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Building Your Own, Ahhhhh, Rocking Chair! October 11, 2011

As a precursor to the article, I just want to add that I absolutely love a simplistic rocking chair and the whole idea of sitting on the porch, rocking away to the passersby. 
Porch Rocking Chair

Rocking Chair Image Courtesy of Flickr Member robinrkc


If you like woodworking and are looking for a project that your family can enjoy for years to come, you might want to consider building your own rocking chair. Your creation will not only become a functional addition to your home decor, but can evolve into family heirloom that will have future generations passing on stories about the chairs creator. If you plan on making a rocking chair your next wood shop project, here are some tips to help you on your way.Choose a Design

Depending on your skill level, you’ll want to choose a style that you feel comfortable with. If you’re an expert woodworker more intricate designs might be a breeze, but if you’re a novice you might want to try something more basic. Once you know what kind of design you’d like to build, you’ll have to decide whether you’re going to draw your own plans or obtain pre-planned blueprint.

Again, your skills come into play. If you’re a seasoned carpenter making your own plans may not be too intimidating, but for those less skilled it could be a daunting task. If you do decide to go with an original design, keep in mind that the more arc the rocker feet have, the more extreme the forward and backward motion. Chairs with intense arcs can dump small children off onto the floor or leave holes in the walls behind them. Having a design with slightly arced feet is most beneficial in placement and function.

Selecting Materials

You can use almost any wood for this type of project, but if you want the piece to last choosing a sturdy hardwood is best. Cherry, maple, alder, oak, walnut, or mahogany work great and withstand the test of time. Your wood choice also affects the selected finish. If you’re looking to stain the piece a dark color, steer clear of maple and oak. Maple tends to turn blotchy and oak leaves golden highlights that produce a less uniform finish.

The Needed Tools

Rocking chairs were built long before power tools existed, so they aren’t required, but they do make the job a lot easier. Here are some basic tools you’ll need.

• Miter saw or circular saw for cutting wood to length
• Table saw for rip cuts
• Drill with a counter-sink bit
• Power sander or an orbital sander for finishing
• A router for rounding the edges
• Quality wood clamps that won’t mar the wood
• T square
• Finish nailer

Assembly

Once you have all the pieces cut, put them together beginning with the legs and seat, working your way toward the back, and finally to the rocker feet. Attach all pieces using both wood glue and either screws or finish nails. Make sure the metal fasteners are sunk into the wood far enough that you can use wood putty to fill the hole and create a seamless finish.

Tips for Reducing Squeaks

Make sure each piece fits tightly together and that you rub the end of any spindles with talcum power before inserting in their countersunk holes. If you’ve used bolts, make sure they are tight and that any metal flex joints are oiled. If squeaking continues it may just be that the floor underneath the chair is not level, try moving it to a different location.

Kids and adults of all ages enjoy the soothing movement of rocking chairs and building one of your own can be a quite a fulfilling accomplishment. There is no better way to bring comfort to the future generations that will continue beyond your lifetime.

 

Outdoor Living Spaces on the Rise August 5, 2011

It used to be that out-door living spaces were only conducive to sunny California, and weather permitting homes.  However, a recent trend is on the rise, and back yards are being used more as “bonus room” than a place to play catch or have the dog run around.

Perfectly landscaped back yards, and expensive furniture  can be a lot of work.  Whether you are maintaining the lawns yourself or paying to have it done, it is quite an undertaking.  You also have to worry about the weather, when it rains you have to run home and bring all the cushions, and tables inside before they are destroyed by the rain.

There are however, plenty of benefits to having a space like this.  When you are having a backyard BBQ, or simply a quiet night with a glass of wine, they can be quite the relaxation room that you may be looking for.  If you can afford it space wise, there are ways of getting around the pricey costs of weather permitting furniture and creating a little oasis for those hot summer nights.

living space, backyard, furniture

Outdoor living space, Photo provided by Jeff Sandquist

Even if you don’t have the biggest yard to work with, you can still create a space for a little “me” time.  Try using bricks to separate a space and start out with a chair and some comfy but bright colored pillows.  Over time you can build up the spaces adding a table, and a couch, etc.  The trick is to make it look as comfortable as can be.

Another benefit to a back yard living space is having a cool place to go after a hot day.  If you don’t have air conditioning then you must enjoy being outside, because on those extremely hot days you won’t want to be stuck in a stuffy house.  Use your space as a place to cool off and enjoy the nice weather (hopefully) the summer has to offer.

 

Martin Furniture and Interior Fittings October 11, 2010

Filed under: Furniture Accessories — admin @ 11:21 am

With the industry in decline, traditional solid wood furniture prices continue to rise. There now only a few that stand out amongst the rest in quality/brand. Congruently, there are few reputable manufacturers of high quality furniture accessories left remaining. Among this handful, Martin continues to leave a mark as one of the premier UK furniture Castors.

Martin and Co was founded over 65 years ago. When supply for local high quality cabinet and door handles was limited, they provided Birmingham manufactured handles and fittings. However, as demand increased around the late 1950`s, they had to expand. Under new ownership,  Martin & Co. were shipping its products all over the country. Soon enough, they were distributing their products to the United States.

Their full line of products includes the following:

Furniture fittings
Kitchen handles
Kitchen knobs
Brass Cabinet locks
Architectural hardware
Interior fittings
Brass handles
Brass cupboard knobs
Door knockers
Hinges

Most of their production still takes place in Birmingham, the heart of the industrial west midlands. They are a progressive company with plans for further expansion and openness to new business endeavors. Along with the nine listed above, their working on incorporating much more into their primary business line.

“With the most comprehensive ranges of cabinet hardware and decorative accessories, we offer a virtual one stop-shop for domestic and contract furnishers, restorers, top end bedroom and kitchen manufacturers, shopfitters and interior designers.” – Martin & Co.