2x4 That Rocks!

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Project by woodup posted 01-31-2008 07:10 AM 25432 views 6 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

What an great lumberjocks challenge to get the creative juices flowing! I had been mulling over what I could pull out of a 2×4 and the rocking chair idea gave me a sleepless night playing with dimensions in my head. The next day I started cutting…..

It almost looks like a rocking chair even in its rough format. Some curves were needed so with the rocker bottoms and the head rest I cut the curves and then reglued them to the oposite surface. This turned out better than I could have planned!

The seat started out with two pieces 13 7/8 with one cut in half and the other cut with a partial angel then rabbited and glued. The angle jig below allowed me to drill into the seat with 5 degrees to the side and ten degrees towards the back to get the seat back tilt. The same jig in a different formation allowed me to get 15 degree angles for the rocker leg supports.

It seemed no tool in my arsenol went unused!

Things are now taking shape and more detail is being added like roughing out scrolling on the rocker bottoms and shaping the armrests.

This illustrates the transformation of the seat. I have always admired the dip in a chair seat and the definition it brings to the chair. I outlined the pattern with scotch tape and used a 60 grit hand sander to tear up the wood.

It’s fun to compare the progress from one stage to the next. The final product has two coats of minwax rosewood stain with the edges ‘worn’ away and a semi gloss on top. The seat has one layer of ipswitch pine and three layer of gloss. I used screws to secure the seat to the front legs then wood glue and my air nailer for the rest.

I have never made a chair before let alone a rocking chair! This was a great challenge and the finished product is very rewarding. It seemed that for every hour of actual work there were at least two hours of trying to problem solve on the next step.

For this project…
Favorite big tools: Belt Sander (birthday gift!), Band Saw.
Favorite small tools: Masking Tape and Protractor.
Favorite jigs: 10 degree, 5 degree angled blocks.
Casuality: multispeed dremel finally bit the dust.
Thanks Yous: mi esposa for her patience during all my ‘garage time’.

-- Michael, Fort Worth, TX. "I wood if I could!"

17 comments so far

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4555 days

#1 posted 01-31-2008 07:18 AM

That is a cute little rocker. After I build a bunk bed, I am going into the chair making business for a little while. I hope I can do as good as you.

It is really hard to believe what we can get out of a humble 2×4. It really make me feel guilty about wasting so much wood on other “normal” projects. Maybe I need to try a little harder to squeeze more out of a board.

By the way, the shot of the kid in the chair is priceless.

Keep up the good work.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4906 days

#2 posted 01-31-2008 07:26 AM

Great looking chair.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4380 days

#3 posted 01-31-2008 11:53 AM

Wow, nice project.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4444 days

#4 posted 01-31-2008 12:50 PM

Cool rocking chair and a great write-up on thr process. Apparently it was a success if you can judge by the last photo, the little lady looks comfortable.

-- Working at Woodworking

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4666 days

#5 posted 01-31-2008 01:01 PM

and once again I have to say: “And that’s from one 2×4???!!!!!!” impressive.
beautiful chair
great description of the process
fantastic photos
and the wee one—icing on the cake!!!
well done

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 4406 days

#6 posted 01-31-2008 01:38 PM

Your first chair? That’s one heck of an achievement Woodup! You didn’t set out to make it easy for yourself. I do like your approach with the rockers and headrest. Starting with a 2×4 has brought out some real resourcefulness.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4385 days

#7 posted 01-31-2008 01:49 PM

very nice work and nice blog as well ! good luck in the contest

View relic's profile


343 posts in 4442 days

#8 posted 01-31-2008 01:50 PM

I agree with Stewart, for a first attempt at a chair, this is terrific.

-- Andy

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4327 days

#9 posted 01-31-2008 02:21 PM

This is a really nice project. I am sure that all is forgiven in this case since the end product justifies the time spent in the shop.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4556 days

#10 posted 01-31-2008 03:12 PM

That is not cool rocker, and it looks like you already have a customer for it.

-- Hope Never fails

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4387 days

#11 posted 01-31-2008 04:17 PM

Very very nice. And the blog too, thanks. A lot going on.
Chairs are the pinnacle of woodworking to me, thanks for the insperation.
I can relate to the time spent thinking about projects. I too find this very enjoyable.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4723 days

#12 posted 01-31-2008 04:40 PM

I think slipping a cutie like that into your project photo constitutes cheating! Great job anyway!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View paddyo's profile


11 posts in 4275 days

#13 posted 02-01-2008 12:30 PM

What a great chair you found hiding in a 2×4! I liked the contrast in your choice of stains and really appreciated seeing the details of the different stages of your project. The angle jigs were clever! The added dimension to the chair seat gives your rocker a lot of character as well as a bit more comfort for the user…..she’s very special and seems quite pleased with your project as well. Kudos on a job well planned and completed!


-- Pat, Hoover,AL Fresh cut wood smells almost as good as fresh baked bread!

View Andy's profile


1713 posts in 4413 days

#14 posted 02-01-2008 02:52 PM

Wow! This is a great chair considering it all came from a 2×4 is even better.The colors really make it pop and the little doll puts this over the top.Well done!

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4496 days

#15 posted 02-01-2008 08:13 PM

That’s great! Well done.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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