How to Build a Rocking Chair
"It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog,
It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log…"
One of the first things that comes to mind when listening to this evergreen Beatles song is a nice, comfortable rocking chair! Truly, a cozy and comfy rocking chair can be one of the best ways to relax after a tiring day's work. A good rocking chair is a must-have piece of furniture, and for those of you who long for one, you don't need to look too far.
Making a Rocking Chair
Before you go about building a rocking chair, you should know certain basics about the chair components, material used, etc. A rocking chair typically consists of the following parts:
Wooden rocking chairs are mostly made of hardwood such as oak, teak, and at times, even walnut. Hardwood is always preferred for its sturdiness and durability, so it is advisable that you select a similar type of wood while making your rocking chair.
Rocking chairs are available in many varieties, designs and patterns. One of the first things that you need to do is prepare a detailed sketch of the type of chair that you intend to make.
Google for some common, easy-to-make rocking chair designs and use them as a reference, if necessary. Make sure that you specify all the measurements and other necessary design details in your sketch, before you proceed with any further steps.
The best and most logical way to make a rocking chair from scratch is to build different chair parts individually and then assemble them together at the end.
Start with the front legs of the chair. Using your sketch as a guide, measure the appropriate length of the piece of wood and mark it with a pencil. Cut it uniformly with a sharp saw. In case of the rear legs, take into account the curvature of the rockers and adjust the leg length accordingly.
Once you are done with the chair legs, move on to the chair seat. Depending on your sketch, cut a square or rectangular-shaped wooden plank of adequate thickness. It should be strong enough to bear your weight so be careful about this. Attach the seat to the legs. You can either glue it using special chemical adhesives or you can nail it together.
Next up is the backrest frame. Now this is something that you should pay careful attention to. From an ergonomic point of view, the backrest should ideally have a slight curvature to it for proper back support, comfort, and to prevent your back from getting stiff. You can shape the wood as per your wish in order to get the desired degree of curve.
Wooden slats are commonly used as part of the backrest. Make sure that you curve them to the same extent as the backrest frame. Once again, you have both options of either gluing or nailing the wooden slats to the backrest frame.
After you've completed the backrest, move on to the armrests. These are relatively easy to attach, whereas the actual difficulty lies in deciding upon their thickness, width and height. Refer to your sketch measurements and attach the armrests accordingly.
The next part involves attaching the rockers. Once again, pay attention to this particular part of your rocking chair. Make sure that you design the rockers in such a way that they are long, strong and stable enough.
After you've attached all the individual parts, sandpaper them to get a soft, smooth finish. Finally, apply a coat of paint or resin to give it a warm and homely look.
Rocking chairs make for a great piece of home furniture, outdoor furniture, as well as patio furniture. Using this do-it-yourself guide, you can make a rocking chair within no time at all. Place it near your fireplace and it becomes a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the day.