Maloof style rocker inspired by Bill Kappel

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Project by mwilhelm posted 05-12-2014 02:56 PM 1384 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first project I have posted on here. I am relatively new to this site and have been working on this rocker for some time now. I am a PhD student, so I have only been able to dedicate 1 day/weekend to working on this chair.

I made two Maloof style rockers in 2012 for my sister and sister-in-law but they were not nearly as nice as this one. I built those without using patterns and using only 4/4 lumber. For this rocker, I chose to enlist the help of Bill Kappel, who was very kind and helpful throughout the process. I ordered his patterns and his complete instructions on building a rocker (these were VERY inexpensive and helpful).

This chair is made with 8/4 american black walnut (front legs, back legs, backslats and runners), Bastogne walnut (seat, headrest (12/4) and arms) with accents of hard maple and maple burl. There are a few small areas where the finish is not perfect and I may go back and touch them up after I build a rocker for my wife.

I found that building these rockers is not very difficult, especially with patterns and instructions. I did find that in order to build a nice rocker you must have copious amounts of a few things: time, patience and attention to detail. Other important things to have are a few tools and a very understanding wife.

Enjoy the pictures and let me know what you think. I am correctly working on my wife’s rocker, which is Argentine mesquite with purple heart accents. I will post pictures when I finish that one (in a few months).

6 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

18606 posts in 1427 days

#1 posted 05-12-2014 03:32 PM

I always love these chairs. great job.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View tirebob's profile


133 posts in 1943 days

#2 posted 05-12-2014 04:14 PM

Really like the walnut for this chair… Nice work!

View Scott R. Turner's profile

Scott R. Turner

265 posts in 2278 days

#3 posted 05-12-2014 05:07 PM

Great piece of work!

View a1Jim's profile


113829 posts in 2666 days

#4 posted 05-12-2014 06:17 PM

Very very nice I can’t imagine the hours and hours you have spent to make this look this great,plus being a PHD student sounds like you can do it all,extra nice work.

-- Custom furniture

View gfadvm's profile


13942 posts in 1779 days

#5 posted 05-13-2014 12:10 AM

Beautiful chair and demonstrates some serious woodworking skill. Still on my bucket list.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1265 days

#6 posted 05-13-2014 09:37 PM

Must be quite a job to build something like this. Great job. Thanks for sharing.

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