Top Secret....Rocker for my Wife #8: Problems and questions

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Blog entry by bues0022 posted 02-18-2011 05:40 AM 1452 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: The race is on! Part 8 of Top Secret....Rocker for my Wife series Part 9: Updated progress »

The problems have been piling up almost as fast as the sawdust!

First came the seat. I put up some questions about warping wood last week. Long story short, the piece of spalted maple that is supposed to be the middle 1” of the seat warped and cupped terribly after machining it flat. After much consideration (and lack of finding any more spalted maple in my area), here’s my work-around plan:

First, I steamed the pieces (2×1x9.5×22) for almost two days. Then I clamped them flat to a double-thick piece of 3/4” plywood with air gaps between all boards. It sat the weekend in my shop, then went for a fun through a coworker’s heat-set oven at 140 degrees. It’s out now and in my shop, but has cracked terribly now. Upon suggestions from several local professional shops, I still am planning on actually using it. The bottom layer of the seat is 15/16” walnut, and the top is 1/4” walnut. During glue-up, I am not only going to clamp vertically, but I am also going to fill all cracks of the maple with a generous amount of glue and clamp horizontally like crazy. I’ll leave it clamped for a few days to make sure the moisture is fully out. The idea is that I’ll hopefully be able to pull many of the cracks at least mostly closed in the maple, and the walnut on top and bottom will help hold everything in place. I realize I may have some minor glue lines after the seat pan is carved, but this is the best thing I can come up with. Suggestions are still welcome though.

Now, the real question comes with my rocker lams. I had resawn enough maple/walnut to go every-other (W-M-W-M…). I was reading a little more in the book, and Hal Taylor suggests only putting one accent stripe in (in this case, the Maple is my accent color) on the 4th lam from the top. I’m now second-guessing my decision to go every-other, and am questioning if it will look too busy. Furthering my problem is that my wood supply is not adequate for enough walnut lams. Adding further complexity is that it looks like as I’m working on sanding/planing down the lams to remove the saw tool-marks, I won’t be able to keep them a full 1/8” (0.125”) thick. I honestly think to remove all the marks I’ll be much closer to 0.100”. I think then that I can just add more lams to make up for the missing material, right? 9×0.125=1.125 – so match this thickness??

I know, I know, what is a wood-working blog without pictures? I’ll snap some soon and show my progress, but honestly right now it’s a few rough-cut pieces and a ton of sawdust.

Insight to my above questions would be greatly appreciated!

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

2 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4271 days

#1 posted 02-18-2011 02:50 PM

well it sounds like your tackling your problems as they arise and are doing what yo u can do to fix them…its all what wood working is about and really even though your asking for help on these issues…seeing the wood and seeing what your doing also aides me in any ideas that i might have… pictures are very important…..realize that…if there are no pictures…it doesn’t exist……....grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View bues0022's profile


256 posts in 4128 days

#2 posted 02-18-2011 08:12 PM

My wife is coming to town this weekend, so everything was cleaned up, and hid out of sight. That means that I’ll be unable to get pictures of my problems. Those will be up early next week. I did, however, snap a quick picture of my headrest idea. I went back-and-forth, but basically I didn’t find 8/4 stock with what I wanted. So I took some heavy 4/4 and doubled it up. The top row is the “front” of the headrest, and the bottom row is the “back”. Both are oriented with up being the top of each respective side. From the little picture, the back piece actually looks like it has more spalt – and should be used on the front, but I believe the spalt runs shallow, and I could mess it up too much through the coopering/forming process. The front pieces also match the spalt style in the seat fairly well. Also, the different walnut pieces are not as dissimilar color as they appear. More pictures/updates to come…

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

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