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  1. #1
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    Burlington, North Carolina, United States.
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    rocking chair runners

    There seems to be several of us designing and building rocking chair projects around here, so how are different people cutting the curve in the jig to bend the laminated runners?
    My first instinct is bandsaw and then sand smooth. Always looking for new ways.

  2. #2
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    Wayne, Pa..
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    RE: rocking chair runners

    Hand sawing can be done witha power jig saw or you can, with the right amount of room and material, swing a router on a compass arm. The router will give you a nice clean cut that requires less clean up.

    Have you considered making the runners out of solid material and not laminating them?

    John
    John


    Did you ever think that maybe the crumb just wanted to steal our wirecutters?

  3. #3
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    RE: rocking chair runners

    I actually cut one set out of solid material just for the experience of it. I'm glad I did, but it's a lot of sanding and a lot of material wasted out of the blank. It seems that if you got a good jig you could use it over and over again and make them in less time with less waste. (not counting the time it takes the glue to dry and set up.)

    Good call on the router...I might try it.

  4. #4
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    RE: rocking chair runners

    Thanks for the suggestion about cutting them out of the same board and keeping them in order. Simple to do, and makes for a nice look!

  5. #5
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    RE: rocking chair runners

    I used the bandsaw to cut out for the forms, then used my vintage compass plane to fair the curves, and finally a bit of sanding.

    While you can cut the runners from a solid piece, you normally end up with some weak areas where the grain runs close to perpendicular to the edges. You could look for wood with the grain running near parallel to your runners and that would help, but lamination is not that difficult to do and if you're careful you can make the glue joints all but invisible.

    Steam bending solid pieces is also an option with some woods, but then you have to contend with springback that generally will cause differences in the final shape of pieces that need to be matched.

  6. #6
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    Winfield, Missouri, USA.
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    RE: rocking chair runners

    Jerry,

    I haven't used a compass plane before but am considering getting one. Do they work pretty good? Is there much of a learning curve or do you just set the sole for the curve you want and plane to your line?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    RE: rocking chair runners

    Sorry I missed the question, and thanks for the email, Joe. Like I said there, the compass plane is not a whole lot different than any other plane, used for fairing or final fitting of a surface. Planes work best cutting downhill on the grain and with curved surfaces, it is all that much more important. Down toward the center from either end of a concave curve, down from the center toward the ends on a convex curve.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2002
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    Gibsonia, penna., USA.
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    RE: rocking chair runners

    I do not make rocking chairs, but do make chairs using laminated parts. I cut my pieces 1/8" thick because I make some sharp turns and 1/8" is easy to work with and very flexible. When yo cut your pieces, cut them from the same board and keep them in order, I use a rubber band to hold them in order and keep them in sets of eight because I usually use 1" thick pieces for my laminations. The reason to keep them in order is if you wish to stain or clear finish the grain will match and after glue up and sanding you will not beable to tell it was even cut. Keep them in your form a little longer than usual because so much glue is involved, and after I take theem out of the form I leave them another 24 hours before using them. Since there will be alot of gue run out I use a draw knife to remove the glue run out and to begin shaping the pieces. I'm enclosing a picture showing some chairs with bent pieces using this laminating method.

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