Top Secret....Rocker for my Wife #12: Thoughts/opinions about back braces

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Blog entry by bues0022 posted 02-27-2016 06:34 PM 1264 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Slow progress and more problems - Help Needed!! Part 12 of Top Secret....Rocker for my Wife series no next part

So before I get to my question, I realize that I may be approaching some kind of a record…...over 5 years in the making of my wife’s rocking chair. Instead of finishing it for my first child (we now have 2, ages 4 and 2), I’m now focused on finishing it to prove that I’m not going to be a chair flunkie.

On to the question:

I’m about to cut the top of the back braces, and my plans might be shifting. I need aesthetic opinions, and structural thoughts (especially from those who’ve made chairs, or broken back slats before).

My original plan was to keep the “typical” pattern of Hal Taylor, which would be an inverse curve from my headrest (I turned the headrest upside down).

However, I’m second guessing this thought because I’m concerned about maybe having too many design features, and just making it overly busy. Am I being too critical? (I’m an engineer, so overthinking things kinda runs in me). So, next, I thought about mirroring the flow of the headrest:

I find this a little too plain for my tastes. I really like the look of some of the slats having a tall section of “spindle” look to them. So I started playing with some other ideas .The pencil lines on the left (blue) and right (green) of the center slat are just a little different. The left-most slat has nearly zero “straight” section, so this option has a more dramatic sweeping look than the right side. I realize both are essentially straight lines right now (not a curve when connecting one slat to the next), but I’ll remedy that before actually cutting.

Are these last two going to be weak? The longest section of a “spindle” topped back slat is the middle one – the one which would get the most stress on it from sitting down. What do you think of my original idea? Is this getting too complex? What do you think? and what would you do?

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

5 comments so far

View Bruce1963's profile


13 posts in 1620 days

#1 posted 02-27-2016 08:06 PM

I’m no expert, but I don’t know if I’d do much at all. It seems to me the overall shape of the chair is that it is broader at the top, and so the slats should flow as such. If you want to add some detail; rather than thinning the slats, add some engraving.

That said-beautiful job. Very nice.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3491 days

#2 posted 02-28-2016 12:59 AM

The ones in the last pic work for me. This is gonna be a beauty.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bues0022's profile


250 posts in 3961 days

#3 posted 02-28-2016 01:31 AM

I just thought of another new option: Keep the line of the headrest, but make the spindle top section taller?

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View lightweightladylefty's profile (online now)


3569 posts in 4513 days

#4 posted 02-28-2016 03:04 AM


I can’t help you with your question, but I’m really glad to see you’re back at it! We’ll look forward to seeing your progress and what you decide.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View sras's profile


5533 posts in 3930 days

#5 posted 02-28-2016 10:21 PM

Hey! I remember this project! Good to see you are back at it. Don’t worry about the slow progress – for some reason people are impressed with projects when I say how many years it took to complete.

Since you asked, I like your second option – maybe even a little shorter spindle section. The chair itself is quite impressive with lots of character already.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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