LumberJocks

Sculpted Maloof inspired Rocking Chairs #1: Rough shapes and construction

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Ehren posted 786 days ago 2203 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Sculpted Maloof inspired Rocking Chairs series Part 2: Fitting leg joints and slow progress »

For a while now I’ve wanted to build a rocking chair. I was finally tipped into starting the construction after my dad is retired after a thousand years and I found my wife trying to rock my kid to sleep in a folding chair in the nursery and so I’ve finally set aside my other projects and buckled down. In the purest form of logic I decided since I’ve set aside the time for one, might as well build two, just don’t tell the wife or father which one I make all the mistakes on.

I wanted to post a blog to share with friends and open up the floor for any advice from some more experienced craftsmen out there.

I am using instructions and templates from Mr Bill Kappel from www.kappelusa.com I have made some changes for better or worse to fit my tooling or preferences along the way.

I got the walnut locally, plus a little extra for later.

I also developed some concept sketches to help with shaping and planning using Bill’s templates.

I cut all the templates on thin MDF to help with transferring the designs and for use with some jigs during the shaping later on.

For the runners I cut my walnut laminates and book matched the top layer. The bottom of the runners will have one ply of Rock Maple for protection against the floor. I couldn’t find any mesquite and I think a little maple will contrast nicely.
I used the inside curve of the runner to form a template for laminating. I chose to vacuum laminate the runners help with glue penetration and apply even pressure. When I do this again I will modify the mold so I can run some bolts to help clamp the runners to the mold and still get the vacuum pressure. I applied one layer at a time as I roughed out other parts of the project. Then finally split the runners and planed them down to my desired width.


I chose to make a contoured seat and matched the front and back legs to my leg joints on the outside boards.

The front legs make a 90 degree connection 9 inches from where they join the arm rest. I rounded the corners with a 5/8” round over bit and cut a dado 3/8” deep by ~1” wide to match my rabbet bit on the seat joint. For now the boards are 3” wide but will be trimmed and given a slight curve.

The back legs sit at a 5 degree angle from the seat. I used a quick template and router to make a 5 degree surface on the inside of the back leg and then cut a matching 5 degree slot (3/8×1”) using the same template. I then took it to the table saw for a matching slot on the other edge at 5 degrees mitered. I then used the roundover to match the seat rabbets, I did this last to keep more surface area to provide stability for routing the slots.

Once the joints were fit as close as I could manage I glued the seat together outside boards to the middle seat boards. I rough cut the seat contours to help with shaping of the seat later. Never mind what looks like a burned board, I may or may not have busted the correct blade and resorted to using the incorrect blade as I still wait for my replacements to come in.

After sitting in clamps for 48 hours I matched everything up and made final measurements for the headrest, back-slats and arms

I always like projects that involve tools I don’t have. As a result I now have a new grinder, and have the seats roughly shaped using a 40 grit flap disc. I’ll hit the seat once more with the grinder and 120grit then transfer to an orbital and scrapers working up to final finish.



7 comments so far

View elton's profile

elton

13 posts in 1947 days


#1 posted 786 days ago

I was just thinking about bloging with the rocker I am making. Looks like you beat me to it, maybe I’ll do it anyway. Looks great so far.

View Ehren's profile

Ehren

27 posts in 861 days


#2 posted 786 days ago

Elton, sounds great, I’d be interested in seeing your progress.

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1957 days


#3 posted 786 days ago

Sam was a dead friend of mine and taught me how to make his rockers.. I posted link to one of his chairs I made in case you wanted to see how it looked.. as well as a link to my website to show some of the classes I teach making these rockers.. please feel free to PM me if you have any questions or if I can help..

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/16042

http://randallalanfurniture.squarespace.com/blog/2011/10/4/maloof-rocking-chair.html

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1842 days


#4 posted 786 days ago

Looks like you’ve got a great start on your chairs. I’m impressed.

RBWoodworker, your chairs look fantastic! I’ve got to make one for my shop, but if I do, I’ll never get out of it an do any work…

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Bsmith's profile

Bsmith

295 posts in 1276 days


#5 posted 786 days ago

Great blog. I will be following this. I don’t think I’m quite ready to tackle the rocker yet but will someday. RBWoodworker – sorry about your dead friend. ;-) I too have great respect and admiration for Maloof and his chairs.

-- Bryan

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1957 days


#6 posted 786 days ago

Oops.. I meant to say “Dear” friend.. wow..I can’t believe I missed that..

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View krisrimes's profile

krisrimes

99 posts in 1140 days


#7 posted 783 days ago

Looks great so far. This is on my bucket list. Keep up the great work.

Kris

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase