Estimated Cost: $$$$
Total: 8 – 12 hours
Rock away those lazy summer evenings in this roomy yet cozy rocker built for two.
With its easy, graceful curves and comfortable contours, you can sit in comfort while explaining to friends and guests just how you built such a complicated piece of furniture. Just don't tell them how simple it really was, or they'll be asking you to build one for them.
Cut all pieces to length and width according to the cut list. When you lay out the rockers (K), be sure to mark the two square lines on either end (one at 2" and one at 1 ¾", see rocker detail illustration) before you cut the curves. These will serve as reference points for placement of legs (J) and seat supports (H).
When laying out seat supports, cut two pieces (H) at full size, then cut piece (I) using the dotted lines on seat support detail illustration as a guide. When cutting pieces H, I, J, K, L and M, choose the best sides (faces) of your stock and clamp them together face-to-face or back-to-back and gang cut them (2 armrests at once, 2 legs at once, 2 rockers at once (twice), etc.) Note on seat support detail that there are 4 seat slats that have 20° bevels, 2 on one edge and 2 on both edges. Cut those so the face still measures 1 ½".
Make a squaring jig on your assembly table to aid you in laying out/attaching splats (A). Clamp two straight objects (boards or four-foot levels) to your table at a perfect right angle and then place your splats face down with ¼" spacers between them, making sure ends are tight to the squaring jig.
Measure up 16" from bottom edges and square a line across all 9 splats. Attach support (D) with 1 ¼" screws (two screws in every splat), keeping bottom edge of support on that line.
Turn assembly over so faces are up. Attach supports B and C to each other (see illustration) with 2" screws, then place a scrap 1 x 4 under support (D) and place B/C assembly under the bottom end of splats so that the splat edges line up with the bottom of edge (B) all the way across and attach with 2" screws.
When slats are secure, measure up 27" on the outside edge of both end splats and lay out a curve, connecting those two 27" marks with the top of the middle splat at the center point (see “Laying Out Curves” on page 9 for more information). Cut with a jig saw.
Choose your two inside rocker pieces (K) and place your seat support (H) on the back side (not face) of the rockers at your 1 ¾" marks, keeping the bottom edge of H roughly flush with bottom edge of rocker (K). The edges should line up very closely, but don’t be concerned if they are not perfect, you can sand everything smooth later. Trace the edges of seat supports on the rockers and cut with a jig saw.
Place legs (J) on the faces of your outside rocker pieces (K), keeping the front edge of the legs (straight edge) square with the 2" line you made earlier on your rockers. Keep the corner of the straight edge of the leg flush with the bottom profile of the rocker (trim excess later) and trace the leg outline on the rocker. Cut away with a jig saw.
Assemble rockers (K), seat supports (H) and legs (J) with glue and 1 ¼" screws (see illustration for assistance). Trim the bottom of leg (J) to follow rocker profile. Clamp both rocker/leg/seat support assemblies together so that top edges of rockers, front edges of legs and bottom edges of seat supports (all square edges) all line up with each other. You can now sand the bottom profile of the rocker and the seat contour of seat supports so they match perfectly.
Clamp one rocker/seat support/leg assembly to your assembly table, making sure the top of the rocker is level (independent of how level your table is). Attach spreader (F) to both rocker assemblies with 3" screws, keeping bottom edge of (F) flush with bottom edges of (H) and the face of (F) flush with the front edges of (H).
Tack some scrap blocks to the inside of rocker assemblies to assist in placing the splat assembly (see seat support detail illustration for placement). Cut two pieces of wood at 16 ¾" long and tack those to the outside of rocker assemblies as shown. These will aid in placing the armrest/back support assembly.
Cut your half-lap joints on support (E) at both ends, making sure there is exactly 48" of full 2 x 4 stock between them, then attach armrests with 1 ¼" screws from underneath (you can trim and sand the ends flush after assembly). Place the armrest/support assembly on top of your legs (J) and temporary braces. Make sure armrests overhang both inside faces of legs equally (about ¾") and there is 18" between back edge of legs and front edge of support (E). Attach armrests to top of legs with 2" screws.
Place splat assembly inside armrest/support assembly, resting it on the temporary blocks tacked to the inside of seat supports (H). After making sure everything lines up and is tight, drive 3" screws through the outside face of seat support (H) and into edges of both supports (B) and (C). Then drive 2" screws through the face of splats and into support (E) (two screws per splat).
Begin attaching slats (G) with 1 ¼" screws, beginning at the back of the chair by using one slat with one beveled edge and placing it tight to the splats. Work toward the front using ¼" spacers between all slats. Note on seat support detail illustration where the rest of the beveled slats are to be attached.
Attach braces (M) to the underside of armrests and outside of legs using 2" screws.
Sand all edges and joints flush, disassemble, sand the rest of the surfaces of all components, apply finish, and then reassemble with glue and screws. Now you’re ready to rock!