I am trying to contact Popular Woodworking, but their ad server is slow as
molassas in January.
On page 48 of the October 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking, there is a
picture on a rocking chair. For some unexplained reason, I want to build
it. I realize I have two choices on the legs and back, steam or laminate.
Given the way the arm comes in, lamination might be the easier. Either way,
I am going to have to build some bending forms.
My question is, the back has bends in two planes, how do you make the form?
Bending in one plane is a snap, two 90 degrees to each other would not be
that hard either. However, two at once, when they are ofset about 30-40
degrees is a bit more than I am familiar with.
Any help greatly appreciated.
Known as a developed surface, find an old time Drafting text or as an
alternate, find a text that shows how to layout developed surfaces
used in the sheet metal industry.
If you laminate, the form is simple. Build up several layers of MDF,
cut the ess curves in it, glue one half down on a board to keep it all
flat, and use the halves on either side to compress the plies into the
curve you want.
For steam, it might be easiest to use pegs to get your curve, or
perhaps a solid bottom half and a pair of removable pegs to get that
upper curve. Steam, insert the bottom half into the solid area,
bending as you go, then add the next limiter peg and do the last curve
the other direction, followed by the top peg to hold that curve. Was
tha clear enough?
Hmm, to keep from marring the piece, a curved head might be needed for
the top 2 pegs, maybe with a rubber insert to pad the compression
Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.
-- Robert J. Sawyer
I've built quite a few rockers. Make sure your front legs are the
same length and make sure the back legs are the same length.... the
front doesn't have to be the same length as the back. Make sure the
right side legs and rockers are a mirror image of the left side, i.e.,
front toe-out / back heel-in angles, relative to the center line of
the seat, are the same, or the rocker may creep sideways across the
floor, as you rock.
Three things that make a rocker creep: 1) One leg is too long,
rockers not coplanor, 2) Rocker (front toe-out/back heel-in) angles
not the same, 3) If the chair is correct, the floor (unlevel, carpet
pile, etc.) influences the creep.
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