Arts & Crafts Rocking Chair from Fine Woodworking

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Project by Woodwrecker posted 01-25-2019 04:04 AM 1987 views 3 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I saw a nice Rocking Chair that Mike Pekovich from Fine Woodworking presented in the last issue and having never made one, I thought I’d give it a shot.
Lots & Lots of curved and angled joinery and more mortise and tenon work then I’ve done in a long while.
And not having a machine for that made for lots & lots of drilling and chisel work…lol
He made his out of oak and I made mine from cherry.
I took my time and it turned out to be a really fun build. There are bending jigs you have to make for the rockers, and there is a whole class on upholstery for the cushion.
(I used a couple of patio chair cushions after I regained consciousness from looking at what a thick leather cushion would cost to make…holy smokes…lol)
I followed the instructions as best I could and only deviated when his plan called for use of tools or materials I don’t have.
All in all it was a lot of work, but I have to admit that it sits super comfortably, and is a pleasure to sit in.
Well balanced and keeps rocking after you stop pushing for a long time.
I finished it in liberal amounts of linseed oil and then I let it sit in our Florida sunshine for a couple of days and boy o boy did that ever turn it a beautiful brownish amber which everyone here likes. Cherry is really cool that way.
I’ve included a bunch of process shots below in no particular order.
Thank you for looking at it.
And have a great day.

Then, the neighborhood gang showed up to see what was going on. A tough bunch but if you have a couple of bugs laying around to pay them off, they leave you alone…lol

If I ever start making more chairs, I’m going to invest in a nice mortise and tenon machine.

Gave my scrappers a good sharpening and that cherry turned out smooth as a baby’s butt.

The bending form for the rockers took a day to make out of MDF and some scrap cherry for the base.
(currently on Craigslist because it’s too nice to throw out and I don’t have room for all the jigs I have now!)

Then my grandson hung out with me for a while and to do some laps around the driveway.

This chair took a pretty good chunk of my cherry.
I’m going to have to make a run to the lumber yard when management isn’t looking.

Enough pictures. You get the idea.
Thanks again and have a great day.

20 comments so far

View anthm27's profile


1809 posts in 2185 days

#1 posted 01-25-2019 04:21 AM

Thats a great Build,
Superb looking chair and so well done. Im sure that will rock on for a long time to come.
Love the bird life too.

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8046 posts in 4428 days

#2 posted 01-25-2019 04:34 AM

Nice looking rocking chair Woodwrecker! It look solid and should last a life time! Nice display of photo to see also. We get those Sandhill Cranes here sometime and they make some really loud clucking sounds; reminds me of the movie Jurassic Park!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View pintodeluxe's profile


6370 posts in 3888 days

#3 posted 01-25-2019 04:36 AM

Nice build, well done. I’ll bet it’s comfortable.
Keep up the good work.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 2968 days

#4 posted 01-25-2019 11:46 AM

That looks very comfortable with outstanding craftsmanship. Great job buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Oldtool's profile


3215 posts in 3266 days

#5 posted 01-25-2019 12:24 PM

Super build Eric, this rocker looks very nice, great work. I like the use of cherry, beautiful wood, ages to a fantastic patina.
Good set of progress photos, helps to see all you did to accomplish this project. I was looking for a picture of your steaming setup to see how you contained the wood and steam together. Did you use pvc pipe?, or maybe a plastic bag? Steaming is something I’ve yet to try and I am curious how you achieved this.
Thanks for posting.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View EarlS's profile


4446 posts in 3423 days

#6 posted 01-25-2019 01:08 PM

Good looking rocker. Another build on my to-do list. I’m a big fan of A&C furniture and cherry.

I liked the pictures in the post too, especially the avian gang coming around to shake you down. Here in IA that happens with turkeys and Canada geese.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Bricofleur's profile


1480 posts in 4268 days

#7 posted 01-25-2019 01:47 PM

Great build Eric, and a good looking chair. Once again, I’m very proud of you. You’re a very talented and patient woodworker my friend. Your project is very inspiring.


-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View tyvekboy's profile


2112 posts in 4088 days

#8 posted 01-25-2019 02:15 PM

Great project. After having built a rocking chair myself, I can appreciate the work and patience required. Would be nice to have a picture of you sitting in it with a cold one.

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

View swirt's profile


6179 posts in 4047 days

#9 posted 01-25-2019 02:28 PM

Awesome looking chair Woodwrecker. Thanks for including all the great build photos.

-- Galootish log blog,

View PPK's profile


1858 posts in 1884 days

#10 posted 01-25-2019 03:38 PM

Awesome! I liked reading the story about the build. The flock of (cranes?) was funny. My inlaws used to get a flock of turkeys strolling thru their town neighborhood. Great work on the rocker.

-- Pete

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


5986 posts in 3426 days

#11 posted 01-25-2019 04:06 PM

Very nice, I love those A&C rockers. Excellent craftsmanship.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Woodbie's profile


32 posts in 1128 days

#12 posted 01-25-2019 06:58 PM

Awesome work, very good design. Thank you for this helpful blog. Its a very good idea and nice directions how to make it.

-- WoodWork ideas for you

View luv2learn's profile


3120 posts in 3378 days

#13 posted 01-25-2019 07:25 PM

Very nice craftsmanship.

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

View avsmusic1's profile


682 posts in 1760 days

#14 posted 01-25-2019 08:44 PM

Very nice!
I’m thinking of taking a class and building one of these in the summer

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4652 days

#15 posted 01-26-2019 12:48 AM

Super build,nice work.


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