Ladderback rocking chair

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Ladderback rocking chair

Postby steve tomlin » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:47 pm

there doesn't seem to be much chair making on here any more but possibly this will start some off. Just finished this rocking chair in ash with seat woven from rushes i harvested in Somerset. The slats are specially narrow to lighten the overall shape of the chair.

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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby gavin » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:35 pm

Good idea to stimulate more news re chairs. :D
I have been making stools - and encouraging other Shed Therapists to do so - as per Mike Abbott's Going with the Grain . At any current session, folks are busy drawknifing rungs and legs for placement in the Mutual Component Bank. It is Mutual, because it is difficult to keep track of who whittled what.

I am delighted the frame furniture making process is jaw-slackening simple, and works better IMO with NO powered tools i.e no cordless drills. I think you do not need the sash clamp either - a lump hammer works fine. Since I have a strong interest in running 30 minute have-a-go stool assembly with Jo(e) Public on a showfield, I really want the process as simple as possible.

I would like to see more of any steam-bending techniques - especially jigs and clamps to bend with.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby Davie Crockett » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:04 pm

Good idea to stimulate more news re chairs.


I used to be an upholsterer/coach trimmer before I joined the ambulance service. I still keep my hand in with occasional antique seat restoration. If anyone needs advice/help with this kind of stuff, drop me a line.

Nice chair Steve, really impressed with the rush work!
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby emjay » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:22 pm

I'm just finishing off an almost identical rocker except my back slats are to Mike's design and I've only a paper rush seat. My rockers are 40mm wide steam bent ash and the legs are tennoned and wedged into them. Bent on the same jig as the back legs but with a different former. This is my second rocker, once you've made all the jigs you've got to keep going. Back slats are 1/4 inch thick, you can feel them flex as you rock.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby steve tomlin » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:03 pm

Davie Crockett wrote:I used to be an upholsterer/coach trimmer


I am interested in upholstering chairs - as a start can you tell me about seat rails, are the standard Abbott ones suitable for upholstery or would they be better with a different cross-section?
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby Davie Crockett » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:21 am

Steve Tomlin wrote:
I am interested in upholstering chairs - as a start can you tell me about seat rails, are the standard Abbott ones suitable for upholstery or would they be better with a different cross-section?


It all depends if you're going to tack or staple, or if you intend to spring/web the sub frame. Most sprung/webbed frames are 3/4 to 1" by 1 1/2" to 2" and usually made with seasoned beech (I have seen other hardwoods used). Frames tend to be lighter where staples are used because the frame doesn't take the hammering (Less recoil from a staple to strain the joints). You have to look at the forces generated in the frame by tight webbing and Springing Vs Gravity & load.

If you're going down the traditional route, I recommend getting a magnetic upholsterers hammer, and knocking up a webbing strainer. (Google images to get the idea) as starter tools.

Of course, using seasoned wood goes away from the ethos of green woodworking, but I can't see why it can't be done with finished (dried) green wood chairs.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby JonnyP » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:31 am

Lovely chair :0)
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby robin wood » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:07 pm

Lovely chair and really nice tight weave on the rush too.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby Mike Abbott » Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:50 pm

and works better IMO with NO powered tools i.e no cordless drills. I think you do not need the sash clamp either - a lump hammer works fine.

Fine to use a tenon cutter with a hand brace - or - Ray Iles made me a tenon sheaver - like the tine cutter but shorter, which works OK and is cheaper than the Veritas or your thing with lots of holes in it. I'm sure the clamp is better than a lump hammer if you are making more than one chair. If you make the tenons really slender, they have so much flex that a lump hammer just wouldn't do it. see video Chairmaking - the final squeeze.
Incidentally, I took your advice and we now have super fast wireless broadband via Airband Community Internet

Well done Steve for pepping up this area of the forum with your lovely chair but Upholstery? Tam just bought a new sofa and that's great but upholstering a frame chair - I'm not ready for that one. I'm going to try yet another variation of a woven Irish pattern. I'll see if I can use our new super-fast broadband to paste up some pics.
F*** it. Can't handle this technology. I'll try to do it on my blog http://www.goingwiththegrain.org
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby gavin » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:10 pm

Mike Abbott has trouble posting pictures here ...
Mike Abbott wrote: I'll see if I can use our new super-fast broadband to paste up some pics.
F*** it. Can't handle this technology. I'll try to do it on my blog http://www.goingwiththegrain.org

- which is great shame, for he has lots to share. Could you possibly get some (teenage?) helper involved?

Mike,
The following images may help the helper - or you, if you care to have one more crack at this:

    1. Hit Post Reply
- like this:
26-11-2012 11-46-15.png
26-11-2012 11-46-15.png (10.94 KiB) Viewed 17513 times


2. Having hit Post Reply, scroll down to see Upload Attachment:
26-11-2012 11-42-34.png
26-11-2012 11-42-34.png (9.25 KiB) Viewed 17513 times


3. Now Browse to where the picture is stored on your camera or computer.
26-11-2012 11-43-30.png
26-11-2012 11-43-30.png (11.46 KiB) Viewed 17513 times


4. Now Add the file
26-11-2012 11-44-09.png
26-11-2012 11-44-09.png (11.68 KiB) Viewed 17513 times


5. Then put the cursor within your Reply exactly where you want the picture to appear and Place inline
26-11-2012 12-05-38.png
26-11-2012 12-05-38.png (6.3 KiB) Viewed 17513 times


For this technique, your pictures must be less than 256 kB. So I suggest you re-size any images first.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby steve tomlin » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:11 pm

Mike Abbott wrote:upholstering a frame chair - I'm not ready for that one


Paul Girling has made some beautiful frame chairs with upholstered seats. there's more to life than seagrass Mike :wink:
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby gavin » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:58 pm

steve tomlin wrote:
Mike Abbott wrote:upholstering a frame chair - I'm not ready for that one


Paul Girling has made some beautiful frame chairs with upholstered seats. there's more to life than seagrass Mike :wink:


Clearly there is disagreement about what is aesthetically acceptable as a chair or stool top. I'd suggest making some on both seagrass/ bark/ Kambaa AND upholstered. Then see which ones sell. For instance, I would not give you 2 pence for a Picasso, but clearly I am no judge of art. I just judge it by money.
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby foggy » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:43 pm

Stunning Rocker!

Steve, does it feel as good as it looks? I'm going to have a go at making one! New to green woodworking but hey!!!! :D
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby Donald Todd » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:07 pm

The whole point of these chairs is lightness and flexibility, so upholstery isn't really appropriate. I don't like the idea of knocking nails and staples into a frame I have just gone to great pains to create.
I like the fact that Steve has tenoned the legs into the rockers, as the opposite way round could result in a broken leg. It also results in a wider rocker which spreads the weight more.
I still haven't got any of my chairs onto rockers!
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Re: Ladderback rocking chair

Postby Donald Todd » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:13 pm

gavin wrote:I am delighted the frame furniture making process is jaw-slackening simple……… I think you do not need the sash clamp either - a lump hammer works fine. Since I have a strong interest in running 30 minute have-a-go stool assembly with Jo(e) Public on a showfield, I really want the process as simple as possible.

Sounds like you are dumming down too far. It still requires a degree of care and attention. This sort of brute force approach doesn't do our image any good. Anyway a lump hammer is not part of the green woodworkers toolkit; a mallet would be more appropriate.
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