Building Porch Rocking Chairs

Jul 22nd

Porch rocking chairs have a story hundreds of years old. Rocking chairs appear in the 18th century in both England and the United States. These chairs were originally used as garden chairs, but over time they developed into a regular piece of furniture. American myth credits often Ben Franklin with the creation of rocking chair, but these chairs were in use in England before they rise to popularity in America.

Wide Rocking Chairs


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The seat of a rocking chair is very important for the convenience of the final product. A rocking chair should be comfortable when sitting in it without a pillow on the seat. Typically, the seat will be made from multiple boards laminated together to create a stronger seat surface. The individual boards can roughly cut with a chainsaw to begin to define seat shape, but the last curves in the seat that make it comfortable should be lifted by hand.


The rockers decide how stable the rocking chair design is and how smooth it is to sit in. The rockers are rough from the woods using a ribbon or saber saw and knocked in hand with scrapers and planes. Some rockers are also made of boards laminated together. At the rockers, the length and radius of the circle must be adjusted depending on the size of the chair being built. The higher the legs, the less sharp the curve of the rocker must be. Hal Taylor, a rocking artisan, believes that you should multiply the height of the seat of the chair, in inches, to determine the approximate required rocker radius.

Legs, back and arms

The style of the legs, the back and the arms of your chair will be determined in part by the same style as the rocking chair you are building. The legs of a rocking chair, for example, are typically several inches shorter than those of a regular chair. They can have vertical or horizontal rails. Simple arms consist of flat pieces of wood, while other styles can feature curved arms for comfort. These are cut and shaped by hand similar to how the rockers are mounted. Traditional rocking chairs benefit from the beauty of the wood. Some designs may indicate that you paint the chair or use a heavy coat, which is good if it is the effect you are looking for. If you build a chair from a high quality wood, you’ll get an outstanding finish by grinding the chair with the finest sandpaper you can find to create a completely smooth surface and then polish the wood with oil.