custom wooden rocking chair blog

Custom wooden rocking chair design & build blog

The story of 9 sculpted wood bar stools

chair seat clamping

First up in the chair building process is cutting to tenth and width the wood pieces for the seats. I try to always do a 2 board seat giving the most visually pleasing grain patterns especially after grinding and shaping the seat. Now  when clamping 2'' material lots of clamp pressure is required, I think I used every clamp in the shop!

remove glue scraper

Im using my cabinet scraper to remove the excess glue, you can see the cabinet makers triangle I draw on the seat blank when organizing the pieces before glue up, this help keep everything in order and glued to the piece it should be.

cherry glue up scraper

This will be one of the 2 cherry seats i'm doing, they are going to be beautiful not just from my work but from what nature has given up.

table saw riving kneif

The seat blanks need to be trimmed to length, I do this using my "flying dutchman" or table saw sled, this is a great tool that really helps me make precision cross cuts that are easily repeatable and safe.

table saw flying dutchman

The riving knife which you see behind the spinning blade keeps wood that has tension in it from hitting the rear of the spinning blade, which at the rear is pulling up thus causing kickback.

maloof notch table saw

Here i'm cutting out the notches in the rear corners of the seat, i'm using a miter gauge with a large fence and some clamps to hold the seat while I make the cut.

band saw seat maloof notch

The front notches get most of the material removed on the band saw, I trim to about 1/16'' of the final notch size, then clean the joints up using a jig and a router.

walnut bar stool seat blanks

Here are 4 beautiful walnut seat blanks

front maloof notch router jig

I now clamp my front joint jig the the seat and clean the joint to its final size using a router with a bushing that rides along the jig.

bar stool seat blanks

Now we are well on our way , the notches have been cut for all of the legs.

bar stool seat blanks

The notches then have a rabbit on the top and bottom of the joint to create a tongue which will fit into a dado groove in the legs, this is call a Maloof joint.

sculpting seat kutzall carbide

Starting to sculpt the seat using my Kutzall carbide grinding wheel

maloof style seat bar stool

Cherry seat has been sculpted and sanded to 500 grit, some more shaping still need to be done at the front of the seat.

bar stool seat carving

The seat above has not been carved yet, you can see the depth holes which help me carve to the depth that I want.

sanded maloof style bar stool seat

Pair of cherry seat blanks

bar stool seats legs

4 seats and rear legs

cherry walnut legs

Nice legs!

maloof joint birdseye maple

This is a seat that has birds maple being used as the internal blank which is the exact thickness of the tongue I created, the dado in the leg is then cut to fit the tongue.

round over shaper table maloof

3/4'' round over on the shaper table

shoulder plane dado

The dados get cleaned up with a shoulder plane to fit

vintage hand plane verities

The old fashion way (-:

a chair is born rough

Look a chair is born!

maloof style bar stool parts

I forgot the glue, kidding just a pile of legs and a seat for a Cherry bar stool

bar stool line up

Line up of 9 sculpted bar stools well on there way through the fabrication process

maloof seat round over router table

Initial shaping on the seat

remove leg waste

Always nice to loose a few pounds off your legs

raised router bit

5/8'' round over used for initial shaping on the legs

rounded over walnut cherry legs

Now you can see the form staring to take shape

bar stool front leg glue

Finally gluing the front legs onto the first walnut seat

paul lemiski grind kutzall maloof seat bar stool

I've had my morning coffee and ready to grind!

birds eye maple bar stool seat

After the first session of shaping using my angle grinder and kutzall carbide grinding wheels by Oliver.

glue birdseye maple walnut seat

More legs more clamps

9 bar stools

I've been busy, all the legs have now been glued to the bar stool seats

kutzall grinding discs

These are my tools course and medium grinding carbide grinding wheels by kutzall, I love these things very safe never catches and lasts forever!

cherry walnut bar stool stringer glue up

Clamping up some leg stretchers, still lots of work to do but i'm well on the way to making some beautiful and comfortable bar stools.

Building a rough cut tamarack boardwalk

Halton régional forest complex

This is the entrance to the Halton regional forest complex, they have a small gravel parking lot just off the road and a map of the trail system.

halton tract entrance

This is the entrance off of Guelph Line just across from Mohawk race track, this trail system is accessible with a vehicle but of course you need the key (-:

boardwalk work site

Day 1 - Time to get to work, supplies are arriving so it's time to start laying out the stringers. Materials used for this board walk are rough sawn Tamarack. The stringers are a true 2'' x 10'' 10 feet long, deck boards are a full 2'' thick x 6'' wide 5' long. Everything will be anchored through 4'' x 4'' posts that will rest in concrete deck blocks.

boardwalk layout

In the distance you can see we've laid out all the parts roughly where the board walk will be.

boardwalk stringer assembly

The boardwalk is 300' long comprised of 30 sections 10' long. The stringers are 2'' x 10'' x 10' long, each section overlaps and will be held together with 2 lag bolts that go through 2 joists and a 4''x4'' post that will rest on concrete deck blocks.

tamarack boardwalk leveling

The boardwalk had to remain under 24'' tall, the top boards are 2'' think so we initially setup the sections with legs that held the sections at about 20'' from the ground and proceeded to level from there.

stringer lag bolt

Here you see the lag bolt that goes through the stringers, it's so long because it will go through a 4'' x 4'' post.

rough layout tamarack boardwalk

We now have the entire boardwalk on the stilts and have begun to level the sections

cutting material to length for boardwalk deck

Now we have installed the 4'' x 4'' posts into the decking blocks and tightened down the lag bolts, in the distance Kevin is cutting some pieces to size.

curved tamarack boardwalk

The boardwalk had to twist and turn through the trees, this shows a long arc towards the end of the boardwalk

boardwalk job site

Overall shot of the job site, we were blessed with some beautiful fall weather

ridged cop saw material cut to length

Cutting the deck boards to length

laying out tamarack deck boards

Now we begin laying the deck boards

boardwalk along side halton trail system

One at a time, progress will be made


In this picture it shows the main trail, in the spring time the water levels are very high and not possible to pass, with this boardwalk in place, no matter how wet it gets you'll still be able to enjoy a beautiful spring day.

half boardwalk layout

Were getting there, almost to the end, oh wait we're only half way done (-:

tree shadows on tamarack boardwalk

I thought this was a beautiful picture with the shadows of the trees falling across the boardwalk

the never ending boardwalk

Were almost done, we just have to add the pipes along the side

tamarack boardwalk ramp

This is a ramp at one end of the boardwalk, the pipe is there to help the blind to follow the boardwalk along.

beautiful boardwalk shadows
the end of the line boardwalk

Here you can see a good side shot of how the boardwalk sits, you can see the 2 lag bolts holding the post and stringers together onto of the concrete deck block

boardwalk anchor

The last piece of the puzzle

black and white boardwalk

Finished at last, this was a fun project to build. Its great to know that this boardwalk will not only be around for many many years to come but will be enjoyed by so many people. 

Shipping a custom wood rocking chair

shipping custom wood rocking chair

I start with the floor of the crate which is 3/8'' chip board with a 2x4 frame and 1/2'' felt under the rockers

shipping custom wood rocking chair

I then add the side frame and top frame also built from 2x4's

shipping custom wood rocking chair crate
shipping custom wood rocking chair

The front and back have now been added

shipping custom wood rocking chair

I now start placing the expandable foam bags that rest between the crate and rocking chair

shipping custom wood rocking chair

The expandable bags get placed in front of the toes of the rockers and another behind the tails

shipping custom wood rocking chair

The expandable bags get placed between the lid of the roof and tops of the legs, if placing the bag carefully the can expand to hold the sides and tops of the legs while also shaping around the headrest.

shipping custom wood rocking chair

The last set get placed between a 2x4 that has been placed across the tops of the arms, these final bags really hold the chair down.