||Yikes! My favorite lawn chair has seen some better days!
It broke in the middle of a mortise. I've repaired a similar break on other
lawn chairs, but I know, in time, they will break again.
So I'm going to replace this rocker with a laminated
piece of wood. The multiple laminations and glue lines will make the rocker
strong like plywood, and will be good looking as well. I still have the
other rocker in one piece, I will use this for making the "bending jig"
that my new rockers will be made in.
||I also chose some nice maple for the stock. I've cut
a rough sawn 5/4 maple board into 1/4" strips. These will be tossed
into the planer to make uniform laminations that will equal 1 1/2" when
||First I planed on 8 laminations at .187" thick (1.5"divided
by 8) but it seemed to stiff to bend easily so I felt I needed to add a
few laminations, thus making all the laminations thinner. 1.5"divided by
10 laminations equals .15"each, this seemed to bend more easily. The number
of laminations is a "judgment call", you want them to bend easily, but
you don't want to apply glue to millions of strips of wood either! Trial
and error I guess.
I used the good rocker as a pattern to make the bending
jig. It's a little tighter (in it's radius) than the old rocker,
thats because when the clamps are released after it cures, the wood will
tend to spring back abit.
The form is very simple to make. It's just a piece of
2X4 screwed to a piece of plywood. The little strips of wood just keep
the assembly up off the plywood so air can circulate and aid in curing.
I spray a few coats silicon on the jig to prevent the assembly from bonding
to the jig.
||Heres another view of the jig. It's not too hard to predict
spring back after a little practice...the harder the laminations are to
bend around the jig, the more they will spring back. Besides, it's really
not that critical. Again there's no scientific formula to determine how
much spring back will occur.
||Here I am stuffin the laminations thru my planer. Finish
mill was to 0.15". I also decided to have 2 of the laminations African
Padauk, as an accent color. When i redo the arms of the chair, I will
pick up the same accent there as well. Maybe white and orange webbing for
my lawn chair too.
||Here I'm applying the epoxy to the laminations, giving
them a liberal coat on all mating surfaces. This is a structural epoxy
that is plenty waterproof, so I won't be falling off my rocker again! You
this epoxy here.
||The first clamp being applied. There are strips of wood
on both sides of the assembly to protect it from the clamp pressure. It
is important not to over tighten, this will cause flat spots!
Be sure to keep the pieces as flush as possible on top.
You can do this with a block of wood and a hammer... gently!
||As you add clamp pressure you'll notice the first clamps
tend to loosen up and fall over, just givem a little more pressure. Start
in the middle, and go both ways, adding clamps to the left and right, bending
both sides more or less equally. This will prevent the assembly from slippin
in the jig.
||The rough glue up shape matches nicely!
||Before passing thru your planer, take a paint scraper
and knock off the high blobs of glue that dripped all over the place. Put
the flatest side to the bottom for the first passes thru the planer. This
will make the planed surface square to the edge surfaces. If you don't
have a fairly flat assembly, it's not all that improtant (for this project
||What comes out the other side is really a pleasure to
see! The assembly is a near perfect match to the jig. It really doesn't
matter though, so longs as both rockers are the same. Next a little
mill work, drill some holes and some assembly and I'll be back at the soccer
matches in my favorite chair!
||After the final assembly and new webbing, I have a really
comfortable, and stylish lawn chair! This was a really fun project, using
exotic woods, bending wood, and now I have a nice place to rest when I'm