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Shaker Transitional Rocker Part 3 (Curly Maple)

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3 minutes ago, John Morris said:

I am enjoying the experience myself greatly,

I have been enjoying, okay maybe not enjoying perhaps enduring digging through roots, birnign roots, mostly destroying what is still left of this tree.  Maybe in time I might actually get to BUILD the deck back.  You know, work with some wood.   :JawDrop:

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1 hour ago, Gene Howe said:

When I used fabric softener and water to bend some maple strips, I found that scraper tear out was eliminated. It was curly edge grain, 3/16" thick

Hmmm, interesting Gene, I wonder if I filled the steam container with that solution if that would make a difference?  But, there really isn't anywhere on the chair where I'm running into that issue with the bent parts, in this case it was just the rocker edges, which aren't bent. But, you gave me an idea to consider.

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32 minutes ago, John Morris said:

Hey Gene, aren't you the resident Morris Chair expert builder? By the way, that is not a limited skill chair you are displaying there!

Expert??? No way!!! But, thanks for your confidence. The word EXPERT, when in verbal form, can be can be broken down to it's compenents: EX is a has been and, a spurt is a drip under pressure. I might be an EX but, there's not a chance I'm under any pressure. :DayDreaming:

Seiously, that rocker, in mesquite, would be quite an adventure. Maybe, some day.



Edited by Gene Howe
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Pinning the Rockers


Continuing this build we are going to pin the rockers to our notched legs. Pinning the rockers in these chairs is done for one main reason, if a rocker should be worn down, or break, you will be able to slide a saw blade between the leg and the rocker, and cut through the pin on both sides, and remove the rocker. So we don't glue the sides of the notch to the rocker.

Below I have the chair setting on the rockers where I want them.


rocker_pinning (1).jpg


I have a few things laid out to create my pins, and to drive them into the legs. You can see the bench hold fast securing an old wrench to the bench, the hole in the old wrench directly in front of the hold fast is a hole I drilled at 3/16", I'll force wood pieces through the hole to make my pins/pegs. The hole is sitting over a bench dog hole, so when I ram the pins through the hole, it'll drop down through the bench and onto the floor.

Next you'll see a mallet, I used it along with the blue handled Marple chisel to split out the pins from the block of Cherry sitting to the left of the chisel. I like to use the mallet because it just feels good, not too heavy, and controllable as I am striking the chisel with it.

Then of course the steel head hammer I'll use to drive the pins through the hole in the wrench.

A small knife I'll use to rough shape the pins close to size before I drive them through the hole.


rocker_pinning (5).jpg


I split out 4 rough pins from the small cherry block.


rocker_pinning (6).jpg


Then I roughed out a pin with my knife (laying to the left of my knife), basically just whittling away at it till it's close in diameter to 3/16".


rocker_pinning (7).jpg


The first pin was a success. The wonderful thing about doing your pins, or dowels, or pegs (your terminology) in this fashion is that you can create any type of pin how you want them. You can choose any diameter for your project, and you can virtually use any species of wood to fit your project needs.


However, some species are a tad more temperamental than others, I love using Ebony for pins, or these days Macassar Ebony but it is very brittle for this operation, and I'll go through a dozen attempts to just get a few successful pins made, the rest shatter into pieces. I thought of using Ebony for this chair, it would look striking to have the black pin in the light maple. But I changed my mind at the last minute, my reasoning was that because it is a brittle wood, I was concerned how it would do in the stressful environment of a rocker joint. So I went with the Cherry instead.


rocker_pinning (8).jpg


Here is one of the successful pins I created, you can see the splinters flared out, I went against the grain as I drove the rough pin into the hole. It's hard to tell where the grain direction is in these little pieces.


rocker_pinning (9).jpg


I made four successful pins, and one shattered as you can see at the far right. The ends of the pins aren't round, that is ok, I need the middle part of the pins, the ends will be cut off anyway.


rocker_pinning (10).jpg


I drilled a 1/16" pilot hole then followed it up with a 3/16" tapered bit. These tapered bits are excellent for boring out clean holes on both sides of the wood. Even at the exit hole, there is virtually zero tear out. I eye balled the placement of these holes, they don't have to be perfect, actually nothing on this rocker or most hand made chairs is perfect, it's a wonderfully fun non-perfect project.


rocker_pinning (11).jpg


This is the exit side for the tapered drill bit.


rocker_pinning (17).jpg


And, here is the tapered drill bit.


rocker_pinning (18).jpg


I coated the pin in glue, and drove it home till it exited the other side.


rocker_pinning (12).jpg


I couldn't get the pin all the way through on this one, it pushed back on me and did not want to completely run through, it's ok, I got one side through just enough.


rocker_pinning (13).jpg


So, given that the pin in the image above did not seat all the way through, I realized I did not have enough support behind the leg as I was hammering away at it, it just kept bouncing around and I was not getting a solid hit with my steel head hammer. So I rigged up some backing support for the rest of the legs and from here on out, the pins drove right in and through with ease.


rocker_pinning (15).jpg


rocker_pinning (16).jpg


With the pins fully seated I immediately cut the pins flush, again with my flush cutting saw.


rocker_pinning (19).jpg


Then I pare them down with a chisel. Paring down these pins left some chiseled facets behind, I like those, and I'll leave it be for finishing.


rocker_pinning (20).jpg


And I now have rockers completely secured to the chair, thank you for following folks!


rocker_pinning (21).jpg


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