How to Build a Rocking Chair

Learning how to build a rocking chair is a good project for anyone who aspires to build furniture and has intermediate to advanced woodworking skills. There are as many different rocking chair plans as there are styles of decorating-from Arts & Crafts style to ornate Victorian rockers. Some of the more basic construction plans include Adirondack rocking chairs, children's rocking chairs and Arts & Crafts décor style chairs. In general, chairs with thick slats, clean lines and limited ornamentation are ideal for easy custom-made furniture.

Find A Plan
Identify the right size, color, ornamentation and wood for the rocking chair, and match that to the right set of plans. Many rocking chair plans are available online that list the tools needed, the exact measurements of the wood required and specific step-by-step instructions. Choose the plans that are free, easy to follow and comprehensive. For an example, visit Amateur Woodworker.

Tools And Materials
To make a wooden rocking chair, you'll need to gather a jig saw, drill, orbital sander and a belt sander. A screwdriver and screws will keep the chair together. Also, pick up wood stain, brushes and varnish (optional). Don't forget the protective eyewear that you should have for any woodworking project.

Wood
A wooden rocking chair requires plenty of lumber for the back legs, front legs, arm rests, seat slats, back support slats and the rockers. As with all woodworking projects, follow the instructions carefully so there are no mistakes when cutting. Rocking chairs can be made out of a variety of wood, from pine, oak and maple to cherry or mahogany. The plan will also show you where to carve out notches so certain pieces will fit better together. Sand each piece to a smooth finish, and stain.

Assembly
Assembling the rocking chair is somewhat detailed. First the seat and front support are assembled, and then the back rest. Experts advise to work from the front of the rocking chair to the back. The back rest can be assembled next, followed by the rockers.

Finish Work
Because a wooden rocking chair will be used so much, and subject to the weather if placed outside, apply a varnish to protect the wood and seal in the stain. A varnish also allows you to clean any wood furniture of dust, dirt or debris. All you need is a damp cloth.

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