Legacy Project: The Dundas Rocking Chair #2: Pile o' Parts Plus a comparison of the Dundas to the Maloof

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Blog entry by Lee Barker posted 11-24-2012 07:54 PM 1295 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Backstory plus Gluing Up Backslats Part 2 of Legacy Project: The Dundas Rocking Chair series Part 3: Building the Halves »

With my limited experience in the world of rocking chairs, I’m inclined at this point to divide them into two groups: Armed and no arms.

Of those two, the first group has two subgroups: Arm integral with the front leg, and Not.

The Windsor Rocker is a fine example of the arm and leg not being integral.

The most elegant of the other subgroup is the Maloof chair. Much has been written here and elsewhere about this iconic design. Let me just add that, having built one, I can attest that it can be a spiritual experience. And there is seemingly no end to the satisfaction of creating such an honored form from a truly honorable man who blessed us all by freely sharing the work of his mind and hands.

However. As I approach final assembly of this chair, I find it to have a charm of its own. It is slightly more robust looking. Less organic, yes, but a sense of presence permeates this design. Mr. Dundas did a fine job.

It is inevitable to compare the leg to seat joint when you’re talking about these two chairs. Nothing will ever approach the Maloof design for elegance, repeatability, strength and brilliance. The Dundas is a mere lap joint, but it’s still right.

It’s hard to see, but the side rails have a facet cut on them which better integrates the angle of their offset from the sloping back leg.

I hadn’t noted this previously, and should have: The Maloof, with the wooden seat, is a better showman for the wood you choose. The Dundas, as designed, will have an upholstered seat. I am contemplating tanned elk hide for my version; this one’s material selection will be made by others.

Next, subassemblies, and another key difference between the M and the D.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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