Woodworking Plans

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A rocking chair can be one of the most challenging pieces to build if you''ll have a chair that you''s 1 78 in (4.8 cm) thick, 21 in (53 cm) wide, and 20 in (51 cm) long. Use a pencil to draw the shape of the chair''t balance well.[1]

  • You can find templates for chair seats online or you can design your own.
  • Make a cutout of your seat on a sheet of paper so you can trace it onto your wood.
  • Cherry is a great type of wood to use due to its color and durability.
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    Cut the shape of the seat out using a band saw or jigsaw. Turn on your saw and guide your piece of wood slowly through the blade. Cut just outside of your pencil lines so you can still sand and shape the sides of your chair. Cut off any pieces of wood that aren''t have access to power tools.
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    Mark 10 points that are 2 14 in (5.7 cm) apart around the back of the seat. Measure to the left 1 18 in (2.9 cm) from the center of your chair along the back edge. Put a dot on the point with a pencil to mark where to drill your hole. Make 4 more dots to the left of your first mark each 2 14 in (5.7 cm) apart from one another. Then go back to the first mark you made and make 5 dots going along the right side of the seat.[3]
    • Don''re angled toward the back of the seat.[4]
      • If you don''re 4 inches (10 cm) from the front of the seat and 7 inches (18 cm) from the center. Make the holes on the back legs 15 inches (38 cm) from the front and 5 inches (13 cm) from the center of the seat. Use your drill press with a 1 in (2.5 cm) bit to make your holes. Angle the front legs to the sides and front of the chair by 5 degrees each. Angle the back legs 20 degrees toward the back of the seat and 5 degrees to the side.[5]
        • For example, when you''s used to carve out large areas of wood. Dig the blade into the top of your seat and pull it toward you at an angle to dig out the shape of the seat. Work from the back of the seat toward the front to curve the area where you''s where you''re using the curved edge shave so the blade doesn''re pulling it toward you.
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    7
    Bevel the edges of the seat with a straight edge shave. A straight edge shave is a two-handled tool with a straight blade used for carving wood. Hold both handles of the blade and pull it toward you at an angle into the wood to remove some of the wood. Work around the edge of your seat to make a bevel or curve so the sides of your chair aren''t slip.
  • Tip: If you plan on removing a lot from the sides of the seat, you can also use a bandsaw to trim off larger pieces.

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    8
    Sand the seat with 320-grit sandpaper. Once you''re happy with the shape, go over the seat with 320-grit sandpaper to get rid of any rough edges or burrs. Wipe the sawdust off your chair occasionally with a clean shop cloth so you can see any rough areas.[8]
    • You can also use an electric sander, but it may leave marks on your chair. Be sure to go over the area again by hand to remove any marks.
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  • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for
    Part 2 of 6:
    Forming the Spindles and Legs

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      1
      Cut the front and back legs to size using your bandsaw. Cut your leg pieces from wood that''re 16 in (41 cm) long and the 2 back legs so they''re working with power tools.
    2. Keep your wood pressed down while working with a bandsaw, or else you may get an uneven cut.
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    Shape the legs into 1Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for  34 in (4.4 cm) thick cylinders using a lathe. A lathe is a large tool used to spin wood so you can shape it into a cylinder. Push the ends of the wood onto the grips of the lathe to secure it in place. Set the flat edge of a scraping lathe tool on the guard in front of the lathe and press it into your wood. Work across the entire surface of the wood while it spins so it becomes cylindrical. Periodically stop the lathe and check the thickness of your legs with a caliper.[10]
    • Lathes can be purchased online or from hardware stores.
    • When you first start shaping the wood, your scraper tool may meet some resistance. Use your nondominant hand to support the top of the tool so you can hold it sturdy.
    • Always wear safety glasses while you use a lathe so you don''re 1 14 in (3.2 cm) on one end. Spin the leg on your lathe and use the scraper tool to shape one end. Work back and forth along the last 2 12 in (6.4 cm) of the leg until it''s 1 in (2.5 cm) wide and 1 in (2.5 cm) thick to start each of your spindles. Look for wood that''ll need 16 spindles varying in different lengths for the supports on your chair.[12]
      • Make 10 of your spindles 29 in (74 cm) long for the back of the chair.
      • Use 2 spindles that are 9 in (23 cm) long for the front supports on the arms.
      • Cut 2 spindles to 10 in (25 cm) long for the center arm supports.
      • Make 2 spindles 12 in (30 cm) long for the back arm supports.
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    Use a block plane to round your spindles into 58 in (1.6 cm) cylinders. A block plane is a hand tool used to smooth out edges and round wood by hand. Grab the top of the hand plane and pull it toward you to shave off the wood. Rotate the spindle every time you use the plane to round the edges evenly. Check the thickness of the cylinders occasionally until they are 58 in (1.6 cm) thick.[13]
    • You may need to sand your spindles to get a completely smooth finish.

    Warning: Don''re for 1 last update 2020/07/07 turning.Warning: Don''re turning.

  • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for {"":"","":"","":460,"":345,"":"","":"","":""mw-parser-output\""}
    6
    Cut 916 in (1.4 cm) slots into the untapered ends of the legs. Use a table saw or your band saw to cut the slots into the thick ends of your legs. Make sure the slots are positioned directly in the middle of the leg. Cut out the slot so it''s perpendicular to the wood grain of your seat. Slide the ends of the spindles into the holes with the glue so the ends stick out from the bottom of the seat by about 12 in (1.3 cm). Continue putting the rest of the back spindles into the holes until you''s arms aside for now since you''t stay wet.[17]
    • You can work on other pieces of your chair while the glue is drying.
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    4
    Cut and sand the ends of the spindles with a flush cut saw. A flush cut saw has a flexible blade so you can cut along the edge of your seat. Once the glue is completely set, use your saw to cut the spindles sticking through the bottom of your seat. Then, use 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the edges on your cuts.[18]
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  • Part 4 of 6:
    Adding the Arms and Bask Crest

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      Cut your arms and back crest to size with your bandsaw. Use a sturdy piece of wood, such as cherry, for your arms and back crest. Draw curved arcs on the wood so the middle of the arc is 3 in (7.6 cm) back from the edges. Cut the back crest so it''re 20 in (51 cm) long, 3 in (7.6 cm) wide, and 1 in (2.5 cm) thick.[19]
      • The back crest needs to match the curve at the back of your seat so the spindles can fit in it.

      Tip: Use the same type of wood for your back crest and arms as you did for your seat for 1 last update 2020/07/07 so the chair looks uniform.Tip: Use the same type of wood for your back crest and arms as you did for your seat so the chair looks uniform.

    2. for 1 last update 2020/07/07 {"":"","":"","":460,"":345,"":"","":"","":""mw-parser-output\""}{"":"","":"","":460,"":345,"":"","":"","":""mw-parser-output\""}
      2
      Drill 58 in (1.6 cm) holes in the bottom of the back crest. Space the holes on your back crest 2 14 in (5.7 cm) apart to line up with your spindles. Use a handheld drill with a bit that''t move around while you''re snug. Tap the arms lightly with a wooden mallet if you need to until the back of the arm is about 11 inches (28 cm) up from the seat. Put a clamp underneath the arm so it doesn''t be able to attach the arms.
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    5
    Line the holes in the back crest with wood glue and press it onto the spindles. Put a generous dab of wood glue into each hole in the back crest and spread it around the hole with a finger or shop cloth. Line up the holes with the spindles and press the back crest into place. Tap the back crest lightly with a hammer so the spindles go completely in the holes. Wipe up any excess wood glue that spilled out with a clean cloth.[23]
    • You may have to slightly bend the spindles to line up with the back crest, but they will not break or weaken.
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    6
    Drill Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 58 in (1.6 cm) holes with a drill through the seat and arms. Now that you have the back crest in place, you can drill the holes for the arm spindles. Choose where you want to position the spindles and mark the spots with a pencil. Use a 58 in (1.6 cm) drill bit to bore through the arms and seat completely so they line up with one another.[24]
    • Work slowly and carefully so the spindles and back crest don''s a smooth cut. If you need to, use 220-grit sandpaper to smooth any edges that are rough after you make your cut.[26]
      • You do not need to trim anything off of the back crest.
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  • Part 5Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for of 6:
    Putting in the the 1 last update 2020/07/07 LegsPutting in the Legs

    1. {"":"","":"","":460,"":345,"":"","":"","":""mw-parser-output\""}
      1
      Line the holes for the legs with wood glue. Place a dab of glue in each of the holes for your chair''t fit in the hole, use a block plane to shave off some of the wood on the tapered ends of each leg.

    2. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for {"":"","":"","":460,"":345,"":"","":"","":""mw-parser-output\""}
      3
      Remove any wood sticking out from the seat after 24 hours with a flush cut saw. Start working on your chair again the next day so the glue can completely set. Hold the blade of your flush cut saw sideways against your seat use it to trim any wood sticking out from your leg. Cut the wood completely until it''re using.[30]
      • Use the same wood you used as your seat so your rocking chair looks uniform.
      • You can find templates and shapes for the rockers online.
      • Make sure the backs of the rockers are longer than the front to prevent the chair from tipping over.
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      2
      Clamp the pieces together to plane them evenly. Put the rockers together upside down so they''t wobble or feel uneven when you''re satisfied with the shape.[31]
      • The bottom curve of the rocker should be no more than 45 degrees since that could make the rocking motion feel choppy while you''t want to make your rocking chair from scratch.
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    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Warnings

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    References

    1. https://youtu.be/oxqzVRwzedk?t=102
    2. https://youtu.be/oxqzVRwzedk?t=279
    3. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    4. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    5. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chairhttps://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    6. https://youtu.be/oxqzVRwzedk?t=247
    7. https://youtu.be/oxqzVRwzedk?t=301
    8. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chairhttps://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    9. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    More References (25)
    1. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    2. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    3. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    4. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    5. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    6. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    7. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    8. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
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    13. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chairhttps://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    14. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    15. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    16. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    17. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    18. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    19. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chairhttps://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    20. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    21. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    22. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chairhttps://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    23. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    24. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair
    25. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/plans-projects/craft-timeless-rocking-chair

    About This Article

    Co-Authored By:
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    This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 34 references.
    6 votes - 67%
    Co-authors: 6
    Updated: September 6, 2019
    Views: 20,798
    Categories: Featured Articles | Building Chairs and Seating
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