Maloof-inspired walnut bench with woven leather seat

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Project by pmayer posted 02-09-2015 11:12 AM 3839 views 17 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While on a visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1999 or 2000 I had an opportunity to sit on a Danish Modern bench with a woven leather seat that was made by Sam Maloof. That was something of a religious experience, so at that moment I added making one of these to my woodworking “bucket list” and I’ve been thinking about it on and off ever since. I love the curvy lines and bold joinery that are characteristic of a Maloof piece, and building this bench and using a rasp to sculpt these joints made me appreciate his genius even more. This is not an exact replica, but I did my best to capture the essence of the Maloof original.

-- PaulMayer,

11 comments so far

View michelletwo's profile


2744 posts in 3043 days

#1 posted 02-09-2015 11:22 AM

OOOOHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! you nailed it! I’m in love! with this!

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1896 days

#2 posted 02-09-2015 11:37 AM

Yessssss. ^

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View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

789 posts in 3860 days

#3 posted 02-09-2015 11:42 AM

Very nice work! Very fluid and graceful.

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View leafherder's profile


1424 posts in 1979 days

#4 posted 02-09-2015 03:01 PM

Beautiful work. I would love to see a picture of the underneath side to see how the lacing is finished.
Thanks for the inspiration- I might have to add one of these to MY bucket list.

-- Leafherder

View R_Stad's profile


410 posts in 1870 days

#5 posted 02-09-2015 03:26 PM

Came out beautiful Paul. Joinery and shaping are right on. Here’s to Sam Maloof and his spirit of woodworking. Well done.

-- Rod - Oregon

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1248 posts in 1740 days

#6 posted 02-09-2015 04:24 PM

Lovely! MAloof meets MCM style. Nice finish too..
Thanks for sharing!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View pmayer's profile


1028 posts in 3092 days

#7 posted 02-09-2015 04:34 PM

Thanks for the nice comments! Leaf, I couldn’t find any info on how to tie this off on the bottom, but here is what I did. I just tied a single knot on one end, which seemed more than adequate to prevent slipping. Then on the other end I pulled it as tight as I could then tapped a steel shelf pin in tightly to secure it. Before tapping in the shelf pin, I ground it to a taper so that it would work as a wedge to lock in the leather. Then I cut off the other end (and sanded it to a gentle dome so that it is not sharp) so that it protrudes enough for me to grab it with pliers if I ever want to remove it to tighten up the leather, but it doesn’t protrude so much that it is visible from normal viewing angles.

-- PaulMayer,

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 1898 days

#8 posted 02-09-2015 05:05 PM

This looks amazing, beautiful.

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View Woodbridge's profile


3548 posts in 2445 days

#9 posted 02-10-2015 12:25 AM

beautiful bench. I’ve just added another project to my list.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View SteveGaskins's profile


748 posts in 2614 days

#10 posted 02-11-2015 12:57 AM

Amazing bench. I’m adding to my list as well.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View htl's profile


3912 posts in 1186 days

#11 posted 01-07-2016 03:44 PM

This bench just looks so inviting, you just want to sit and feel the handles.
Nicely done.

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