Hal Taylor Rocker

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Project by John Morris posted 10-31-2010 03:35 PM 4267 views 11 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the very first rocker I have ever built. It was a wonderful project. The chair is Cherry with Walnut accents. I could never have done this without the help of Hal Taylor who was always available by email and answered all my questions. Thanks Hal!
I entered the chair in our local art show,(giving credit to Hal Taylor for the design and Sam Maloof for my original inspiration) and the chair took the “Best of Show” award. I was floored. And to top it off, the chair sold!
I am currently locating some lumber for chair number two. On chair number two, I am going to put my own flair into it. Some design changes, drawn out rockers, bat ear head rest, soften the arm a little. Wish me luck!

-- John Morris

35 comments so far

View dufus7441's profile


60 posts in 4209 days

#1 posted 10-31-2010 03:50 PM

Beautiful looking chair. Congrats on the award, well deserved.

-- Paul

View mafe's profile


13683 posts in 4426 days

#2 posted 10-31-2010 03:54 PM

Wauuuuuuuu, what a wonderful rocker, now it’s time for some rock!
So well made and details to cry for.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Walt M.'s profile

Walt M.

245 posts in 4347 days

#3 posted 10-31-2010 04:06 PM

Great job there

View Paul's profile


226 posts in 4788 days

#4 posted 10-31-2010 04:32 PM

How many hours did it take to make?
If you don’t mind me asking how much did the chair sell for?

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 4407 days

#5 posted 10-31-2010 04:35 PM

Good job, it’s a great chair! Hal’s plans, book and video are all top notch east to follow, it seems that anyone that follows his plans comes out with a beautiful chair.

Looking forward to see your next chair!

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 5361 days

#6 posted 10-31-2010 04:36 PM

Very nice job.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4193 days

#7 posted 10-31-2010 04:49 PM

That is a wonderful Chair.
i would love one. :)

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Bluepine38's profile


3393 posts in 4422 days

#8 posted 10-31-2010 05:05 PM

I can see why it took best of show, very good work, and good luck on making your own individual changes to
make it your chair. Can not wait to see the results. Keep up the good work and have fun. I like your two
hand braces and the shoulder drill hanging to the left of your garage door. A man with similar tastes must be
very smart.

As ever, Gus, the 71 year young laborer, trying to become a carpenters apprentice.

-- As ever, Gus-the 83 yr young apprentice carpenter

View John Morris's profile

John Morris

28 posts in 4103 days

#9 posted 10-31-2010 05:06 PM

Paul, this chair took about 3 months of weekends, missing a few days here and there. If I could put an hour length on it, I would have to say between 100 to 130 hours. And the chair sold for three thousand. I was happy to get it. It was fun, and the money was fun to get too. I must admit though, it was rough letting go. :)

-- John Morris

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

743 posts in 4117 days

#10 posted 10-31-2010 05:06 PM

Oooooooohhhhhhhh! Those curves ! Vunderbar!

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View John Morris's profile

John Morris

28 posts in 4103 days

#11 posted 10-31-2010 05:15 PM

Paul from Acton, I gotta agree with you a hundred percent. A lot of folks I think are selling themselves short if they think this project is out of their league. With Hals book and templates, I felt very secure building this chair. I am not going to say it was easy, but nothing was beyond the typical woodworkers skills. If you can swipe a hand plane across wood, if your comfortable with router work, and your a stickler for precise table saw work, your ready to build the chair then. That’s not to say your not going to encounter fatal errors, they happen, there are plenty of “Come to Jesus” moments in the execution of the chair, where you get so far with a component of the chair, and you need to make that one last precise cut, and you blow it, a lot of it can end up in the fireplace. But most small errors are correctable, and the master himself Hal will show you how to fix those up. He has made his big share of mistakes too. And through the years, he has learned to disguise them or make them go away. I feel I was either very fortunate, or very lucky that I had virtually zero errors in this build, I had one joint that I didn’t like to much, fortunately it was on the bottom of the chair, and Hal showed me how to disguise it, it almost disappeared. No one even knows it’s there but me.

-- John Morris

View toxicoval56's profile


162 posts in 4840 days

#12 posted 10-31-2010 05:17 PM

It is one of my woodworking dreams to build one of these chairs. They are beautiful and strong looking. One question, are they as comfortable as they look? I have never actually been around one, seen one, much less sat in one.

Great job, I hope I can do as well on my first attempt.

-- The view only changes for the leading dog.

View John Morris's profile

John Morris

28 posts in 4103 days

#13 posted 10-31-2010 05:17 PM

And thanks guys for the wonderful comments, nothing like an ego booster from fellow woodworkers to start the day off with! Happy Halloween all.

-- John Morris

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 4175 days

#14 posted 10-31-2010 05:18 PM

Love this incredibly beautiful rocker. :) I never have enough wood for building something like that.

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View John Morris's profile

John Morris

28 posts in 4103 days

#15 posted 10-31-2010 05:24 PM

toxico, this chair is the most comfortable chair I have ever sat in, it was made for humans no doubt. The lumbar support is incredible, the arms are at the perfect height, and it rocks well with out the fear of falling backwards. Toxico, build it! It does wonders for the soul to build this project. My whole family became involved in it at one time or another, my 5 year old son helped me build it with his plastic tool set, he’d jump up on the work bench with his tools and stick by my side for hours on end. My wife would come out and help me with grain placement, my daughters would chime in and make suggestions, it was just a really neat thing to do for all. Cool things happen when building these chairs, I can hardly wait to build the second one.

-- John Morris

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