Building a Rocking Chair for the Porch

What You'll Need
Two large pieces of plywood for the sides
Five pieces of pine for the back slats (use whatever type of wood you prefer but pine is good for outdoor chairs)
Four pine slats for the seat
Six pine stretchers
Two pine arms
Two pine seat cleats
Two pine seat cleats for front of seat
Grid paper & Pencil
Circular saw
Jig saw
Moisture resistant glue
Wood screws
150 grit sand paper
Exterior use paint

A rocking chair is a great addition to any porch, as it adds both comfort and beauty. Buying a good chair can be a bit pricey, so read this article and learn how to build your very own.

Step 1- Creating the Sides

Draw the sides of your chair at full size on your graph paper so that you have a stencil to cut your sides with. If you don’t have paper that big, you can make a scaled down version as long as you remember and can understand the dimensions you want on a larger scale. Use your stencil or dimensions to trace the sides of your rocker onto the pieces of plywood you’ll be using. Use your jig saw to cut the shapes into the plywood.

Step 2- The Arms

The arms are really simple. The size you’ll want depends on the size of your chair. Use your router and a straight bit to cut a straight line down the center of the underside of the arms. Stop about an inch and a half from the front end of the arms so the groove cannot be seen when the chair is finished.

Step 3- Making the slats, cleats and stretchers

Cut the back and seat slats to their appropriate lengths based on your specific dimensions. Next cut the cleats that will attach to the underside of the seat. Next cut six stretchers to appropriate length. Two will go on the back of the chair for added support, two between the sides on the bottom part of the rocker and two just under the seat.

Step 4- Assembly

Set the sides of the chair on their sides (as if the finished chair were on its back) before lining up your stretchers and drilling pilot holes. Using two wood screws per side, drill each of the stretchers into position. Next line the cleats directly under where you’d like the seat to rest. Drill the cleats into place using #8 1¼” wood screws.  Next, attach the seat slats to the cleats using both your glue and wood screws.  Slide the back slats into position between the back stretchers and the seat. Drill the back slats into the stretchers and the rear seat slat.

Step 5- Finishing up

Now that the chair is built you can sand the edges and surface of the rocking chair by hand before applying your primer and paint.