Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Building a Rocking Chair

Sanding a back slat with my trusty random orbit sander, a tool which I use extensively when building furniture.  Over the years I have built 22 rocking chairs, but it had been several years since I built my last one.

Twenty three pieces of oak, not counting the numerous walnut wedges, spacers and dowels that I will use when assembling the chair.

Sanding a leg on the lathe. 

Attaching the rockers.

Walnut wedges and wood glue

I use a radial drill press to drill the holes in the seat, armrests, rockers and headrest.  The holes in the armrest must match the angles of the seat holes so I use  templates to align the wood and set the drill at the correct angle.

Driving a wedge at right angles to the grain of the armrest.  Driving it parallel to the grain would risk splitting the armrest.

Everything glued up, with the exception of the back slats which are sliding loose in the slots in the seat and headrest.

HOWEVER....once I sat in the chair I was not satisfied.  It was too upright and did not have a balanced rock.  Above all else, a rocking chair should rock well, don't you think? I had neglected to account for the fact that the seat was shorter than my previous rockers, so it the center of gravity of the user is further forward.   The next day, the solution came to me - add a piece of wood with a slot to the back of the rocker.  But now you have two slots, how do you hide the first? 

You don't.  You draw attention to it by filling it with a piece of contrasting wood and turn it into a design feature.

If I hadn't told you why that strip of walnut was there, you probably would have thought it was just a bit of decoration.

The armrest is secured to the back support with a dowel.

Walnut spacers hold the back slats in position.

End grain 

 Loch Ness monsters

The joint between the leg and the rocker is reinforced with a dowel.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Christmas 2016

There's nothing like a real Christmas tree.  We cut this one from our field and dragged it home on snowshoes.

Siniristi lippumme....

This Christmas we had all four of our granddaughters with us.

Mom and Dad, why are you so tired?

Our traditional Christmas eve meal.  Kinkkua, rosolia, riisiporkkanalaatikkoa, suolakalaa, jne.

Christmas morning.

Grandma making rice pudding

Sampo is eager to open the presents.

Mik is still trying to wake up.

This was the most enjoyable Christmas morning I have ever had.  These little girls were  the biggest reason.

Nice hat!

What's in the package?

I think we all relived our early childhood through these darlings.

Christmas morning would not be complete without riisipuuroa ja sekähedelmäsoppaa - rice pudding with fruit soup.

Mmmm....grandma's pudding is good!

Look, the sun is about to rise!

After a  long stretch of clouds and snow, even a  glimpse of the sun is gold.

Look who's standing!

Magic carpet ride!

Go faster auntie!



Mixing the pulla dough.

Look what I caught!

Kneading the dough.

Tastes good, grandma!

Rolling the dough.

Another sunrise.

Just above the clouds.

Yes, sunshine is good.

Sleeping beauty on her lambskin.

Look at all those chompers!



Lake effect snow, a daily occurrence.

10 degrees on one side of the glass, 65 on the other.

I periodically have to shovel out the bed of my truck.

I cut another spruce and set it up just outside our kitchen window so that we could have an outside Christmas tree as well.

It's hard not to take pictures of sunrises when you see them through your kitchen windowEach one is unique.

More lake effect snow.  This year we got about 175 inches in 6 weeks.

Push-the-cat-around-the-room game.

Life is tough, isn't it?