Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Handmade Rocking Chair- The Waltham Rocker by Timothy Clarkrk

I have many favorites, but this rocker ranks very high.  A rocker is the top dog of chairs in my mind and this one is just so raw and refined at the same time.   Making a new one always brings be back to Williamsburg, VA where in 7th grade, I was first exposed to quality hand work when I saw wooden instrument makers, furniture makers and a man making cedar shingles on a shaving horse.  The smells of the green wood, the hissing of hand planes and the thunking of chisels and mallets.  I am a laborer at heart.  I love the making.

Below, I am in the middle of trimming the wedged spindle ends on the underside of the rocker seat.  This rocker is to be finished with milk paint, so I use poplar or Aspen for the seat.  A good wood for painting and strong but fairly easy to shape.

 The next few shots show the back going on.

Spindles are inserted and wedged 2 at a time.

awaiting arms
 Below, a roughed out arm rail lamination is drilled and the hand is marked for sawing.  As can be seen, extra wood is added to accommodate the hand.  The hand looks more like a paw but it is called a hand. I borrowed the idea for this hand from a 1700's chair that I saw when I used to spend a lot of time at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont.  

Below is the rail ready for assembly.  You are looking at the bottom of the rail.

These two chairs have their second coats of milk paint.  They appear a bit gray as they have not yet received their coat of oil and varnish which will saturate the dry looking paint.

Happy Spring

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