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HEIRLOOM PROJECT

Oak Rocking Chair

To rock smoothly, the curved rockers have to be identical. The secret is to cut and sand one curved piece smooth. Then use it as a template to make the second one match the first.

Curved parts. That's what makes a Rocking Chair different from an ordinary chair. And cutting curved parts accurately can seem intimidating. But it doesn't have to be if you follow a certain procedure.

exactduplicates. The usual way of making curved pieces graceful and smooth is to start with a grid pattern, then re-use the pattern on all the matching pieces.

On this chair I did something different Because there have to be exact duplicates of many of the curved parts, I didn't re-use the patterns. It doesn't matter if the duplicate pieces aren't exactly like the original pattern. Only that they're exact duplicates of each other.

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The secret is to concentrate on the first piece. After cutting it to rough shape, I sanded until it had a consistently smooth curve. Then, to lay out the matching pieces, I used the first piece as a pattern. Not the original pattern.

cutting angled tenons. There are also a couple pieces in this project that join at an angle. To make cutting these as easy as possible, I built a special jig for the router table. For more on this jig, see page 14.

wood & einish. To give the Rocking Chair the look of an antique, I used quartersawn white oak throughout Then I stained it with Minwax Special Walnut and applied two coats of Minwax Polyurethane to protect the oak.

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