Glued up, Laminated, Sculpted, OSB, Rocker Build

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Blog entry by luv2learn posted 03-03-2014 11:56 PM 8591 reads 17 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This rocker is a James Cole creation. He has been good enough to share his plans, for free, with all who would like to build this beauty. You can find them here

The first thing I did was to save his plan pages using the”save image as” function since the plans are not in a downloadable format. Once I had saved all the pages I imported the two plan pages into Matthias Wandel’s Big Print software. Since Mr. Cole drew his plans on a 1” grid is was easy to scale them up in Big Print.

The next step was to print out the plans and make full scale templates of the pieces on hard board.

I stacked two pieces of 21/32” by 4×8 sheets of OSB together, it took 2 1/2 sheets to complete the project, and then laid out all the pieces on the top sheet.

I fastened the two layers of OSB together by using two 1 1/4” sheet rock screws inside the layout of each piece. Then I began the task of rough cutting out all the pieces using my jig saw.

Once all the pieces were cut out I fastened the templates back on and took them over to my “homemade 16” bandsaw to final trim them to approximately 1/16” of the template.

Leaving the templates in place I routed all the pieces to the templates using a 1 5/8” tall trim router bit.

Did I mention the huge amounts of saw dust I created during this process. It was now time to glue up the pieces. I started with the seat. first I glued up the individual pieces into pairs.

Then I glued up the pairs until I had 7 pairs glued together. this formed the seat bottom.

To form the wings of the seat and back I offset and glued five of the pieces on each side. the stagger was 1/8” forward and up on each of the five pieces.

Once the two wings were glued up I attached them to the 7 pairs of the seat bottom.

The next step was to glue a pair of what Mr. Cole calls “Small transitions” to each side of the wings.

Now it was time to assemble the rocker sides. There are three layers of the rocker sides that form the core of this assembly and several smaller pieces called arm, side, front leg, and rear leg caps. These pieces are added to provide sculpted contours to the sides.

The last pairs of pieces to be added to the interior of the chair sides are what Mr. Cole calls ” Big
Transitions” Here is a photo of one side temporarily attached to the seat. I should mention that there are alignment points laid out on his plans to help locate the balance point between the seat and the rocker sides.
The second photo barely shows them with 16 penny nails sticking out of them. The nails are used as alignment pins between the seat assembly and the rocker assembly.

Now that both rocker sides are made and the balance points established it was time to start the sculpting process. I started with the seat assembly first. I did not attach the rocker assemblies to the seat until the sculpting was completed. I sculpted the seat and the rockers with bar clamps holding the rocker sides to the seat.

Well, I got caught up in the sculpting process I forgot to take pictures of every cut but I was finally finished blending the seat with the rocker sides so it was time to glue the three pieces together.

This was the first time the chair stood without clamps holding it together.

Now all was left was the sanding and finishing.

You can see and read a more detailed account of how to build this chair on Mr. Cole’s website

I started this project on Jan. 11th of this year. It has been quite the experience to say the least. Now I have the confidence to build this chair out of real wood. Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. It is an awesome chair design, thanks Mr. Cole for sharing it with us.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

21 comments so far

View Nitreug's profile


41 posts in 1923 days

#1 posted 03-04-2014 12:22 AM

Wow, this is quite impressive. Being such a horribly porous material, how did you manage to get what looks like a smooth finish? I am quite in awe with your skills!

View Roger's profile


20993 posts in 3131 days

#2 posted 03-04-2014 12:26 AM

Lee, this is one heck-of-a process. Wow! Really nice build tho.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2814 days

#3 posted 03-04-2014 12:38 AM

Hey Lee…. those look really cool, but I find myself getting OSB splinters just looking at the pictures!

Also, the feet on the foot stool reminds me of the clod hoppers on my son when he was about 3 years old.

Keep up the great work!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View luv2learn's profile


2924 posts in 2630 days

#4 posted 03-04-2014 01:09 AM

Nitreug, OSB is very porous but with three coats of water based poly and sanding after each coat the finish came out OK. However, it is still rougher than if I had made this from real wood.

Thanks Roger, the process was messy and time consuming but it was a learning experience. Besides, how many people have OSB rockers :-)

Dallas, I just got two splinters during the whole process :-) The feet on the footstool kinda reminds me of frog legs :-).

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2619 days

#5 posted 03-04-2014 01:33 AM

Very interesting process that obviously required a great amount of determination to bring to fruition. Congratulations on an ultra cool project and a great blog—thanks for sharing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Lynn Bradford.'s profile

Lynn Bradford.

71 posts in 2189 days

#6 posted 03-04-2014 01:55 AM

Sam Maloof would have been in awe. Nice job!

-- Lynn Bradford | Indiana | A poor excuse is better than none.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3017 days

#7 posted 03-04-2014 01:59 AM

You are a talented and resourceful woodworker!

Your shop made bandsaw is likewise impressive.

Thanks for doing the blog and posting the link to the plans.

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30287 posts in 2665 days

#8 posted 03-04-2014 02:16 AM

Just an awesome build. You should be proud.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View HuckD's profile


311 posts in 2041 days

#9 posted 03-04-2014 03:13 AM

Very nice Lee. I can’t imagine the time and dust involved with that project. Well done. Can’t wait to see one you make from “real wood”.

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

View tyvekboy's profile


1875 posts in 3340 days

#10 posted 03-04-2014 03:25 AM

Good blog. Thanks.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View doubleDD's profile


8220 posts in 2370 days

#11 posted 03-04-2014 03:45 AM

Very impressive Lee. The process looks simple and complex at the same time. Well done. Heck, I got dizzy looking at the first few pictures with all those lines. A lot of lead on this one.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3314 days

#12 posted 03-05-2014 10:51 PM

Thanks for putting this blog together.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View luv2learn's profile


2924 posts in 2630 days

#13 posted 03-06-2014 01:38 AM

You are welcome Scott.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Gary's profile


64 posts in 2589 days

#14 posted 03-08-2014 03:20 PM


Nice job!

How heavy is the finished piece?

And what wheels did you use on the angle grinders for the sculpting?

Do you intend to use solid wood for the follow-on project? I kinda think baltic birch plywood would look cool.

-- Cheers -- g

View luv2learn's profile


2924 posts in 2630 days

#15 posted 03-08-2014 04:04 PM

Gary, the chair weighs 57 lbs. and the stool weighs 26 lbs. I used a diamond impregnated 4” cup wheel and 4” 60 grit to 120 grit flap disc I found at Harbor Freight. A friend also loaned me his 4” cup shaped wheel called a Holy Galahad made by King Arther tools. If you build one from baltic birch plan on buying 2 1/2 sheets of 3/4”x 4×8.

Yes, I intend to build my next one out of red fir because I have a lot of it on our land.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

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