My First Maloof-style Rocker in Walnut

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Project by WoodWrangler posted 06-07-2009 11:29 PM 3159 views 6 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

FINALLY! The day has arrived when this rocking chair is moving out of my shop and into my office (it’s temporary home). This has been a weekend project for sometime now and has sat in my shop while other projects took hole. But finally I got around to finishing it and the results are AWESOME!

This would have been only a dream project if it hadn’t been for a local woodworker and chair-maker who offered up his school as a place to learn how to put one of these together. John Richards in Hickory, NC ( took on three students and took us thru this process late last year. We did all the joinery and learned about chair design. This one is HUGE because it was fit to my body … and we nicknamed it “The Throne”.

It’s made of Walnut with maple lamination in the rockers. It’s finished with the Maloof-branded finishes from Rockler (which is a Poly/Oil followed by Oil/Wax blend).

Thanks for looking!

18 comments so far

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 4041 days

#1 posted 06-07-2009 11:42 PM

I love Sam Maloof’s style. There is no one that can match his creativity. You have honored his legacy with this piece, very well done.

View bigwoodturner's profile


231 posts in 3467 days

#2 posted 06-07-2009 11:44 PM

Looks wonderful, something to be proud of.

-- Dale

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 4028 days

#3 posted 06-08-2009 12:06 AM

spectacular copy…and beautiful wood….he’d be flattered…but probably sad he didn’t sell you one he’d made himself….hey, we can all be copied…but miss the bucks of a good sale. it’s a design for museums now.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View a1Jim's profile


117204 posts in 3698 days

#4 posted 06-08-2009 12:11 AM

Very well done good details looks good

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View flcopper169's profile


187 posts in 3461 days

#5 posted 06-08-2009 12:17 AM

Beautiful chair….

-- Happy and safe woodworking,

View Sandy's profile


216 posts in 4046 days

#6 posted 06-08-2009 12:20 AM

I love the look of those chairs, and this one appears to be a fabulous example.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14178 posts in 4104 days

#7 posted 06-08-2009 01:04 AM

a truely big WOW … this is one of the nicest chairs on lj’s … you should be very proud of yourself

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 4190 days

#8 posted 06-08-2009 03:14 AM

Good looking chair !!!!Nice job.

-- Scott NM,

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4171 days

#9 posted 06-08-2009 03:29 AM

Looks great. I have yet to try my hand at building chairs. I was hoping to get to it this summer, but I am beginning to wonder now. After all, it will not be long before I have to get started on Christmas projects.

Thanks for sharing the chair. It really is a top quality job. Keep up the good work.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View TraumaJacques's profile


433 posts in 3622 days

#10 posted 06-08-2009 03:57 AM

Real nice I want to try one but am chicken s.. to try. well done

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View DonJ's profile


251 posts in 3648 days

#11 posted 06-08-2009 04:11 AM

Awesome! One of the best jobs of joinery I’ve seen! I have plans to make one for each of my boys, but that is two projects off… Any secrets to the laminating process and exacting joinery, or is it truely template driven? You’ll enjoy that one for many years to come.

-- Don, San Antonio, TX

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 3997 days

#12 posted 06-08-2009 05:06 AM

Simply a wonderful rocking chair.
The walnut looks super, and the finish was well done.

Thanks for posting

View WoodWrangler's profile


50 posts in 3911 days

#13 posted 06-08-2009 02:16 PM

DonJ – Any secrets to the laminating process and exacting joinery, or is it truely template driven? You’ll enjoy that one for many years to come.

No templates to speak of. Every piece is custom fit to me, how I sit in the chair, how my spine bends, where my head rests, how high off the ground my arms rest, etc. The joinery really isn’t too bad. It’s like the flush trim bit route trick done on other projects … you “bring them home” after they are together. The rocker is made with 8 strips of 1/4” “veneers” and pressed against a wooden form of the desired shape. One suggestion there would be MORE CLAMPS is better. Even when you feel you are done, add a few more. I used the Bessey 1100lb clamping pressure clamps … probably 30 of them. Another suggestion for future chair builders … don’t mess around, just buy a good dust mask. I started being cheap and didn’t invest in anything good. By the third day of sanding/shaping/grinding I couldn’t take anymore so I bought the Trend Airshielf Pro … worth EVERY penny. Other than that … patience, patience, patience because you’ll need to sand, sand, sand!

View George Barreras's profile

George Barreras

185 posts in 3413 days

#14 posted 06-09-2009 01:31 PM

Great job, well done Mr. Maloof would be proud.

-- Nubs,Reserve

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3895 days

#15 posted 06-10-2009 01:49 AM

Very nice rocker! You did a beautiful job on this piece. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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