Off My Rocker

This was a restoration project on a very worn glider rocker.  It was given to me free and I always wanted to understand how a glider rocker worked, so I got busy restoring it.

It didn’t take much to take it all apart because there were very few joints that still had any glue holding together.  Right away I found out that all the bearings were bad.  So the first job was to find the right size bearings.

They sell bearing assemblies for glider rockers, but they are pricey to say the least.  So I did a lot of searching and researching until I found out that the bearings I needed were the same as used on skate board wheels.  And they can be bought in sets for a very reasonable amount.  That allowed me to move forward with this project.

I had to make some parts to replace the split and broken arms.  Some of the hardware to attach these was usable, some had to be improvised.

The side panels were added to the arm assemblies so I wouldn’t need side cushions.  I think I’m better working with wood than foam and fabric.

The springs under the seat were usable but I added some small nylon rope, criss crossed and tied together to give it some extra support.

After taking the back apart and re-gluing all the joints I sanded and painted all the individual parts before reassembling it with the new bearings.  I used all new bolts and lock nuts with flat washers to make sure it didn’t come apart with use.

I was able to use the same fabric over the springs and then made a new cushion with all new foam, batting, and fabric.  A challenge to get it all sewed together but it came out quite nice.

The back cushion was much easier and finished the job.  It was really quite comfortable.  My wife said it didn’t fit in our living room so I advertised it on Craig’s List and sold it.  I almost got out of it what it cost me to refurbish it.  Not counting labor.  Some projects you do just for the fun of it.



Knap Lamp

The first thing you notice about this lamp is that when it is on, the wooden balls seem to float mysteriously in the center of the lamp.   Remarkably, that is how the lamp is turned on and off.  For now I’ll show you the wood working involved, leaving the mystery switch to your imagination.

Knap is a word in the Dutch language that translates variously to clever, good looking, smart, handsome, or bright.  All words that describe this continuing project.  There will be more designs coming soon that will incorporate this switch design.  This is the first.

To make the frame to hold the LED lights I selected a nice hard maple board and began cutting, forming, and finally mitering and joining the pieces to for an octagon.

The mitered joints are made structurally sound by using carefully designed splines, two at each joint.  Lots of cutting and fitting, but it works well for strength and looks nice too.

I needed lenses to cover the LED’s and they were made from 1/8″ milky white translucent cast plexiglass.  That comes covered in protective paper on both sides so you can cut and fit it without putting scratches in it.

The base holds the wiring and power supply for the LED’s.  It is just a basic box made with miter corners to hide all end grain.  There is a separate top frame to mount the upper framework.

Final sanding and then two coats of stain followed by three coats of poly for the finishing touch.

This is “special walnut” on hard maple.

Finally the wires are all connected, the switch strings and wooden balls installed and it is ready to go.  The lower ball has a special resting place when the lamp is off.

It has a mysterious and elegant look, especially when turned on.



Knap Gen Tu

This is the second design from Knap Lamp.  A play on words, generation two (Gen Tu).  Knap Gen Tu, as most of my designs, is a one of lamp.  It is currently for sale, the price is $250 plus shipping. Click on “Shop” on the menu bar above.  I will ship to US only.  Build pictures are available on request.

Knap Gen Tu features the mystery switch of the first design operating 4 LED strip lights (one strip on each side of the lamp), and has an 8′ cord.  It is made of Oak with a golden oak stain covered by 3 coats of poly.  Measurements of the lamp are shown in the following pictures.

Modern Conventional Lamp

I’m always looking to make something unique.  A lamp is always a good project that allows one to harvest some creativity.   This lamp is one that I actually use.  It’s unique and functional.

It incorporates a dimmer switch located in the base with a low energy use LED bulb so it is versatile to provide the amount of light you want at any given time.

The base was laminated hard maple that was then routed and drilled to accommodate the hardware needed to make it all work.

The top of the base got the edges rounded over and drilled for the switch and post for the assembly that holds the bulb.

The switch is one of the main features of the lamp as it gives it you the ability to dim the light to your needs.  Wire connections all done taking time to make them all secure.

With everything secure it was time to make the upper structure.  More hard maple cut, sized, shaped, and grooved to hold the lenses that cover it.  All glued together to make a nice frame.  The top was designed to have some style and allow the installation of the bulb from the top.  Also it has a space at the bottom, all this to allow heat to dissipate so as not to melt the lenses.  This was a lesson learned on an earlier lamp project.


Glue and screws at the key points make it pretty rugged.


The screws get capped and adds to the detail of the lamp.  Gotta insert the lenses before screwing it all together, but also have to finish the wood before putting in the lenses or any more hardware.  I used a clear finish to let the beauty of the maple wood show through.

One small detail that bothered me was the knob that came with the switch.  Silver covered plastic was functional, but I just wanted something more unique.  So I mounted a piece of maple on the lathe and got creative.  This is what I came up with.

          I think it adds to the design.

Unique and functional.

One final note.  The bottom is covered with a medium weight felt to cover the electrical details and provide a nice pad so it won’t scratch whatever it is set on.



Restoration Project

Every time I got my haircut I looked out to see a dilapidated barber pole out by the road of the shop where I have my ears lowered.  I finally asked if I could upgrade it a bit and got the OK to fix it.

This is what it looked like before the restoration.

It’s amazing what a little fresh paint and a little effort can do.

Here’s a closer look in my shop before I returned it.

Just a little project to occupy my time between haircuts.