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How to Make a Beautiful Rocking Chair [Kindle Edition]

Hal Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

This book is over 250 pages with almost 800 full color, crisp, clear photos showing every step in the making of a beautiful rocking chair and is offered here for people who would like to see all the steps involved in the creation of a beautiful rocking chair. Should a reader decide they would like to "take the plunge" and make a beautiful rocking chair of their own, they should purchase the full sized template set and the template for routing the back brace holes in the seat from Hal's web site.
Hal Taylor has been studying the art of the rocking chair since he was a wee lad and has been teaching the art for the last 16 years, having taught close to 1000 people by now through his in house programs and this book.During that time Hal has perfected the action of flexible back braces for rocking chairs which prompted Colin Eadon-Eadon, past editor of "Furniture and Cabinet Making", Britains premier woodworking magazine to say "This is the most comfortable wooden chair I ever sat in!" 
Prior to making the 300 plus rocking chairs that he has made to date, Hal worked as a consultant to manufacturing, teaching people how to make products that were both exquisitely made and assembled with intelligence, grace and ease. Hal brings this experience forward into the writing of this book which reduces the seemingly difficult task of creating a beautiful and comfortable rocking chair into a series of small, manageable and understandable steps, the last one of which is to "turn around and have a seat in the most comfortable chair you ever sat in!"
Many of Hal's students have gone on to make a living making rocking chairs, in part because once the first one is made it seems a natural course of events to start thinking about the next one.
This is the same book Hal uses to teach his rocking chair course. Due to a glitch in Kindle's conversion application for "InDesign" the TOC did not translate but it is so easy navigating via the Kindle and iPad that it is not missed much. 


Product Details

  • File Size: 6956 KB
  • Print Length: 473 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Taylor; V5.2 edition (January 1, 1997)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007DN04IA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,863 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Project of a Lifetime March 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I became interested in rocking chair building about two and a half years ago. And I came across Hal Taylors website. His site is a combination of rocker sales for his clients, and the university where his students are able to learn to build these fabulous rockers. Hal has a live classroom that students can actually participate in at his own home/business and he has a set of materials and templates that you can purchase as well and follow along with his book and build one of these fantastic chairs. I purchased his book, and his templates and I built my first rocker two years ago and I have never looked back. His instructional manual is tops, when I bought mine it was much more expensive then the Kindle version but don't let that fool you. The Kindle version is the exact same book! Just much less then what Hal was selling them at two years ago. Hal also provided email and phone support for any questions that may arise while building the rocker. His instructions are concise, great photos, and excellent clarity in the text descriptions. The biggest thing that attracted me to Hals chairs and his manuals, is his chairs are so unique. Look, everyone is building the "Maloof" chair. I love Sam's chairs too. But they are flooding the market with them. I wanted to build something unique, and I wanted to have a direction in chair building where eventually I could start to incorporate my own design ideas easily into the chair. And Hals book gives you those opportunities. Build your first chair with Hal, then insert your own style into the chair with chair number two and so on. Or build all your chairs like Hal's, he's good with that! Whatever you decide to do, buy his Kindle book, you'll not be sorry.
This review is unsolicited.
John Morris
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I built this chair and you can too. March 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
As mentioned by earlier reviewers, this type of rocking chair is on a lot of woodworker's bucket lists. This chair will challenge you and you'll learn many techniques that will translate over to your other woodworking projects. In other words, you will become a better woodworker after having completed this chair.
Hal's book takes you step by step through the process from lumber selection and grain orientation to final assembly and everything in between. A list of tools and supplies is included in the appendix. There are lots of photos and drawings to help you understand the process of making your chair. If you run into a problem or just don't understand something Hal is always there for you. He is just a phone call or an e-mail away.
Finally I'll tell you that this is by no means an easy project, but with Hal's book it is possible for folks with modest woodworking skills, such as myself, to create something beautiful that you will be proud of. I know I'm very proud of mine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essence of Making a Beautiful Rocking Chair February 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Hal Taylor is, without a doubt, a master craftsman with an eye for detail and a desire for perfection. He refers to himself as the "other" rocking chair maker, a clear allusion to the art and craft of the late Sam Maloof for whom Hal has great affection. No doubt he follows in the tradition that Sam exemplified.

After deciding to craft his own style rocking chairs some twenty years ago, Hal has now made over three hundred. As might be expected, his first was for his daughter Rachael. That accomplishment became the impetus to focus his efforts full-time on designing and crafting beautiful rocking chairs. Like so many accomplished artists, Hal willingly shares his knowledge with this book, a detailed account of the ways in which he works from choosing the rough lumber to finishing the final product. In it, Hal uses an informal style and quickly reveals that he enjoys what he is doing whether demonstrating, teaching or sharing his knowledge and wisdom. While communicating with ease, he spins out his yarn and easily provides a comfort zone for his readers, both amateurs, hobbyists or gifted professionals. He achieves this with humor on the one hand and attention to detail on the other but always mindful of his ultimate goal: making beautiful rocking chairs. His presentation is remarkable both in its textual account as well as in the use of graphics and images. Both his book and his craftmanship are truly inspiring.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book March 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I purchased an ealier version of this book before it was offered on the Kindle and paid quite a bit more. It was still a tremendous value and I completed 2 beautiful walnut rocking chairs and am working on my third. Having a step by step plan really made this complex project approachable and a lot of fun. If you are considering building a rocking chair do yourself a favor and buy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You owe it to yourself to check this out. February 28, 2012
By Gator
Format:Kindle Edition
To say Hal Taylor is a rocking chair builder is like saying Hemingway is a guy that wrote a story. Hal's patience while teaching and his attention to detail while working through a project is so well thought out that following him while he explains the process of planning and building a chair is both relaxing and exciting at the same time. His instruction is done in a way that you find yourself wanting to learn more about every smallest detail, and understand "why" he follows a certain process because he has learned from trial and error through the years. I have attended a lot of classes and instructional seminars in my time as a woodworker, but have never come away from anything with the feeling of excitment to put what I learned into form. Hal is such a down to earth person, who really enjoys sharing his talent and life experiences that you can't help but want to do so much more. His chairs have a look and feel like no other, and to have one is something everyone should have on their "bucket list". Hal Taylor is an excellent instructor who focuses on ensuring you understand and learn his craft, and his dedication to teaching others is only outdone by his talent. His stories, his humour, and his passion are an experience that he loves to share with everyone. The man truly is gifted.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very informative
Published 2 months ago by bruce a hayden
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
Kindle edition is accessible from my Kindle, Macbook, PC and Ipad. Much better than print, because one can pick up and reference the manual wherever you are. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Auburn Tiger
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - Beautiful chair
After seeing all the beautiful furniture in various woodworking magazines, I decided that a rocking chair would be my next woodworking project. Read more
Published 7 months ago by jrdavison
5.0 out of 5 stars Rocking Chair made easy!
Concise, detailed instruction. I would recommend this for anyone, thinking about crafting a fine piece of furniture. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jack C. Read
5.0 out of 5 stars Woodworking Excellence
I bought this book without knowing what a treasure it is. First of all it is very well written and generously illustrated. Read more
Published 10 months ago by iggie_zawicki
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book - precise instruction but if you want to really built a chair you should get the full Pdf version from Hal Taylor because pictures in the kindle version are to small
Published 22 months ago by Boguslaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive
The book is very good. It is well written and very comprehensive. The author provides many good tips and insight into why he does certain things. Read more
Published 22 months ago by John A McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Overview
Have enjoyed reading and learning from Mr Taylor. Am currently researching to build a Maloof style rocker. This book gives a great overview of his process.
Published 23 months ago by Drdk
5.0 out of 5 stars Creating the perfect chair
Hal Taylor sets the bar for instructional,inspirational, and informative rocking chair manuals. I have created several rocking chairs from Hal's book. Read more
Published on May 23, 2012 by Wes Osterbur
5.0 out of 5 stars A formidale project made doable
I have been a serious woodworker for 30 years and have made mostly traditional furniture and period furniture with inlay and veneer and using carvings and turnings in the design. Read more
Published on February 29, 2012 by John T. Allen
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More About the Author

I was born in Parsons, Kansas in 1947. My parents were divorced when I was four and I spent the next ten years bouncing back and forth from parent to parent, city to city, pretty much raising myself. I do not recall spending two consecutive years in the same school until I reached high school. By my high school years my mother, two sisters and I had moved back to the place of my birth where I completed four years of high school. Why not tell the truth 'eh. Early on I felt I knew how to make things. My father, who was never around, was a very good craftsman and I guess genetics counts for something. I always felt more comfortable making things and studying physics and metaphysics than talking with people. When I was four years old I would drop marbles in the floor of the back seat of our car as we were driving in order to determine if the marble stopped moving when I released it or if it continued to travel at the same speed as the car.

I attended our local junior college for a year or so and finally ended up volunteering for the draft in '67. After a year in Ft. Monmouth studying electronics I did a year tour in Viet Nam, stationed in Can Tho, south of Saigon where I repaired secure communications equipment. We were seldom shot at and when we were the VC who were shooting proved, for the most part, not to be very accurate.

As a young man who had barely traveled more than 100 miles from home, being in Viet Nam was an outrageous adventure. I met my first Buddhist monks and used to spend one afternoon a week teaching them English. Until I was informed I was fraternizing with the "enemy" at which point the language lessons came to an end.

Back from Viet Nam I enrolled at Pittsburg State College in Pittsburg Kansas. I was planning to study psychology. Since I 'hated' biology, my adviser recommended that I take the course "Biology for People Who Hate Biology". "An excellent idea" I thought. Unexpectedly, I found the course and the professor to be brilliant and when registering for the following semester sought another course that Dr. Riches taught. Again I found it an amazing experience. Finally, having taken every course he taught I realized I was a biology major! I graduated with a degree in Biology, a minor in Chemistry then went on to work for a company that manufactured electronic instrumentation used in bio-medical and bio-chemical research, thus combining my electronics from the military and biology/chemistry from college.

Weary from the travel involved in repairing this equipment, I took a job as a bench technician in an electrical engineering company where, given access to a computer I taught myself assembly language programming, basic and machine code programming. They soon promoted me to the position of Project Engineer where I designed digital controls for industrial machinery and wrote software. While there my boss quit to start his own company and hired me as his first engineer.

I ended up the Manager of Electrical Engineering for a small company in Woodbridge VA where I continued to design digital electronics for industry, wrote manuals and guided young engineers. After several years I was promoted to Plant Manager where my primary responsibility was manufacturing engineering. Finally - I had discovered why I had been created! I loved this job! From there I started my own consulting company, Manufacturing Excellence. When faced with the prospect of extensive travel or making something at home I opted for making something at home so I could be with my three small children, Rachael who was then five, Aaron two and Rosie almost one year old. Were it not for my wife, Wendy's willingness to re-enter the job market this would not have been possible.

It has been interesting and now my children are either graduated from, or attending Mary Washington University. I do not make too many rocking chairs these days but love teaching and research so I continue to teach and do my "rocking chair research". After 18 years of making and improving rocking chairs I continue to make changes. I would have thought that by this time I would have discovered everything. Fortunately, the adventure continues!

My hobbies include making musical instruments, studying the history of religion and the history of humanity on the earth. I am a certified hypnotherapist.


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