Maloof rocking chair class question

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Blog entry by bkap posted 01-25-2012 05:00 AM 7252 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am considering offering a new special for those who would like to take my Maloof-style rocking chair class.

After talking to a number of woodworkers, I have come up with a “class bundle” offer for a week of instruction on rocking chair science.

If at least six (6) woodworkers sign up for any week-long (5 days) “class bundle,” then, by a drawing, one of those woodworkers will receive that “class bundle” for FREE.

Included in the five-day (Monday thru Friday) “class bundle” is the following:

Five days of personal instruction on how to build a Maloof-style rocking chair.
All the Hardwood necessary to build the rocker.
Free hotel accommodations for the class week.
Hand tools, that can be taken home, to work on the rocker.
Finish materials, such as Tung Oil.
Permission to take all the pictures desired.

Students will be able to assemble, set, rock and balance their rocker during the class. After class, the rocker can be disassembled for easy carrying in a car or shipment with luggage.

Yes, I can do all the instruction necessary for the technical features of a Maloof-style rocker in five days. I have done it before.

Total tuition cost for the above “class bundle” is $1,800.

So what do you Lumberjocks think? A good deal or not?

Bill Kappel…. the rocking chair guy…

-- Rocking Chair Guy

6 comments so far

View sras's profile


4943 posts in 3332 days

#1 posted 01-25-2012 04:33 PM

Hmmm, hopefully you will get more views than just mine.

With only the information above, if I won it seems like a pretty good deal. But if not I would be wondering if my fee was covering for the winner. I’m not sure that would attract me.

Another way to go would be to just offer a discount. That would work out to $1500 each instead of $1800.

At $300 per student, you could also use that for some nice extras (and leave the fee alone). Maybe score a volume discount on some tools to make a nice sign-up bonus.

Like I said – hopefully some others will chime in – they might like the idea.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View bkap's profile


329 posts in 4460 days

#2 posted 01-25-2012 09:17 PM

Thaniks for your input. I will consider your thoughts.

-- Rocking Chair Guy

View bkap's profile


329 posts in 4460 days

#3 posted 01-25-2012 09:28 PM

What do you woodworkers think? Go to $1,500 for each? The only thing is I would like to show five or six at a time how to make these rockers and not just one at a time.

-- Rocking Chair Guy

View jschmitz1949's profile


56 posts in 3264 days

#4 posted 01-26-2012 05:49 AM

Overall, a 5 day instructional would interest me, but I tend to agree with sras that a raffle for free instruction with such a small group would be a turnoff. Depending on further details I might not consider $1800 out of line, but if I were paying $1800 in a group of six knowing that one person had it all waived I would be a little upset. I think offers like that ‘work’ in large group settings, or on a personal communication level due to circumstances, etc.

One add’l consideration: I like the ‘all-inclusive’ idea, but when I get around to making my Maloof-style rocker I want control over my wood – not necessarily on figure of each piece, but wood species. I know this ends up with varying costs, but a tiered fee structure might be one option to give people some choices between cherry, maple, walnut, ...

Where are you located, because I am interested and have started looking around on options for learning to do a Maloof-style?

View bkap's profile


329 posts in 4460 days

#5 posted 01-27-2012 08:01 PM

This is what I am looking for, good ideas as stated above. Thanks for the input.

-- Rocking Chair Guy

View bkap's profile


329 posts in 4460 days

#6 posted 01-28-2012 07:41 PM

jschmitz1949, good input, I like your ideas. I have been out of town and was not able to adequately respond the first time, as your comment deserves.
Walnut, Cherry and Maple would generally be acceptable, however, you know woodworkers, not all could be pleased.
My dilemma was to keep sight of the overall goal and that is to learn how to make a Sam Maloof style rocking chair. With this in mind I have deemphasized the species of wood in favor of a good (domestic) hardwood, so I can get on with the class.
Because I have students from many parts of the world having them bring their own wood could pose huge problems, such as customs, fumigation, and inspection as well as shipping dilemmas like getting lost, damaged, etc. Then after the student arrives at my shop we have to consider allergies of any or all the other woodworkers. Dust, fumes, resins and who knows what else contained in some Exotic woods. In addition, a considerable amount of time could be taken up with highly figured wild-grain wood needing special consideration.
So we make the rocker of good Domestic Hardwood which can be utilized and prized as a model for future rockers.
After so many years of teaching and making unnumbered rockers, I have found an interesting aspect of human nature becomes apparent. Once you have your rocker home, in all likelihood, another rocker will be the subject of conversation and this is the place for special woods to be considered. If you are like me, (old) pushing eighty (someone once told me not to worry about old age because it doesn’t last that long,) you have children craving a rocker then Grandchildren fancying one and Great-grandchildren coveting a memento of their grandparent with all this leading into a ‘on end in sight’ scenario, which of course is why we are woodworkers.
Keep checking my web site because I am coming out with a new presentation designed to save woodworker a LOT of money and time. I am getting to that age where money is not that important, I have (almost) all I need to live the way I want to, so I want to make available this small contribution before it is too late. This offer will cover classes, manual text, patterns and jigs as well as a full class video presentation at a reasonable cost and all this with the ease of ordering on line as individual items or a shopping basket. The text, patterns and jigs have been ready with a lot of pictures, but I am a woodworker not an electrician or computer wiz which is the reason for the hold up thus far.

I wonder if you can guess which word my wife added?

P.S. the raffle and price change are out for now. Just wait until you see the new info.

Take a look at my new project.

-- Rocking Chair Guy

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