A place for me to display some of the varied projects that come out of my shop, as well as to "talk" about some of my experiences working with wood.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Rocker #2 - a most Special Build

I knew when I built my first rocker it would not be my last, its just a question of how long my attention span lasts before I need to move onto some other type of woodworking challenge - me thinks the next stage will involve carving - but that's another day.

This story starts with a challenge to my Dad to find me some nice hardwood from his childhood homeland, I told him I wanted to build a piece of furniture from it - not a lie, but misleading nonetheless - but for a good purpose!!

If you want to know where this is click here

Well between his brother Paul and himself he talked to a family friend who had a mill nearby and he thought he had "some of that birdeye maple", so the adventure began. Dad tracked him down and the visit was booked, we drove down and into the mill located in the middle of the woods. Sure enough it was there stuffed in the rafters of an outdoor mill for what I found out later was 20 years. As was typical for this part of the world, we spent an hour at the mill figuring out what I would take, all without the owner being around. Once I decided what I wanted, we drove out of the woods and over to the farm were he was working some cattle to negotiate the deal - he was very happy to take $2/bf for the wood which was a smoking deal, but I was not sure of the quality considering how long the wood has sat around and also how tough it was to grade the Birdseye in the rough - I would not be disappointed.

Dad organized his other brother's (not Darrell) truck and brought it down to the house. Thew wood was only air dried so it needed some time to dry out. This gave me time to build a couple of pieces from the Oak we got from the same brother into a couple of pieces of furniture, one for Brendan and one for Dad.

OK - back to this story....

All along my plan was to build a rocker for my Dad from the wood that was grown near his homestead - I could not have dreamed in my wildest fantasy this would be the result. While the pictures are very good quality, they cannot begin to do justice to how awesome this piece looks in the flesh. The creamy whiteness of the maple and the eyes just seem to pop off the chair and the mineral streaking only adds character, as much as I tried to avoid it. Here's the money shots: (as always click on the picture for the high-res close-up look)

Overall View, all Maple from this angle
Side View. The plugs and the accent strips
are Cherry which will darken up

Back View, the back braces are Cherry backed, not the grain
progression across the pieces. also see where the wood's figure
was not everywhere so i had to be strategic where I put the mineral

Back Brace Detail

Seat and arms in all their Birdseye glory

Another detail shot

There was not quite enough of the good stuff to build a complete rocker, so I had to add a couple of pieces to beef out the legs so I could makes them from the narrow boards. Also the material was not quite 2" thick which makes it tough to get the thickness one needs for certain parts. All in all, I am more than pleased, and so its its happy new owner...

The happy Recipient!


  1. Exceptional work!
    Congratulations ...
    Merry Christmas to all.


  2. Great work! Looks awesome.

  3. The Harold and Saxon Chisels are quite nice as well as the storage boxes you've made for them and the Rocker is just so down right special.

    Ron Brese