Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Rock a Bye Baby".............PART ONE

This will be a project of love in the creation of a family heirloom. However I am sure it will become a popular project once it is completed.

It all began a few weeks ago with a phone call from my youngest daughter, and it went something like this:
She said "Dad.....would you build me a rocking chair?"
I said "Ummmmmm......Ok.......but this is the person who has been supposed to make you a pepper grinder for the last four years and you still don't have it"
she then says "well I think you will have a bit more incentive with this request."
then I said "Hmmmm oh really! Is there something you are not telling me?"
she then says " Well.......yeah I am due in the spring so you have 9 months(now 5 months)"

then I said "cool, congratulations or something like that, after excitedly hollering in her ear and doing the happy dance"
After searching on the internet and asking around, a LumberJocks friend said to me, you need to check out my buddies website. He said this guy is great and if you need help with his plans, he will be more than happy to help.

Once I started going through his site I knew I was in the right spot. As luck would have it, as we were talking, he said he had just completed plans, DVD and a template set on the very chair I was asking about. He said however, they won't be ready for several weeks. This was alright with me because of an upcoming trip to the Midwest and a list of pending project orders once I returned. I told him my plans and asked how much wood I would need for this project. He gave me my answer and then said being we would be passing right by his place near I-90, to stop by and check out one of his works in progress. Unfortunately weather took over and we were unable to stop on the way home, but a visit is in my future.

During the trip scheduled to the Midwest to visit family and considering the cost of hardwood lumber here in Montana compared to the price where it is grown and harvested in the Midwest. I decided to check out what there was to choose from.

During a conversation with another woodworking buddy from LumberJocks who happens to live in the Midwest near where I was headed, made this comment. "You have to go check out these guys. They are great and I really like them and their setup". He provided me with directions, but was unfortunately unable to go with me because of previous plans.

With my brother driving (whom we were visiting) and my wife, we were off to find the sawmill. Not really knowing what to expect, but trusting my woodworking buddy, I was excited.

As we pulled into the drive the first thing we saw was this sign. I knew then everything was going to be great.

Simpson & Son is a small family run business in Northwest Missouri and as soon as we started talking with the folks there I knew we were in the right spot.  They took the time on this cool crispy morning to chat with us and hear our stories, and tell us a few of their own. They obviously were very knowledgeable about the wood they worked with and were very patient with me as I went about selecting just the right pieces of wood for this project. 

Eyeing all the lumber stacked in sheds, and this was just one of them, I knew it would be a tough job, but one I was willing to take on.

Now the fun began, trying to pick the right pieces of walnut, which is the wood chose by my daughter and I.

I had been told I needed to get 8/4 lumber (2 inch thick) and that I would need about 50 bdft. Hopefully I picked up enough extra pieces just in case the saws make some miscuts.

My next problem was to not try and load up all the wood that I had to chose from. Putting me in this place was like putting a kid in a candy store. Oh my!!!!

I did behave for the most part and only got the wood that I needed along with a few other pieces of various other types of wood.

Well....they were using them as fuel for their burn barrel to keep warm while working outside. How could I possibly let those nice pieces of Oak, Maple, Sycamore, Cherry, Elm, etc etc etc.....end up as ashes..when I could picture the nice cribbage boards and other unknown projects they would make..

This is the pile of Walnut that I chose for this project. It is now acclimating to the inside of my shop and waiting for the project to begin.

I am trying to catch up on pending project orders and stock for up coming shows, while I wait for the plans and templates for this project.

Once I begin the building of this project, I plan on doing a blog as to this whole process and the trials and tests I go through. Scott the designer of these plans said, "no problem, you should be able to get it done in 1-2 weeks"
I just smiled to myself and thought....hmmm  ...... Yeah Right...... OK, we will see!

Stay tuned!!!

For more information about ordering your own custom project go to:

1 comment:

Al Navas said...

How cool is THAT? You found the saw mill without any problems - I am so proud of you, Dave!!!

The folks at Simpson Saw Mill are terrific, aren't they? I think they are the best, and they deserve it, for their customer is always first, no matter the size of the purchase.