10 students left Saturday evening, tired but satisfied, having finished a fine heirloom Craftsman Style Rocking Chair.
It’s always a great experience when after you have worked so long cutting joints and shaping wood it all finally comes together. Getting the shoulders to fit tightly on the rockers is one of the more challenging elements of the chair. One of our students, Jon, who has been an artist and woodcarver all his life, offered a great suggestion while we were trying to fit the shoulders of the rockers. He asked if I had ever used carbon paper. I said well I had used chalk for fitting a bass bar to a violin top but never had I tried the carbon paper. So off I went to the office to find carbon paper and within minutes I was trying out Jon’s trick. It worked perfectly. I put the carbon paper face down on the shoulder of the tenon on the chair and fit the rocker in place. Tap it and it leaves a perfect mark where it is high, subsequently where wood has to be removed! I was delighted.
Here are a few pictures of everyone working with intense focus on Saturday, trying to finish.
Jonathan is helping Steve glue up his chair, and then Steve with his finished chair.
Here is Bruce shaping the arm of his rocking chair with a drawknife.
Bruce is carving the final touches on the end of the arm post of his chair.
Jon and his son relaxing in their finished chairs at the end of a great week.
I often have several requests on how to finish the chair. As time does not permit us to actually apply a finish, I spend some time talking about it towards the end of the day on Saturday. My next post will be a step by step tutorial on how we finish the rocking chairs, so be sure to check back in soon.
If you have already taken the Foundational Course and you would like to sign up for the next rocking chair course, Click the link, Craftsman Rocking Chair Course