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help making rockers for rocking chairs

#1310 by pghowell » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:04 am

Does anyone know of a jig to cut out the rockers for a rocking chair. I have tried to cut it out manually with my band saw but it is not perfect. Can anyone help.

thanks,

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#1311 by rdubbs » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:50 am

Could you then use a hardboard/plywood template and a routher with a pattern bit? The overarm pin router would rock on this project!

---

Rick Dubbs
2004 520 w/bandsaw, jointer, belt sander, DC 3300, Universal Lathe Tool Rest, Talon chuck, & Lathe Duplicator

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#1338 by ericolson » Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:55 pm

When making the rockers, the bandsaw should be used for rough cutting the pattern. To refine the shape, you should do as Rick suggests: make a template of the leg profile and use a router with a pattern cutting bit. I usually make the rough cut on the bandsaw, template rout the pattern for smoothing, and any additional shaping (curves, roundovers, etc) I usually do by hand with a variety of hand tools: files, rasps, spokeshave, etc. If it's a flat profiled rocker, then template routing should do the trick for you.

Eric

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#1353 by Greenvilleguy » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:19 pm

One more quick comment.

I also rough cut them on the bandsaw after making a pattern and clean them up on the sander. I carpet tape them together before cutting and sanding to insure they end up indentical.

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Rocking Horse Templates

#4033 by alancooke » Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:03 pm

SS sells plans for an 'Heirloom Rocking Horse' item# 803123 - pg. 89 of latest Father's Day sale catalog. These plans offer some good advice for cutting out the rockers that could be applied to chairs as well. ie. attaching your router to a pivot board allowing you to route a perfect arc with just one step.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm builing one for my g.daughter and I'm almost to that step. His photo shows him doing it and you can see hundreds of rockers stacked up in the background so it must work pretty good.

I know this thread is already pretty old but maybe this will help in the future!

Alan

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help making rocker for rocking chairs

#4035 by alaskanexile » Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:11 am

Couple of yrs ago I made a cradle which was patterned after one which my ancestors brought over from Norway in the 1850's. Did a rough tracing from the old rockers, then cut them out on the band saw like you did. They certainly were far from perfect at that point. Next I slowly worked them down on the disk sander till they were pretty good. Never did get them perfect but, they were considerably better than the originals which were probably all done with hand tools. That still doesn't answer your question about the jig, but if you can find a good original rocker for a reference, and take your time with the disk sander, I'll bet you can do pretty well.
Roger

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#4036 by rkh2 » Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:48 am

I took a class at woodcraft and built a Windsor chair rocker and the method we used was just a template drawn on the wood, and then cut with a band saw and as far as the bottoms, we used an oscillating sander to shape them to the final finish. It seemed to work well, as the chair rocks well.

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Ron from Lewisburg, TN

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Rocker strength

#4037 by Greenvilleguy » Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:45 am

One more quick comment. Cutting rockers provides two more challenges: making them strong and not wasting stock.

I made a couple of rocking horses from plans out of an old Wood magazine (Nov 1995, plans available http://woodstore.net/playpalrocho.html). To provide strength, the rocker blanks were glued up in an interesting way. Each blank consisted of two thicknesses of stock. The inside stock was two pieces with a mitered joint at the correct angle to allow the curves to be cut. The outside stock was three pieces: one long one for the bottom and two sections glued on the ends so the curve rocker could be cut from the assembly. These two were then glued together providing no common joints and an varied grain orientation in each blank.

I tried to upload a picture (in a word doc), but the forum seems to be having "issues" right now. I'll try again later.

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#4040 by john » Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:28 pm

I have the SS rocking horse plans but didn't feel like going through the set-up for his method so I made a template from 1/4" hardboard, cut them on the bandsaw, and then did like "Greenvilleguy", taped them together and sanded to indentical shape. This method has worked for making several rocking horses.

I would like to try the router and template method but the last time I tried that on a project all I did was ruin the template. I must admit I was using a template bushing with the bit and not a bearing bit.

Good luck!

John

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