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  1. Over a 49˚ rainy weekend visit to a Fine Craft Fair I reacquainted myself with a carver first met decades ago. At that time, I *think* I was looking for large timber. Interesting fella. Could not place when we met but his daughter had been a mature-looking minor, that I remembered She is now "45 or 50". So I was at his place in the mid-late 1990s. Wow! And Tom is now 79 years old. His place is hard to find. The city tore down most area homes and businesses and moved streets in the 1960s with a redevelopment plan which came to a complete stop. Possibly the southwestern-most residential street in the city. He lives and works at the home his great-grandfather bought in 1880. Tom is known as The Rocking Chair Guy but I watched as a Peruvian-born Canadian admired and bought a simple and elegant wall piece of African wood. I sat, with his urging, with my bag of wood samples and small magnesium bronze plane, making shavings for identifications, and heard more of his story. One of my first questions was, "Where did you learn to sharpen your tools?". 1960s, from a master carver in Ecuador ..
  2. View File Workbench Magazine January-February Early American Rocking Chair This handsome Boston rocker is an ideal project for the lathe enthusiast, requiring many hours to turn the various spindles, legs and stretchers. A hard, dense wood such as birch or maple should be used for the rocker, as the strains induced by the rocking require strong wood and tight construction. Start construction by making the saddle seat, edge-gluing stock 1" thick, also using dowels to reinforce the joints. Locate the dowels near the lower surface ofthe glued-up plank, so they will not be exposed when you cut into the plank to create the seat depression. Source:Workbench Magazine Jan-Feb 1968 Submitter John Morris Submitted 11/12/2022 Category Furnishings  
  3. This chair has survived from the '80s although the rubber part of the casters has gone chalky white. More background and photos of a production version made from maple can be found here. Designed to rock from horizontal to a forward perched position. This Bubinga version was my initial prototype. Have you ever sat in a Balans chair? 4D
  4. Ol knuckle head sanding on a New Lebanon Shaker Rocking Chair. I built this chair from Curly Maple, it turned out very nice.
  5. steven newman

    Back view

    Back view, showing the armrests, and the slats for the back. Back rung is a store-bought 7/8" dowel. Finish is two coats of Witch's Brew ( Pumpkin Pine?). The "bench" in the background is my Saw Bench, now over 2 years old.
  6. From the album: Shaker Furniture

    The side view looks just as good as the front view, I am happy with the results thus far.
  7. John Morris

    Dry Fit Rocker Parts

    From the album: Shaker Furniture

    I dry fit the chair together and checked for fit, mortises, tenons, racking, and square, it all lined up beautifully.
  8. From the album: Shaker Furniture

    All the mortises are bored in the proper locations for the side rungs, we are ready to assemble the main chair frame.
  9. John Morris

    Back Ladder Mortises

    From the album: Shaker Furniture

    The side rung mortising jig is rotated 180 degrees for the back ladder mortises.
  10. John Morris

    Boring Side Rungs

    From the album: Shaker Furniture

    I put the front ladder up on the side rung mortising jig to bore out the mortises for the chair rungs. The jig is angled to accommodate the splayed seat configuration.
  11. John Morris

    Chair Mortises

    From the album: Shaker Furniture

    I had a total of 8 mortises to complete, it took a couple hours. But well worth the time. I could create a jig to cut these with a router, but I'd rather not.
  12. From the album: Shaker Furniture

    The ladder back is ready to glue up, it is racked a tad, but that's expected with hand made works. Once I glue up and clamp it flat to the table top, the ladder back should set up nice and straight.
  13. John Morris

    Shaping Arms

    From the album: Shaker Furniture

    The arms of the New Lebanon Transitional rocker need to be shaped by draw knife and then refined with a combination of chisels and final sanding. I am using my Ebay find, a James Swanson Draw Knife, it's a joy to use.
  14. John Morris

    Back Slats in Form

    From the album: Shaker Furniture

    I tried this once before with these same slats, using only two clamps, and I failed miserably, so I had to put the slats back in the steamer again, and try to get the slats to cooperate in the form. This time I used many clamps, and I even clamped some supports so the forms wouldn't get wiggly and goosey on me.
  15. From the album: Shaker Furniture

    As you can see, this is a far cry from my original idea of using two clamps. The author (Kerry Pierce) of the book I am learning to build chairs from, uses a bench vise to close his forms in, that is an excellent idea, there is no wrestling, no fuss, just insert the steamed slats in the form at the bench vise, and close the vise. I will need to purchase a bench vise with the screw longer than 10" as that is the thickness of my form with the slats in them, pre-bend. That'll have to wait though, as funding becomes available for such a tool. Eventually I'll have to have several bench vises to accommodate the construction of various chairs at once. These slats are a quarter inch thick. The formula for steam bending wood is 1 hour per inch, thus 15 minutes should suffice for these slats, but the author steams his slats for a half hour, so I did as well. I am not that good yet that I can start steering away from sage advice from a professional post and rung chair builder like Kerry Pierce.
  16. From the album: Shaker Furniture

    I even put the posts in the steam box just because, I don't know, but I felt like I needed to before I fired up the steamer, I just wanted to see them in the box! I pulled them back out before I fired up the steamer and waited about 15 minutes for the box to heat up before returning the posts back inside.
  17. From the album: Shaker Furniture

    I sanded the post to 220, I did not get too carried away with the sanding on the rear posts, since it's going into the steamer, the grain will raise anyway. After I took the post to 220 I marked a couple lines where the rear and side rung holes must be drilled, and where the back slats will have to be mortised in by hand.
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