Replacing rocking chair runners

Claudia McAfee
by Claudia McAfee
An extreamly large visitor just dropped into a goose neck rocker my grandfather made. I tried to glue damage, but the cracks are spreading. Where to get new runners and how to join to rest of chair structure.

  3 answers
  • Shoshana Shoshana on Jul 05, 2017
    Measure the width of the existing rocking chair runner. Choose a board of the same thickness and 2-inches to 3-inches longer than the existing runner. Select a board with a long grain running down its length rather than across it. A long grain provides more strength. Lay the board on a flat and level work surface. Turn the rocking chair to its side with the existing runner positioned on top of the board. Trace the outline of the existing runner onto the board with a pencil or marker.
    Place the wood across two sawhorses and clamp it in place with C-clamps or hand-screw clamps. Follow the guideline drawn on the board with a saber saw equipped with a standard blade to cut out a new runner. Load a belt sander with 100-grit sandpaper and use it to smooth the bottom and top of the runner. Sand the runner lightly to avoid creating depressions in the wood. Remove the clamps.
    Align the new runner with the old one. Position the concave side on the floor with the convex side facing up toward the rocking chair legs. Mark the location of the rocking chair legs on the new runner with a pencil. Secure the runner to the sawhorses with C-clamps or hand-screw clamps. Fit a power drill with a drill bit exactly matching the diameter of the bottom of the rocking chair leg. Drill a hole through each mark and half the depth of the runner. Remove the clamps and test the fit of the new runner into the chair legs. If the fit is too snug, sand the inside of the hole with 100-grit sandpaper to enlarge the hole. Apply wood glue to the base of each leg and inside the runner holes. Place the runner onto the chair legs and tap in place with a mallet. Place a hand screw clamp from the bottom of the rocking chair runner to the top of the seat and tighten it to secure the runner to the rocking chair.

  • Claudia McAfee Claudia McAfee on Jul 05, 2017
    Thank you for the advise. Since my son-in-law has dibs on the chair when I'm no longer here, I think this will be a good project for us. Would like for him to receive the chair in good condition when it's time.

    I am 73, I've been told my grandfather made it when he was very young, so I know it's of antique age. For 50 years I have guarded it with a passion, but in a split second someone with no appreciation of a rare beauty ruined it.

  • Gracie Gracie on Jul 05, 2017
    If there is a place near you that does custom woodwork, they could probably replicate them for you without spending too much $$

    • Claudia McAfee Claudia McAfee on Jul 06, 2017
      Having someone in the business would be the best idea, since I am dealing with something old, precious and very valuable (to me). Just haven't gotten started on the process of finding and deciding on right person.