The Completion

Making this rocking chair has been rich reward for me. I’ve created some unusual and unlikely methods that contradict tradition and wisdom, lightened up the design, and simplified the alternative to compound shoulders to tenons. This is the first design for our range for the living room and I do feel very excited about the coming years for designing all the pieces anyone might need and want to make to furnish their whole house. I do hope that you and your friends and family will join us for this exciting journey into designing your home pieces.

All my bends are laminations but additional shaping took me a whole day with a spokeshave, a rasp, file and a scraper. I have customised it to fit me but it will suit anyone smaller and some bigger. I think anyone making this chair will find the work interesting and rewarding. I have made one in a mix of softwoods, the initial prototype, a second prototype, this one featured here, in solid oak and currently I’m making the last one in black cherry. This will be my fourth rocker in 6 weeks.

Last night, with the rocker on my bench and the last coat of shellac highlighting the grain to bring out the medullary rays, I suddenly felt the flush joy brings in the completion of something you made. With days of working alone in the making, I realised that I just felt joyful. When I worked with men as a boy I rarely saw such a thing but here, alone, late in the day, I felt the smile form and my heart lift.

It’s always been like that for me. I have never supressed it and I have never disallowed expressing the happiness I feel which might be more the culture of the British. Not expressing happiness seems completely strange and especially so in the making processes. I recall my mother’s face when she finished yet another wedding dress and the bride-to-be stood in radiance with a perfect fit. She fussed like a mother hen until every pleat fell just right. I think I got the ability to express joy from her!

So here I am. Saturday night, 9.30pm, rocking back and forth, enveloped in the arms of my new rocking chair feeling pretty chuffed with myself. I rock for a little while and listen to a favourite song, coffee to my right and a pleasant smile releasing the endorphins that come only from making. How I got to this point is catalogued in my shop journal and I glimpse at the drawings to see different points of change.

This will likely become my personal work chair for writing in from now on. Working through the steps it gets new woodworkers to this level of craftsmanship with hand tools has been pure joy for me. My foundation courses on and have paved the way for hundreds and thousands of woodworkers worldwide. This fact alone brings me great joy and causes the same smile to cross my face day after day.


  1. It’s a beautiful design Paul, congratulations! Can’t wait for the video series on this one.

    One question, you state that “All my bends are laminations”. I’m in the process of building my second craftsmen style rocking chair right now where the rockers are cut rather then bend. Could you elaborate on the pros and cons of both? Why did you choose lamination for this one and not for the other? Really looking forward to learning from you, as always.

    Thanks Paul!

  2. Beautiful cair paul. I have wanted to make a rocking chair for a long time. It would be my first chair of any description.
    Like Simon, i would like to know the pros and cons of laminant and bending.
    Thank you for all you do.

  3. Now that really has the WOW factor!!
    Congrats on another absolutely beautiful piece of work showing your creative ability.

  4. Looks beautiful! Can’t wait to see the process you go through on how you designed the back to to fit and be comfortable when you sit back in it.

  5. Great looking chair! I’ve learned so much from your teaching methods.
    Even learning new words from you like “chuffed” !
    I know exactly what you mean.

  6. The endorphins of making deserve a new word in The English Language. It is like a glow of pride. But it is more sudden than that. A shock of achievement.

    1. Yiddish had a word naches that expresses pride & joy usually over a child. Not to get too schmaltzy but i kvell with naches over my humble projects. But then i’m a bit fakakta.

      Spanish has ganas: lust for success, loosely translated. It means desire, striving, yearning to breathe free. To light the welcome lamp beside her golden door. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

      The Italian language has fiero the feeling of winning against all odds, victory over a worthy opponent. Conquest im English comes somewhat close.

      One of my favorites if from Greek: arete…a high and worthy standard of excellence, living your best life by achieving olympian goals.

      Of course, American hillbilly English has kickin’ ass. Used in a sentence: Paul Seller’s new rocking chair kicks ass. I always wondered why macho cultures so often fetishized the word in their phrases.

      Forgive the musings of a cunning linguist.

  7. Beautiful chair, Paul. In addition to the aesthetics, it looks comfy (many rockers aren’t). I’ve been as giddy as a kid staring at the tree on Christmas morning, waiting for you to finish it and send out the videos and, hopefully, plans. My wife saw the picture and is now excited as well. I sit here with credit card in hand to buy the package. It will be my first rocker. I hope that not too far in the future I’ll experience the same feeling you did upon completion.

  8. Amazing talent! Always an outstanding work of art! I just started wood working a few years ago and I enjoy your way of teaching and all the quality projects you share with everyone! I watch you on YouTube and always enjoy your alternative ways to get a project done with fewer tools. You are very kind to think of those just getting started. I am hopeful I can do woodworking as a hobby. I am a 67 year old lady and the way you explain things I think I will be successful. I can enjoy fine craftsmanship after seeing all that goes into your beautiful outstanding projects like this chair!
    Thanks so much for sharing your vast knowledge!

    Jeanine Rollins

  9. What a beautiful piece! Stunning really!
    Congratulations on your body of work and frame of mind! You’ve added a sense of hope for me and my woodworking!
    Thanks Paul

  10. Fantastic that the seat provides tenons in front that go through the front legs… never seen that before. Obviously it adds a great deal of strength and it’s very decorative too.

  11. Coffee at 9:30PM? No wonder you get so much done! I would be awake until 3 am at least.

    1. Nope! I know that it is certainly not the norm, but I can drink a cup of coffee and immediately go to sleep and sleep like a baby!

  12. That’s gorgeous! Amazing what a master craftsman can do with tools. I was wanting to make a rocker for my nephew when he turns 4…can this chair be scaled down for a child?

  13. Your personal design choices and attention to detail have combined to make a magnificent chair. This is destined to become an heirloom. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and workshop mastery!

  14. There’s no joy quite like the completion of a job well done. My mom was an artist and finished sketches and paintings with the same glow – loved the wedding dress memory

    The rocking chair is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this

  15. Your chair looks very very comfortable Paul, not to mention the beauty of something made entirely from oak. I see designer stores selling their furniture at mind numbingly expensive prices, like $5k for a coffee table, 15k for a couch. It seems like madness. How do you sell your furniture?
    Good to hear you do listen to music. Life wouldn’t be as complete without it.
    Best wishes,

  16. I never have had an ounce of interest in making a chair. This… may be a completely different story. Very nice!

  17. I tend more toward Maloof style rockers. Yours seems more Shaker, aside from the scooped seat, in form. I do wonder about the peg-like spots on the rockers. Is that for your laminations or just detail?

  18. Absolutely striking! From the pictures I can “feel” the fine smooth finish adorning the chair. On the lighter side, and I do hope you crack a bit of a grin at this; my memory was the chair name is from a region in Texas. That being said, when I look at your design from the front I am reminded of an old black & white western (any one that can be brought to memory will do), and I envision the cowboy standing in his chaps with just the same shape as the front legs of the rocker. Marvelous!

  19. Paul this a striking design with a look of strength and comfort. Well executed as always. Tim, above, eluded to my thought that you should name the style in the same way you named the Brazos style from your Texas. It looks original to me so why not?

  20. Aloha Paul,
    Are You off your Rocker ?
    Not Ever !
    20 years ago, I had 5-6 that I was popping up each week in either the Traditional Hawaiian Themed Style or a Modular Model that was ‘made to order’ to the size of the customer. These sold for $ 2,500 -5,500 each. I was working in North Kohala than. Most all of them were made of Koa, but sometimes someone would ask for another wood , like Mango or Lychee.
    Everything was good until the ‘Boss’ lost it down a Cocaine Habit ! I left his employment and than stayed at my home shop working on my Father’s needs and building up my Honeybee Farm, ‘Mark’s Bee Haven’. If not for his stupid cocaine and the false front he had collapse around him, I’d still be drafting up more designs of Rockers.
    As it was, in 5 years doing Honeybees, I had 220 hives , across 40,000 acres. Just 20 of those hives , kept the hotels safe from the wild honeybees that were taking over the golf courses and hotel grounds. Those 20 hives also earned the most part of the funds I needed for the family. each 2 weeks, they yielded 1200 pounds of fresh Kiawe honey, which literally Flew off the shelves of the shops that your product was offered at and at the 2 farmer’s markets we went to weekly.

  21. I love your work. Please continue to crate the beautiful pieces in wood and sharing your art of woodworking with us. Thanks very much, Zbigniew.

    1. Thanks for spotting this Mark! You helped alert us to the fact that the domain with ‘www’ at the beginning was not redirected to the main domain. I have fixed this now.

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