Build your own wooden rocking chair

A rocking chair needs curved runners to serve its purpose. When building yourself, variants cut from a wooden panel are best implemented. Many different basic shapes can be designed depending on your taste. Creative ideas can be easily implemented if a few technical conditions are met.

Physically effective factors

Unlike building a normal chair yourself, the greatest challenge in making a rocking chair yourself is to create a comfortable rocking. Several parameters are decisive for this:

  • The bending radius of the runners
  • The length of the runners
  • The center of gravity of the rocking chair
  • The width of the runners
  • The shape of the bottom of the runners
  • The symmetry of the runners
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The radius and length of the runners ensure a safe swing path, the frequency of movement and serve as fall protection. The center of gravity determines the resting position of the with and without seat load. The width, underside shape and symmetry of the runners "cushion " the rocking comfortably and enable a precise position while rocking.

The shape of the seat and the degree of inclination of the backrest come into their own as indirect usage features. The height of the front edge of the seat is also important, as it allows the floor to be comfortably reached with your feet. This is the only way to "operate" the DIY rocking chair later.

How to build a rocking chair yourself

  • 2 wooden panels for side parts (thickness at least 15 millimeters)
  • Possibly 2 support bars for side parts
  • Possibly storage strips for the seat and / or backrest
  • 4 cross struts
  • 1 seat (slats or board)
  • 1 backrest (strips or board)
  • Possibly upholstery
  • Stencil cardboard or paper
  • Wood glue (6.49 € at Amazon *)
  • screws and nuts
  • Pencil and scissors
  • Jigsaw
  • Grinder
  • Cordless screwdriver

1. Planning sketch

As a basis, you build the seat and backrest between two identical side parts. Depending on your taste, you can only round off the lower edge of the two boards or make a curved sawing out. Make a sketch of the side and the frontal view. The larger you choose the runner radius, the faster the later rocking movements will be.

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2. Skid bending

You get a slow rocking when the deepest center point of the runner course is up to five centimeters lower than the runner ends. From five centimeters the swing accelerates and from around ten centimeters catapult forces disturb the seating comfort. The length of the runner should be flush with the upper edge of the backrest at the back and protrude about eight inches above the front edge of the seat.

3. Stencils

Make cardboard templates for the two side panels. They should also include the attachment points and drill holes for the cross members. Only precise symmetry enables straight rocking behavior. The center of what will later be the seat must be above the center of the runner.

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4th. Saw out components

Use the jigsaw to cut out the wooden panels along the lines marked by the templates and make the screw holes. Sand all the edges.

5. Assemble

Combine screwing and gluing. First connect the two side parts with the cross braces and then insert the seat and backrest.

Tips & Tricks If you want to paint or varnish your rocking chair, it is easier to work on the individual components before final assembly.

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