No. 0 Shaker Rocker
My sister has knitted several Christmas stockings for us, so I thought she deserved something nice in return. This is a pretty faithful reproduction of a Shaker No. 0 armed rocker, sized for kids (or in this case, grandkids) aged from 2 to 4. The Shakers originally sold these to the outside world for $3.50 without arms, $3.75 with.
This one is based on drawings scanned from Ejner Handberg’s “Shop Drawings of Shaker Furniture, Volume 1.” To me, the trick is to make the rails of a length that will fit an odd number of tape rows running front to back (for a symmetrical weave) and also with minimal gap where the rails join the legs. These lengths then dictate the angle that the sides will splay out from back to front. A flashback to 11th grade trigonometry provided the answer, for this chair 7.73 degrees.
Another issue is to proportion things so the chair retains some of the grace of a full-sized Shaker chair, without looking like a stubby kid’s version. A legs’ diameter of 1 1/16″ helps create that effect.
The back legs are steam bent and oriented so they bend slightly back and outwards. After drying, the springback was a little more than I expected so the result is pretty subtle.
Made of cherry and finished with a tung oil/linseed oil/varnish mixture rubbed on with 0000 steel wool.
For kids from 2 to 4. Seat height about 7 1/2"
Three-color seat, more interesting than a plain checkerboard, and only a little more difficult to weave.
Turning finials exactly the same takes practice. These aren't perfect, but pretty close.
By the chimney with care, the stockings explain why the chair's seat is red, green and white.