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View TObenhuber's profile

Cole Rocking Chair

by TObenhuber
posted 02-02-2017 01:31 AM


39 replies so far

View oldwood's profile

oldwood

155 posts in 1540 days


#1 posted 02-02-2017 04:58 AM

Great project for that old wood,
As for the grinding disc. don’t overlook the 4” ones from HF. I was wanting one of the $40-$80 but tried these and they do a pretty good job for less than $10.
Good luck with the build and keep us posted on the progress.

4

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2915 posts in 2599 days


#2 posted 02-02-2017 05:59 AM

Travis, this is going to be one beautiful chair. I can see it already!!

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

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#3 posted 02-02-2017 06:22 AM

Luv2learn and oldwood, thanks for the encouragement. This is probably going to be a long on going forum post but I will continue to circle back to it as I go. I enjoy time lapse and I generally post them to my Facebook and Instagram page. I will be sure to link them here for all to see as well. I’ll do my best to make the glue drying and sanding look interesting. LOL!!!

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#4 posted 02-03-2017 03:27 PM

To start with, this project has a little bit of prep work before the wood working can begin.

The first directions on Cole’s site are as follows:

Step 1. Take a screen grab of this rocker template.

Step 2. Create a 24”x 48” _ 1”sq. grid on a piece of ½” MDF.

Step 3. Using the screen grab as a guide, work up the drawing to scale. Why?

Why draw?

The reason we want to work the drawing up instead of just using a template is that unless you can draw it you can’t sculpt it. This stuff ain’t square boys and girls. This is a 3D space mass study and you have to get your head wrapped around the 2D part before you go crazy with your shaping tools.

Working the drawing up forces you to better understand what the shape is and why it is drawn that way. It allows you to change the 2D shape to fit your sanders and grinders. If you draw it and you like the proportions, you have a much better chance of making that happen when you get to the 3D sculpting part.

I like to say – draw the silhouette to get 2 dimensions and let your shaping tools give you the 3rd dimension.

So hang in there… just take it one square at a time and pretty soon the rocking chair shape will start to make sense.

With this being said, I might have decided to cheat on this part with all respect to Mr Cole. So sue me (please don’t). For me, a larger template spray adhesived to my template material sounded better. I understand the logic behind what Cole is saying. If you are considering this rocking chair build, I would think you have the artistic side in check. If not, you might take Cole’s advice on the templates. It would be better you realize this project isn’t for you while making the templates before you commit to the larger project.

My method for the enlargement used a free enlargement website. I was skeptical of clicking on this site based on the name The Rasterbator but it was safe. At least if not, let the viruses stay on my computer because I now have the PDFs ready to share with you. You can PM me for the PDFs. A few clicks and I had my screen grabbed image in a PDF to the 1 inch by 1 inch square dimension specified on the templates. Easy.

Screen grab of the website home page if you need it for something else. Click the hyper link above to bring you there.

Now I am able to print the PDF to full scale on my normal printer using 8.5”X11” Standard Letter sized printer paper. The PDF will give you a print 24” X 48”. Cheaper than going to Staples or Office Max. The plus side also is I don’t have to leave home to talk to the wonderfully silly printer folks and try to convince them the squares need to be 1 inch by 1 inch. Winning all around.

The only thing for the paper template you still need is 40 sheets of paper, the ink necessary in the printer, regular scotch tape, and a place large enough to layout your sheets to line them up. The template does give you little marks to help line them up precisely. The pages are also numbered like battleship. A1, C3, D5…etc. I imagine you don’t have to be exact to the 1,000th of an inch at this point but every little bit helps.

I received some assistance in the layout.

I used the glass topped coffee table with a flash light underneath to help me line up the pages.

I put some tape on the front and back of the template to make it stay together as one page better. Not 100% necessary considering I will spray adhesive this to some scraps soon enough.

I trimmed the edges and rolled them up to be stored until I can get to the shop. Working night shift and the cold weather is helping me stay patent in my quest for drier wood. Twirling thumbs in anticipation.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View sras's profile

sras

5013 posts in 3425 days


#5 posted 02-03-2017 04:45 PM

Interesting! Looking forward to seeing your progress.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View rustynails's profile

rustynails

820 posts in 2825 days


#6 posted 02-03-2017 04:54 PM

I have never seen a plywood rocker before. I like it!

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#7 posted 02-03-2017 05:11 PM

I think its a very interesting concept as well. Thanks for the support.

Luv2Learn did an OSB Rocker of the same style. I can’t imagine the literal dust storm he must have had during the sculpting phases. I’ll bet the hardwood won’t be much different but hopefully a few less ply/osb chemicals involved. Luv2Learn is my current inspiration considering I have stumbled across his post several times over the last year or two. Finally have the right wood at the right time.

Link to his build below:
http://lumberjocks.com/luv2learn/blog/40157

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

402 posts in 3378 days


#8 posted 02-03-2017 07:08 PM

That is a cool way to do most of the shaping of a sculpted rocking chair. Most of the shape is already in place as soon as it is glued up.

I really like the looks of the solid wood chair. And the plywood version on his web site looks nice. Arauco plywood from Home Depot might work nicely. It has reasonably thick plys without a lot of voids.

It also looks like the arms could be sculpted into the back of the chair. The supports could be made a bit thinner and it would still be a lot stronger.

-- Steve

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#9 posted 02-03-2017 11:41 PM


I really like the looks of the solid wood chair. And the plywood version on his web site looks nice. Arauco plywood from Home Depot might work nicely. It has reasonably thick plys without a lot of voids

It also looks like the arms could be sculpted into the back of the chair. The supports could be made a bit thinner and it would still be a lot stronger.

Good to know about the plywood. I don’t know if I will have enough wood for a second hardwood version if that’s ever in the plans but if I like it enough the first time maybe plywood will work. I’ll keep it in mind.

Interesting idea about the arms rapping around to the back. If there is ever a second one I might have to consider that. Thanks

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#10 posted 02-07-2017 12:11 AM

Today was all about templates. At least starting templates.

Knowing I need some template material I went to the BORG and took a look to price things out. I saw Luv2Learn made his templates out to hard board. I looked to see the reason behind that. Turns out it was probably price. It was cheap to use the 1/8” hard board vs any plywood options. Then I strolled by the cull rack and much to my amazement, there was 75% of a full sheet of 1/8” hard board. WIN!!! I made it out of the BORG for under $3 for hard board and under $6 for spray adhesive. I did get some Fir for a commission project but not related.

Having already made the paper templates, it was time to start cutting. I trimmed around the template before I spray adhesived it to the hardboard.

Then spray adhesive time.

Then the cutting began. I initially started on the bandsaw. This worked well but my little 10” could only do some much. The rest was cut on the jigsaw. Not an advertisement but that green saw is actually pretty good. Just make sure you tighten the base plate at 90 degrees. For the hardboard, you need to use a fine tooth blade.

I would have liked to finish more templates but at least this one is done. It’s a start.

More template making to follow. Stand by.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#11 posted 02-17-2017 07:21 PM

Continued my progress today as the wood continues to dry inside under my stairs. Its fairly dry in there. I also added a heater to help dry out the wood a little bit faster. I do have it on a switch I can easily turn on and off when I leave the house. The heater is new and shouldn’t have any problems but there is a smoke detector down there just in case.

The heater typically keeps everything down there in the low 80’s when I’m home. This is better than the 60’s I see in that room when the heater isn’t running. This on top of the 30% humidity, its winter with the heat running, my Nest Thermostat keeps showing should get the wood dry fairly quickly. I also have a dehumidifier that runs down there almost all year round keeping the moisture down around 40%-50%. I hope its better than keeping it outside where it was under a deck.

While I wait for this to finish. I am going to finish cutting out the patterns. Then I’ll route them down to be exactly the same. This should have me ready for when the wood gets down to the 10% range. Some of it should be there fairly soon I hope.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View HowardInToronto's profile

HowardInToronto

77 posts in 1998 days


#12 posted 02-26-2017 04:21 PM

That is one wild-looking rocking chair.

I’ve never seen it before and I look forward to seeing your take on it.

And that OSB version seems really interesting – I know this is heresy but I find my way to man-made materials more naturally.

Thank you for this info. Please make sure to keep us posted on your progress.

Howard

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#13 posted 02-26-2017 09:28 PM



That is one wild-looking rocking chair.

I ve never seen it before and I look forward to seeing your take on it.

And that OSB version seems really interesting – I know this is heresy but I find my way to man-made materials more naturally.

Thank you for this info. Please make sure to keep us posted on your progress.

Howard

- HowardInToronto

Thanks for the support. It means a lot.

I am pretty stuck waiting on the huge boards drying. I need to route the patterns still but the bigger snag is currently waiting on the boards to lose their last 5% to 10% moisture content. I am having a tough time waiting but this is a project I want to be an heirloom. I think it will be worth it.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2915 posts in 2599 days


#14 posted 08-17-2017 04:01 PM

Hi Travis how goes the rocking chair project?

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

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32086 posts in 3162 days


#15 posted 08-17-2017 04:27 PM

This rocking chair is a beautiful piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#16 posted 08-17-2017 07:58 PM

Luv2learn, I’ve been slammed with work lately. A serious case of life has been catching up lately. Hopefully I can get a start on it later this year or the beginning of next. I’ve really been missing my shop lately.

On the bright side, I’m pretty sure the wood is getting more drying time than I originally intended. It’s in my basement with a fan on it and a dehumidifier set to about 50% moisture in the air. I’ll bet it’s down around 5%-8% now.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View Grinchia's profile

Grinchia

4 posts in 1972 days


#17 posted 07-20-2018 07:53 PM

So I have been lurking on this post for some time now and keep hoping to see some progress pics…any luck finding some time to make some sawdust?

View Hankenstein's profile

Hankenstein

4 posts in 105 days


#18 posted 12-03-2018 04:47 PM

I recently finished my cole rocker. Totally worth all the work but a slog nonetheless. I gifted it to my old man…

View Grinchia's profile

Grinchia

4 posts in 1972 days


#19 posted 12-04-2018 06:42 PM

Beautiful! This chair is on my bucket list of projects. Well done.

View ShawnCB's profile

ShawnCB

13 posts in 65 days


#20 posted 01-12-2019 06:50 PM

Beautiful chair Hankenstein, nice job! I have been wanting to do one of these for some time. Have been lurking hoping to see updates as well. Do understand how busy life can be. Any way I could get a copy of those PDF’s from you Travis?

-- Shawn

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#21 posted 02-17-2019 10:26 PM

Finally getting around to a test run of the chair in Borg Scrap. I’m milling the scrap bin 2X into 2” stock for the Cole Rocker. I know I know. Its soft and it will scratch. And, who in their right mind would build a rocking chair out of SPF. So far with a bit of work this scrap is looking really good.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#22 posted 02-17-2019 10:33 PM

On the bright side. If the SPF scrap doesn’t turn out. I’ve only spend time. With the 70% discount on Cull wood. I’ve only spend about $30. I’ll probably have to spend another $20-$30 on glue and another $20 on grinding wheels. Trying to keep busy and spend as little as possible.

To date:
Templates are cut.
Both arm/rocker sides are cut out.
Possibly the last board is in clamps drying. Might need to make one more.
Waiting on the good warm Virginia weather to return.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#23 posted 02-17-2019 10:45 PM

Here are the two Arm/Rocker Sections ready for glue and clamps.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View Hankenstein's profile

Hankenstein

4 posts in 105 days


#24 posted 02-18-2019 02:07 PM

Travis its looking great. I was a little surprised you would use SPF but honestly the pics look great!!

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#25 posted 02-18-2019 04:49 PM


Travis its looking great. I was a little surprised you would use SPF but honestly the pics look great!!

- Hankenstein

For my first adventure with this chair, I am to cheap to use plywood. I have the time, not the woodworking money. Not to mention the dust from MDF/plywood doesn’t feel good if it accidentally gets in my nose. Yes, I wear a mask but its a lot of dust as you know. And, SPF has less chemicals.

Plus with the extra work, SPF can look pretty good. We will see. Just a reminder, I have some red oak waiting for my final piece. It probably nearly dry now.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View ShawnCB's profile

ShawnCB

13 posts in 65 days


#26 posted 02-19-2019 06:44 PM

Can anyone help me out with the Cole stencils, printer ready? Anyone have them converted already and willing to share? Thanks

-- Shawn

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#27 posted 02-20-2019 01:56 AM

More clamps required. Donations accepted. LOL!!!

So, I couldn’t wait any longer and it’s certainly easier to move the project around once the hundreds of little pieces are fewer larger pieces.

Round one. Fight!!!

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#28 posted 02-21-2019 03:40 PM

Winter snow in Virginia. So, fun with glue and clamps inside. Certainly no shortage of pieces to glue together here. I still have a few more 2X scraps from the BORG to force into shape but the over all shape is coming together.

And, who doesn’t love a good dog picture?

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#29 posted 02-22-2019 02:21 PM

Last few boards acquired. I really need a truck someday. Till then, the VW Golf Sport Utility Vehicle will have to keep working.

So, Exciting this morning. With a few clamps, it starts to stand. Obviously, I still have a few more layers for the chair back but now I can see how big its going to be.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View ShawnCB's profile

ShawnCB

13 posts in 65 days


#30 posted 02-23-2019 02:58 AM

Looks good Travis! Looking forward to watching you complete this. Thanks again for the templates!

-- Shawn

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#31 posted 02-24-2019 11:40 PM



Looks good Travis! Looking forward to watching you complete this. Thanks again for the templates!

- ShawnCB

No worries man!!! Good luck!!!

I need to let the last lamination dry and I’ll have all of the wood required to finish the rocker. Almost there. Brought this board to the bandsaw today. Maybe if the weather is nice tomorrow I’ll have all of the rocker parts cut out.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#32 posted 02-25-2019 11:04 PM

Still more clamps. All the parts are finally cut and waiting on glue. Its nice to give the bandsaw and thickness planer a break.

I emailed Mr Cole today with a question about the back lamination. From the pictures and diagrams on the website, the center 5 laminations are all flush. My question concerned the sweeping edges.

Mr. Cole said, “I stack to try and get 3/4” total distance ( a valley) in the bottom of the bucket. It’s not super critical with the stagger and step process it’s just something to setup your shape before you start grinding. The only important part of the stacking process is getting the balance right. Pay close attention to what happens when you shift the bucket back and forth on your rocker assembly. When you find that sweet spot MARK IT so on your final glue up you are in the right aligning holes.”

Good to know. I am now off setting the outer three laminations by ~1/4” to give the 3/4” valley.

PS the little shop assistant is a dog I am dog sitting. Meet Joey.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#33 posted 03-01-2019 12:26 AM

Three more layers on the bucket seat to go. While all of the current layers are dry. I couldn’t resist seeing what it will eventually feel like. I have to say, great lumbar support and over all size is great. Seems like its going to be pretty comfortable as everyone else has said. I keep getting a little nervous that the chair is going to be scaled wrong or when its done its going to be children’s size. But, so far. It seems just about right.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#34 posted 03-01-2019 04:35 PM

Almost there with the glue.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#35 posted 03-02-2019 11:43 PM

Tried the chair in clamps this morning. I’m sure it was pretty comfy but I was more worried about it collapsing with me in it.

Starting belt sanding and orbital sanding today. I am excited to see what its going to looks like not coated in glue. I’d say its starting to look pretty nice.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#36 posted 03-05-2019 10:10 PM

Day 2 of the shaping sanding process. I got the grinder out and put on an 80 grit sanding disc. HOLY CRAP that’s a lot of dust. I am suppose to have some more discs of varying grit in the mail. Glad I started with 80 grit but to get through the rest of the larger removal shaping process. I NEED MORE GRIT!!!

Between the Grinder, Belt Sander and Orbital Sander. Nothing is going to stop me. Well, except maybe the tight corners. I’m going to have to get some drill sanding action.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View ShawnCB's profile

ShawnCB

13 posts in 65 days


#37 posted 03-06-2019 01:41 PM

Looking good! Thanks for the update!

-- Shawn

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#38 posted 03-07-2019 02:28 PM



Looking good! Thanks for the update!

- ShawnCB

Thanks Man!!! I’m getting to the sanding and I’m realizing the glue up was only half way. LOL!!!

On the bright side, its time to get creative. I drew up the arm rest today. This is what they look like in 2D right now. I’m going to cut them out with the jig saw and then start the sanding process again after that.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

View TObenhuber's profile

TObenhuber

172 posts in 1888 days


#39 posted 03-07-2019 09:20 PM

I spent most of my time today smoothing the back. It certainly looking better now.

-- Travis, Virginia, www.facebook.com/CreativeWoodworksHybla

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