Arm Rests

When the back and front assemblies are connected, the project is almost a chair. But it wouldn't be a very comfortable chair without a pair of arm rests.

arm brackets. To support each arm rest at the front, I added an arm bracket. The arm brackets (J) each start out as a rectangular blank of W-thick stock, see Fig. 13.

tenons. The next step is to cut a tenon along one side and one end of the blank, see Fig. 13a. (The tenons are more like tongues — they don't have very wide shoulders.)

I used a dado blade in the table saw to cut each tenon. First position the rip fence to the desired tenon length. Then make two passes over the dado blade, flipping the piece between passes. Sneak up on the height of the dado blade until the tenon fits the mortise in the front leg, see Fig. 13a. Then cut all four tenons to this thickness. decorative arc. Complete the arm brackets by cutting a decorative arc on the outside edge, see Fig. 13.

Next trim back the tenon on the top outside corner and also the bottom inside corner of each bracket see Figs. 13 and 13a. This creates a shoulder that hides the joint line between the tenon and the mortise.

.arm rest. When the arm brackets were complete, I began work on the two arm rests (K). First cut the blanks to rectangular shape, see Fig. 14. Next make an angled cut to remove the back outside comer of each blank.

.arm rest notch. When each blank has been cut to shape, cut a small notch in the back inside corner, see Fig. 14. This allows the arm rest to "wrap around" the back leg, refer to Fig. 18.

back leg ledge. The back of the arm rest is supported by a small triangular "ledge" cut in the back leg, see Fig. 15b.

To locate the position of this ledge, rest the front of the arm rest on the front leg and support the back of the arm rest on a 10"-long temporary spacer, see Fig. 15. Now draw a pencil line around all the edges of the arm rest see Figs. 15 and 15a. Then chisel between these lines to form the ledge.

front mortise. When the ledges are cut, the arm brackets can be glued into the mortises in the front legs, see Fig. 13a. Then place the arm rest in position in the ledge.

Now reach under the front of the arm rest and trace around the tenon at the top of the arm bracket see Figs. 16 and 16a. This shows where to drill a mortise on the underside of the arm rest Drill the %"-deep mortise to match the thickness of the tenon (¥2").

pins & screws. Finally, the arm rests can be attached to the chair. To keep the tenon in place in the mortise, I glued the joint and drove a dowel into the tenon through a hole in the edge of the arm rest see Fig. 17.

Secure the back of the arm rest with a wood-screw and plug it with a dowel, see Fig. 18.

SPACER

SPACER

FIRST:

MARK SIDE OF

GRID DIVIDED PATTERN FOR ROCKER (T)

INTO 1" SQUARES

NOTE: TRANSFER SHAPE ONTO GLUED-UP BLANK (SEE FIG. 19)

IQ NOTE:

TWO ROCKERS CAN BE CUT FROM BLANK

LAMINATE THREE PIECES OF 3 4" STOCK TO MAKE 2V4" BLANK

IQ NOTE:

TWO ROCKERS CAN BE CUT FROM BLANK

pattern to lay out the second, see Fig. 20. Then repeat the saw and sand procedure.

Note: It's important that both rockers be shaped exactly the same. Otherwise, when the Rocking Chair is assembled, instead of just rocking, the chair could also walk.

GRID DIVIDED PATTERN FOR ROCKER (T)

INTO 1" SQUARES

NOTE: TRANSFER SHAPE ONTO GLUED-UP BLANK (SEE FIG. 19)

ROCKERS

LAMINATE THREE PIECES OF 3 4" STOCK TO MAKE 2V4" BLANK

At this point the project has evolved into an arm chair. By adding a pair of curved rockers to the bottom of the legs, it becomes a rocking chair (without a seat).

built-up blanks. Both rockers are cut from a blank that's made from three pieces of ^4"-thick stock glued together, see Fig. 19. This forms a 2W'-thick blank. (Another way to make the rockers would be to start with thin, wide strips, then laminate them in a bending jig. For more on this technique, refer to Woodsmith No. 72.)

transfer pattern. When the glue has dried on the oversize rocker blanks, transfer the shape from the grid pattern (above) to the side of one of the blanks, see Fig. 19.

saw & sand. Now if s just a matter of band-sawing the rocker (L) to within W1 of the pattern line. Then sand up to the pencil line to smooth out the curves.

Now use the completed first rocker as a

ATTACHING THE ROCKERS

When I was satisfied that the rockers were shaped identically, I prepared to attach them to the legs of the chair.

The front and back legs were built a couple inches longer than needed. This was done so the legs can be cut to length to match the curve of the rocker.

mark front leg. To locate the point on the legs where the rockers attach, first measure down from the side seat rail and make a mark to indicate where the front leg is cut off, see Fig. 21.

mark back leg. For the most accurate measurement on the curved back leg, 1 used a two-step procedure. First, I made a mark on the edge of the back leg to indicate the bottom edge of the side rail, see Fig. 21. Then I used a straight edge to measure 834" down from this mark, and made a second mark at this point on the inside edge of the back leg.

Note: The procedure for measuring down from the side rail is not as critical as following the same procedure on both back legs.

P0sm0N rockers. Now position the rocker across the legs so the top edge of the rocker aligns to the marks on the legs, see Fig. 21. There should be a 1 Vi>" overhang at the front, see Fig. 22a. Draw a line across the legs using the rocker as a guide for the pencil.

cut off leg bottoms. Now the legs can be cut off at the pencil line. To get a clean, straight cut, I used a small block clamped to the leg as a saw guide. Then, I sanded the bottoms of the legs for a perfect fit with the rockers, see Shop Notes on page 16.

attach rockers. To fasten the rockers to the chair legs, I used woodscrews plugged with short lengths of dowel, see Fig. 22a. A bar clamp between the top of the side rail and the bottom of the rocker holds the rocker in place while drilling a pilot hole for the screw and a counterbore for the plug, see Fig. 22a.

FOR SECOND

ROCKER USE WASTE FROM BLANK

FINISH FIRST ROCKER, THEN USE AS A PATTERN TO LAY OUT SECOND ROCKER

FOR SECOND

ROCKER USE WASTE FROM BLANK

FINISH FIRST ROCKER, THEN USE AS A PATTERN TO LAY OUT SECOND ROCKER

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  • Lena
    How to remove armrests from rocking chair and secure the back?
    8 years ago

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