it came out.
For this project you will need:
- Wood (Any species you like)
- Band saw
- Planer or hand plane
- Jointer (if you have one)
- Round over router bit
- Hand saw
- Tape measure and pencil
- Wood glue
- 10 mm dowels
- 10 mm drill bit
- 40 mm wood screws
Here is a video of the whole process step by step. Make sure you check it out first.
Step 1: The Jig
First of all we will need a jig in order to form the rockers. I just took a piece of 15 x 5.0 x 90 cm wood and cut a curve on the one side. As long as the cut is symmetrical we do not really care how big the curve will be.
In order to make the rockers you will need 6 strips of wood 3.0 cm wide 0.8 cm tall and 85 cm long. Apply wood glue on all the strips and place them on the jig. Using a sacrificial strip apply pressure using some clamps. You need to make two pieces like this.
Step 2: Mortises
After you have your pieces ready now you need to make the mortises in which you will fit the tenons from the chair legs. The mortises must be 5.0 cm from the edge of each rocker. I have used a machine dedicated for this job but you can always use a chisel and hammer and you will have the same results. The machine does nothing more than making it a bit faster.
Step 3: Tenons
Cut 4 pieces of wood 80 x 2.5 x 7 cm for the four legs. On your band saw make one tenon for each leg. This tenon should fit in the mortise on the rockers.
Step 4: Seat Support
It is time to add the seat support. Again we will use the mortise and tenon technique to assemble the parts together.
The seat support is another piece of wood like the legs.Place it on an angle with the legs and mark where you want to make the mortises. Again with a chisel make the mortises and fit the seat support. Assemble all the pieces together using wood glue and some clamps. Let the glue dry overnight.
Step 5: Front and Back Support Rails
We need to add support rails to assemble the two sides of the chair. For the front and back rail I used two 60 x 2.5 x 7 cm pieces of wood. For the front I used the mortise and tenon technique and for the back I used 10 mm dowels.
Step 6: Back Slats
For the back I made a 80 x 60 cm frame and drilled some slots on the top and bottom pieces for the slats to fit in. The slats made out of 0.8 x 4.0 x 73 cm pieces of wood with all the edges round using the router and a round over bit.
Step 7: Attaching the Back Slats
Use some 10 mm dowels and a 10 mm drill bit to attach the back to the sides as shown on the pictures.
Step 8: Seat
For a seat I used a 30 mm thick piece of wooden counter top that I had in my workshop. It is sturdy and its the same species of wood with the one I used. I only had to make it 55 x 60 cm to fit between the seat supports. I then used some screws to secure it in place.
Step 9: The Arms
My initial thought was to make the arms a bit curved but I then thought that even a curved arm looks better a straight one feels better. So I used two pieces of wood 50 x 7.0 x 2.5 cm. Shaped them on the band saw and made two slots to hold the back of the chair. Making those slots I did not have to add any more support rails on the back. I rounded all the edges with my router and fit them with wood glue and wooden dowels.
Step 10: It Is All Done.
Now you have a beautiful rocking chair. My wife already loved the one I made for her but I am a bit jealous so I am going to make one for me as well.
You can use any type of finish you like.You can paint it or just use a varnish to show the wood.
Hope you enjoyed the whole process. Stay safe and have fun!