Rocking chairs are simple wooden chairs fitted with a bowed plank anchored to the legs that allows the chair to rock back and forth. These chairs typically conjure up images of retirement, or simple rest and relax on the porch of a nice old time home.
Step 1 - Choosing Wood
First choose the wood that you're going to use for your chair. When it comes to what you're looking for, pine is the least expensive, however oak is harder and is simply going to last longer. This is especially useful if your rocking chair is intended for use outdoors.
Step 2 - Cutting the Wood
After you've chosen the wood, use cut two pieces of 3-inch thick wood that is 3 1/2 x 20 inches long. Make a marking wherever you want your top to be. Mark 6 1/2 inches up from the bottom of each of the front legs, and make a marked notch at the beginning of this mark that is 5 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch deep on each edge of the front legs. In order to do this, you're going to use a router to make the notches. These notches are going to be what holds up the top front support.
Step 3 - Cutting the Curve
Make sure that the front top support is lean by keeping the top strait (this is where you're going to rest the seat) and then use a jig saw to cut a curve into the bottom. Be sure to draw the curve that you're going to want with a pencil before you start cutting things out as doing guess work can lead to a great deal of confusion later. Here are the measurements you're going to want. The front top should be 4 inches thick, 5 1/2 inches wide at their ends and 25 inches long.
Step 4 - Gluing to the Notches
Next, put whatever wood glue you're using into the notches at the front legs of the rocking chair, then fit the top front support into the notches. Make absolutely sure that the front legs and the top front support are square otherwise the chair will begin to sink and won't be fit to sit in.
Step 5 - Securing the Legs
Next, secure the top front support by screwing it in by driving a screw in the outside of the leg fronts and those go into the ends of the top front support. After you've applied the glue, let the glue sit either for a few hours, or ideally over night. After you've done this, you can use just about anything you want for the backing. Most rocking chairs have ornate backs but if you just want something simple, that's fine too.
Step 6 - Finishing up
When it comes to the backing, what you're going to want to do is measure the shape and size of the back you're using and then create a small inverted carving of it in the base that you had made before. After you've carved the inverted base into the chair you're going to want to put a strong wood glue inside that and then put the backing into the carving, and then let it sit over night.
Congratulate yourself for having made your own rocking chair that you can enjoy for years.