Rocking chairs are a great way to relax and maybe a family heirloom handed down from a parent. All it takes is a few materials and a few tools to make one!
In this post, Focal Upright will provide detailed instructions about how to make rocking chair?
How to make rocking chair?
Part 1: Drilling and shaping the Seat
1. You can trace the shape of your chair onto a piece of wood.
You will need a piece 1 7/8 inch (4.8 cm), 21 in (53cm) wide, and 20 in(51cm) long. Draw the shape of your chair’s seat with a pencil directly onto the wood. The U-shaped seat should be made where the flat side is at the front, and the curve is at the back. Otherwise, the chair won’t balance well.
Online templates are available for creating chair seats, or you can make your own.
You can trace your seat onto the wood by making a cutout on a piece of paper.
Cherry wood is beautiful due to its durability and color.
2. Mark 10 points around the back of your seat that are 2 1/4 inches (5.7 cm).
Use the tape measure to measure 1 1/8 inches (2.9 cm) to the left from the chair’s center along the back edge. To mark the location of your hole, place a dot with a pencil on the point. You will need to make 4 dots 2 1/4 inches (5.7 cm) from your original mark. Next, make five dots running along the right side.
It would help if you did not place a dot in the middle or back of the chair. A spindle could end up there and make the person who is sitting down uncomfortable.
3. Each of your marks should be drilled with 5/8 inch (1.6 cm) holes.
A drill press is used to create a hole measuring 5/8 inches (1.6 cm) across at a 12-degree angle towards the back of your chair. You should ensure that the hole extends to the back of your chair. Continue drilling holes at the marks you have made. Make sure they are pointing toward the back.
You can use a handheld drill to drill holes if you don’t own a drill press.
4. For the legs, make 4 holes measuring 1 inch (2.5cm) from the seat.
The holes for the 2 front legs should be marked to be 4 inches (10cm) away from the seat’s front and 7 inches (18cm) from its center. The holes for the back legs should be 15 inches (38cm) from the front and 5 inches (11.3 cm) from the center. To make the holes, use a drill press and a 1 inch (2.5 cm) bit. The front legs should be angled by 5 degrees to the sides and front of your chair. The back legs should be angled 20 degrees towards the back of your seat and 5 degrees towards the sides.
When drilling for left legs, angle the hole to the left and towards the front of your seat. Angle the hole for the back leg toward the back of your seat and the left side.
5. Make the seat
A 30mm thick wooden countertop was used for the seat. It’s sturdy and has the same wood species as the one I used. It was 55 cm and 60 cm in order to fit between the support posts. Then, I secured it with wood screws.
Part 2: Forming the Legs and Spindles
1. Make Legs
Place the seat aside, and use a table saw to cut boards to the desired width. Next, use a miter with a miter to cut both the ends angles and the lengths of boards. The joinery of this rocking chair is only half-laps.
The half lap is made by two boards. They were cut at different lengths and then glued together. “Whereas I used thicker cedar cuts, I would have cut off half to make this joint.
2. Make arm and back.
Although I initially thought of making the arms slightly curved, I realized that a straight arm feels better and looks better. Two pieces of wood were cut to size 50×7.0x2.5 cm. I shaped them with a band saw and created two slots for the back of my chair. These slots were enough to hold the back of the chair. I used my router table to round all the edges and fitted them with glue.
3. The legs’ untapped ends should be trimmed to 9/16 inches (1.4 cm).
To cut the slots in the thick ends of your legs, you can use a table saw, or a band saw. The slots should be placed in the middle of your leg. The slot should be 9/16 inches (1.4 cm) in width and 2 1/2 inches (6.4 cm depth). Each leg should have slots.
The slots will attach to the rocks so that they can be held in place.
Part 3: Installing the back spindles
1. Wood glue should be applied to the back of each hole.
Take a small amount of wood glue in a spray bottle and apply it to each hole. Use your finger or cloth from a shop to cover the whole hole to get the best adhesion.
You can only work on one hole at a given time, as glue can dry quickly.
Tip: If glue drips on your work surface, cover it with newspaper or construction paper.
2. Place the ends of the spindles in the holes.
Take a look at the direction of your 29-inch (74 cm) spindles. Please make sure they are parallel to your seat’s wood grain. The glue will be used to attach the ends of your spindles to the holes. Continue to place the remaining spindles in the holes until they are all filled.
You’ll be adding the spindles to the arms of the chair later.
You can tap the ends of the spindles lightly with a wooden mallet if you are having trouble getting them into their holes.
3. The glue should be set for 24 hours.
It takes glue about 1 day to fully set, so you can leave your chair unattended for the whole day. To prevent the glue from soaking, make sure that the glue is dry and cool.
4. A flush-cut saw is used to sand and cut the ends of the spindles.
The flexible blade of a flush cutter saw allows you to cut along the edge of your seat. After the glue has fully set, you can use your saw to remove the spindles from the bottom of the seat. Next, smoothen your cuts with 220-grit sandpaper.
Part 4: Adding the Arms & Back Crest
1. Your bandsaw can be used to cut your arms and back slats.
For your arms and back crown, use a solid piece of wood such as cherry. Draw curved lines on the wood so that the middle of the curve is at least 3 inches (7.6 cm) from the edges. The crest should be 23 in (58cm) long, 3in (7.6cm) high, and 1-1/8 in (2.9cm) thick. The arms should be 20 in (51cm) long, 3in (7.6cm) wide, and 1in (2.5cm) thick.
To allow the spindles to fit, the crest must match the curve of your seat.
To align your spindles, space the holes in your back crest at 2 1/4 inches (5.7 cm). To make holes 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm deep), use a handheld drill fitted with a bit measuring 5/8 inch (1.6 cm).
You can clamp the crest with a vise to ensure it doesn’t move while drilling.
Do not drill into the wood if you want the bit to come out of the side.
3. You will need to drill 5/8 inch (1.6 cm) holes in the back for your art pieces.
The hole should be placed between 2.5-5.1 cm (2.5-5.1cm) and the back of each arm. Use a handheld drill or drill press with a 5/8in (1.6 cm) bit to match the back spindles.
4. Slide the arm pieces onto your outermost spindles.
Slide the arm pieces onto the outermost spindles. If necessary, tap the arms gently with a wooden mallet until the back of your arm is approximately 11 inches (28cm) above the seat. Place a clamp under the arm to stop it from moving down.
5. Use wood glue to line the holes at the back crest and attach it to the spindles.
Use a shop cloth or finger to spread the wood glue around each hole of the back crest. The back crest should be pressed into place by aligning the holes with the spindles. Use a hammer to tap the back crest gently so that the spindles are entirely in the holes. Use a clean cloth to remove any wood glue.
The spindles may need to be slightly bent to align with the back crest. However, they won’t break or become weaker.
6. Use a drill to drill holes through the seat and arms 5/ 8 in (1.6cm).
Once you have your back crest in place; you can drill holes for the arm spindles. Mark the locations you wish to place the spindles with a pencil. Use a (1.6 cm) drill bit to ultimately bore through the arms of the seat and armrests so that they align with each other.
Slowly and carefully work so that the spindles & back crest aren’t movable.
7. Wood glue can be applied to the holes.
Then slide the arm spindles in place. Use a small amount of wood glue to fill the holes. Spread it over the entire surface. The spindles should be inserted through the tops of each arm and the seat. They should extend the same amount from each end. Allow the glue to dry completely before you start working on your rocking chair.
8. After 24 hours, trim any excess spindles on the arms with a flush-cut saw.
After the glue has been set, you can trim the spindles from the chair’s arms with your flush cutter saw. To ensure a smooth cut, try to match the wood as closely as possible. Use 220-grit sandpaper if necessary to smoothen any rough edges after making your cut.
The back crest does not have to be removed.
Part 5: Putting in the Legs
First, Use a small amount of glue to line the holes in your chair’s legs. To ensure the best adhesion, make sure the glue covers the entire surface.
Next step, place your legs so that the sides are 1 4 In (3.2 cm) at the bottom of your chair. Your non-dominant hand should hold the seat steady. Use your mallet to tap the ends of your legs into the holes. The legs will fit snugly, so continue to tap on them until they fit. Use a shop cloth to remove any glue.
Place the longer legs in each of the 2 holes at the back of the seat. The shorter legs should be in the front.
Final, the glue will set entirely if you start working again on the chair the next day. To trim any wood sticking to your legs, hold the blade of your saw against your chair. The wood should be cut to a smooth surface.
To make the edges smooth, you may need 220-grit sandpaper.
Part 6: Finishing With the Rockers
1. From your planks, cut the shape of your rockers.
Draw the outline of your rockers onto a piece of wood. The length of the rockers should be 36 inches (91 cm), 4 inches (10 cm) high at their highest point, and 5/8 inch (1.6 cm thick). To cut the curved shapes of the rockers from the wood, use a bandsaw.
So your rocking chair will look uniform, you should use the same wood as your seat.
Online, you can find templates for rockers and other shapes.
To prevent the chair tipping, ensure that the rockers’ backs are more expansive than their fronts.
2. To plane the pieces evenly, clamp them together.
Place the rockers upside-down so that they are lined up. You can also smoothen the rockers’ curved bottoms with your block plane. The rockers will not wobble or feel uneven while you are sitting in the chair. Continue smoothening the bottom curves until you are satisfied with the rocker’s shape.
Because of this, the rocking motion could feel choppy if the bottom curve is more than 45 degrees.
3. Fix the rockers to the slots in the legs with glue.
Use your finger to spread wood glue on the slots of the legs. Slide the rockers into their slots at the bottom of your chair legs. Tap the bottom of your rockers with a wooden mallet to ensure they are securely in place.
Because they are slightly thinner than the slots, the rockers will fit snugly.
4. Drill 1/4 inch (0.64 cm) holes through the legs.
After the rockers have been glued in place, use a drill bit with a 1/4 inch (0.64 cm). To make a hole in the leg and rocker, you will need a drill bit that is 1/4 in (0.64cm). The hole should be drilled through the entire leg. Continue drilling holes in each leg so that you can insert dowels.
5. To hold the legs in position, insert wooden dowels into the holes.
Slide a 1/4 inch (0.64 cm) dowel through each hole and then slide them entirely through. After the dowels have been inserted, allow the glue to dry for 24 hours before you can use your chair.
Instead of relying solely on wood glue, the dowels provide additional support for the rockers.