From wood selection thru final finishing, building a rocking chair or other piece is a complex, involved but extremely satisfying journey.
Grain direction is very important, especially on rocking chairs. No one wants a rocking chair to creak or even worse, break under the normal loads imposed on the wood and joints. Therefore, selecting wood with the proper grain-orientation cannot be over emphasized. The front and back legs should be oriented (as much as possible) with the grain following the curves. Where joinery will be used, wood should be free imperfections. Sometimes this process results in being unable to use perfectly colored or beautiful wood, but it is much better than risking compromising the chair's strength and integrity.
Once the wood is selected and the individual chair parts are laid out and sketched, each piece is rough-cut with the appropriate saw and then shaped to exact dimensions using templates and a shaper with a specially designed bit. This step ensures that each piece will fit exactly into it's counterpart, whether it is a leg into a seat or an arm into a leg-joint.
Using machinists tools to guarantee perfect fits at every joint, each cut is painstakingly measured to within ".01" tolerance and created using the appropriate saw, router or other specialized tool. Each piece is test fitted and inspected for a flawless fit. Once satisfied that the joint is perfect, the legs are joined to the seat, and the headrest and arms are joined to the legs using the latest super strong glues and, where appropriate, dowels and stainless steel screws to further strengthen the joint. Once completely assembled, a rocking chair (or any other piece) is guaranteed for life to retain its strength and stability. I have never had a chair or other joint fail.
After complete drying, a chair is sanded..and sanded...and sanded. Although tiring and often tedious, sanding is the majority of the work involved after assembly. When properly done, the sanding process will produce a flawless finish, free of defects and one that will add brilliance and warmth to the hardwood. This is accomplished through multiple sessions, each with progressively finer grits of sandpaper, and always finishing with 600 grit hand sanding and then burnishing with "0000" steel wool to ensure the finest sheen possible. This is one of my favorite steps because the figure and grain of the wood reveals itself fullest here, sometimes pleasantly surprising me with subtle color and figure characteristics that always make me smile.
The finishing phase is a critical step in building a fine piece of furniture. The figure and color of the wood is brought out fully during this step, and I am constantly amazed at the unique qualities that each chair or table displays; no two are alike. We now use a unique blend of tung oil and resin, made by Waterlox, which penetrates deeper and seals wood fibers beneath the surface. It also provides a natural looking protective finish that won’t chip, peel, crack or wrinkle.
I invite you to experience the look, feel, quality and comfort of one of these handmade pieces. My rocking chairs provide superior lumbar support and will cradle your body like nothing you have ever experienced. It is like being hugged by a warm friend. But whether it is a rocking chair, a table or settee, you will be astonished at how comfortable and strong they are and you can be confident that your piece will last for generations. I guarantee it.