custom wooden rocking chair blog

Custom wooden rocking chair design & build blog

Please have a look at what were up to, if you have any questions or comments please post! If you want any specific pictures taken please let us know.

Walnut & Cocobolo solid wood rocking chair photo shoot!

Please enjoy my most recent rocking chair. This chair has a main body built from Canadian Black Walnut, the back braces are highlighted with band saw cut grain matched cocobolo.












Handmade sculpted bespoke music stands are born, follow along!

Follow along with pictures of a few music stands being built using Walnut, Curly Maple, Bubinga and Wenge.

Here we start with all the legs and centre sections freshly cut on the band saw.

I saved a beautiful piece of 3’ thick bubinga, it has some beautiful figure hidden under it’s rough exterior. I did not want to waste any of this beautiful timber so I decided to re saw the board on the band saw. This used my entire 20’’ of re saw capability.

There we have it, now for the next step.

I’ve now squared up the billets for centre sections of the base.

About to glue up the centre section, I make a half circle in each piece first then glue together to create a full circle.

These will be the centre posts, I have drilled for the dowel to reinforce the joint.

There you have it glued up and made round!

Before & after Walnut, Curly Maple & Wenge

Adding an accent piece to the top of the centre sections of the base

The one stand will have Wenge as the highlight here i’m glueing a small piece together, I don’t like to waste

There you have it highlights added to the top of each centre post, also the stopped dados have been milled

Laying out for the best possible grain flow while also avoiding defects

All four posts have now been milled round just need to be sanded

Joinery cut in the leg sections, the floating tenon be Festool

This is the clamping caul I devised to apply the pressure evenly along the joint

The coves have been added to the centre sections, they flow into each leg section

About to glue up the leg joint with floating tenons

Let the wood chips fly!

Sanded smooth!

Detail shot of the highlight piece glue lines, not bad.

Another view, you can see the hole for the dowel which will attach to the sheet music holder

It’s time to glue the leg sections to the centre sections of the base

Wood rocket ships?

One last glue up for the night, can’t wait for the morning!

Clamps removed, glue up success!

Sculpted and almost all sanded

Parts for the sheet music holders

There we have it! (-:

After many many long hours almost all the pieces are fabricated

Voila almost ready for finish

Beautiful Bubinga with Wenge and brass pins for reinforcement 

Before & after shaped Wenge threaded adjustment knobs

Finish applied to all the parts, we’re ready for assembly

At a recent show in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

bubinga music stand
bubinga music stand sculpted







Muskoka Arts & Crafts show - Bracebridge July 18,19,20

This past weekend was the Muskoka Arts & Craft Show in Bracebridge, Ontario. I was honoured to receive the award BEST IN SHOW! I’d like to thank every one involved.

This banner was given which hung in my booth for the entirety of the show.

best in show award arts and crafts

The weather was great, the rain held off on Sunday and we were blessed with with Sun on Friday and Saturday.

I decided to build a stud frame floor from 10’ long 2x4’s. I have a piece of vinyl flooring that unrolls easily and looks just like a pretty nice hard wood floor.

This is how my booth looked on the Sunday, with rain on the horizon all day, I decided to put on the walls just in case of a sneak attack from mother nature. The tents are each 10 x 10, expand and pop up very easily.

From left to right Cherry side table, Walnut settee, Sculpted rocking chair, Bubinga Music Stand

Bubinga music stand, Walnut & Birdseye Maple dining chair, sculpted Walnut counter stool, Walnut bar stools with cafe table.

Cafe table with Walnut bar stool, Cherry natural edge waterfall side table and a beautiful book matched 2’’ thick live edge coffee table.

A hit of the show was my most recent rocking chair which is actually a double rocking chair built from some of the best 2’’’ thick Curly Maple i’ve ever seen from Southern Ontario. Wenge highlights in the bent laminated rockers.

One of my favourite wood combinations i’ve used, beautiful Canadian Black Walnut and Curly Big Leaf Maple

This small sculpted rocking chair has an extreme contrast between the Curly Maple and Wenge

Finally the view from my booth


Until next year!


Bespoke Walnut Dining Table & Chairs

This client found my website through searching the word BESPOKE. Although this word is not used very much on this side of the pond, we now live in a world wide society where anyone from anywhere can search their local terms.

Bespoke is an adjective for anything commissioned to a particular specification. "Custom-made", "made to order", "made to measure" and sometimes "hand-made" are near-synonyms. Taken from Wikepedia.

The grain on the Walnut table top is beautiful! I love the contrast of the Birdseye Maple and Walnut.


Walnut dining room table and chair set, hand sculpted.

View from the back featuring flowing faire curves & a sculpted crest rail into the legs.


This shows the re-enforcement of the long grain to short grain joint at the crest rail. Hidden behind the 3 ebony plugs of each side are 3 4’’ stainless steel hardened screws.


Grain orentation is very important in the crest rail. These custom dining chairs feature band saw cut grain matched Birdseye Maple.

This shows the leg joinery on the dining table. This is was is called a Maloof joint named after it’s creator Sam Maloof. The joint reveals everything the tongue & grove which is re-enforced with 2 4’’ screws which are plugged with Ebony.


Build your own rocking chair class is in session!

In this post you can follow along as Bill builds his own beautiful handmade one of a kind heirloom solid wood rocking chair. I try to take as many pictures as I can along the way as I teach my course. The course is offered as a 6 or 10 day, which is taught one on one. I build my own chair as you tail behind me building your own chair. Enjoy! This blog post will give you a glance into the sculpted rocking chair build process.


Start off by watching us work in timelapse!


At the start we’re moving the big boards around deciding on where to layout our templates to best achieve beautiful grain lines. The boards are first fought cut to length using the radial arm saw, the old Sears Craftsman still gets the job done after all these years thanks for the saw grand pa

Once most of the blanks are fought cut we must smooth a face and a edge to create a 90 degree corner then we can mover on to the thickness planer. The machines which can give use a square corner is a jointer, in this case a 24’’ 3400lbs Robinson & Sons from 1951! This machine looks and sounds like an air craft carrier and it cuts like butter!

Bill has now made the 2 board seat, we use a pair of f clamps to help with alignment then apply extreme pressure with some 50 year old pipe clamps.

Using the table saw and a 6 degree jig Bill is able to machine a 6 degree angle to the inside face of the rear leg of his rocking chair. This will create the 6 degree splay to the rear legs.

This is the front leg assembly after the joinery has been completed but still not shaped. In this step an adder block is being glued to the back side of both legs, they bill be cut in half at an angle to create a front leg which has a similar splay as the rear legs and a very fair curve into the seat.

This is the beginning of the coopered headrests. They are created with 6 blanks which have an angle on the sides just how a barrel would be made. To clamp the block sections together we use a clamp called a pinch dog, they are a ancient technology used by Egyptians.

The seat has been rough sculpted with an angle grinder with a kutzall carbide wheel. Next the front edge will be rounded over into a smooth fair curve, which your legs will thank you for.

In this picture you can see various parts of the 2 chairs we’re fabricating. The remaining billets for the headrest our arms which have been shaped, bent laminated rockers and back braces.

With the bandsaw set at an angle were able to create a smooth flowing arm to rear leg joint.

Finally time for some sanding, here we will take the seat up to a polish!

This is my seat sanded to a polish!

Bill is still sanding but getting close, looks great!

Of course another shot of the beautiful timber from Nicaragua called Chocolate Tiger

Here Bill is drawing a few lines which will be cut on the bandsaw, once these cuts are completed the front legs will almost be done!

The rear legs are glued on, EXCITING!!!!!

Removing material from the underside of the arm adder block, this cuts down on time spent grinding wood away to give the arms a beautiful fair 



About time to glue on the font legs. A good way to end off the day!


Canadian Woodworks   -   Custom wooden rocking chairs dining chairs bar stools and tables    -    Hand Made in Acton Ontario Canada
Paul Lemiski    -    info@canadianwoodworks.com