Reclaimed Rocker – Part 3
In parts I and II of John Tetreault’s “Reclaimed Rocker” post, our associate art director began a journey to craft a Maloof-style rocking chair out of 18th century reclaimed chestnut timbers. Now in the final installment, John wraps up the build and gives his work of art a new home.
Last Saturday my wife and I had dinner with her parents to celebrate her father’s birthday. After dinner, (and a slice of delicious chocolate-raspberry cake) her dad opened a few gifts. For the last gift we had him go into the living room to find the chestnut rocker wrapped in a bow.
His first reaction? “Oh wow!” as he removed the bow and started rocking. I then told him I thought it would come in handy when he rocked his next grandchild in October. The rocker froze. After lots of exclamations and hugs in the room, he sat back down and rocked again, much more vigorously.
I used scraps of chestnut to fill various nail holes and voids.
Next I tackled the back slats. They were first cut to shape on the bandsaw. Then I made the curves match by shaping them together in clamps.
The headrest was cut from a 3" thick floor joist and roughly shaped. After all the back slats were tapered, tenoned and fit, I attached the head rest with screws and plugged the holes with ebony.
The rockers were made from one board, cut into 1/8" thick laminations and glued back together in order on a curved form.
1/2" diameter dowels attach the rockers to the legs.
After a whole bunch more sculpting, I sanded from 80 grit up to 220 and then applied Waterlox for the finish. Three coats so far, and I plan to wipe on a few more after wet sanding with 600 grit.
Here you can see the character of the antique wood: an epoxy rerpaired knot in the head rest, as well as the remainder of a 3/4" inch diameter hole (drilled for electrical wire) in the floor joist stock used for the back leg.
Before and after. Here's a photo with a section of one of the actual barn rafters used for the rocker project.