Walnut Rocking Chair

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Project by Marshall posted 12-30-2015 02:11 AM 1153 views 4 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been wanting to build a Maloof style rocker for about as long as I’ve been a woodworker (about 5 years I think)... I always put it off thinking that my skills weren’t there yet. Well, I still think that, but I did recently complete my first rocking chair.

My wife and I had our first baby about 3 months ago, and when we found out she was pregnant, I decided to build this chair for my son.

I started looking around online for plans, tutorials, classes, etc. I decided to buy the book and template set from Hal Taylor. His book and DVD does a phenomenal job explaining and illustrating the build process step by step. He also answers questions by email and through his yahoo group community. Without him and the yahoo group, there’s no way I could’ve completed this project.

The legs, arms, and rockers are made from two bookmatched walnut slabs. The seat and headrest come from a third slab. I tried to match the look of the grain and sapwood throughout the chair. The back braces actually come from some scrap walnut I had laying in my shop. I actually love the way they turned out with the gnarly grain pattern.

This project pushed the limits of my woodworking skill, and taught me new skills. It also provided an excuse for a few new tools :). It didn’t come out perfect, but I’m quite happy with the results. It took about 8 months to complete my first chair, and I’m already looking forward to starting my second!

Check my blog for photos of the build process.

Thanks for looking!

-- Marshall -

19 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


1307 posts in 2433 days

#1 posted 12-30-2015 02:52 AM

Very nice rocker. Your craftsman ship shows well.

Having built a rocker, I know how much work goes in to making one so I appreciate the time you spent on it.

Thanks for sharing your family heirloom.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Sandra's profile


6933 posts in 1495 days

#2 posted 12-30-2015 03:04 AM

Stunning, well done! It looks timeless.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View bushmaster's profile


1252 posts in 1702 days

#3 posted 12-30-2015 03:09 AM

I thought perfect was perfect, but you say there is one more perfect, maybe that is perfection, well I would say you got that too, so where do you go now. I greatly admire woodworkers that put there heart and soul into a project like this. very very well done

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2604 days

#4 posted 12-30-2015 05:09 AM

Looks like a huge amount of work (especially sanding). Nice job.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Marshall's profile


151 posts in 1475 days

#5 posted 12-30-2015 01:53 PM

Thanks guys (and gal). Yes it was a ton of work, but quite rewarding. I enjoyed it all up until the sanding… sanding is my nemesis on all my projects :)

-- Marshall -

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)


22669 posts in 2286 days

#6 posted 12-30-2015 01:59 PM

This rocking chair is very beautiful and nicely made.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View RogerM's profile


747 posts in 1819 days

#7 posted 12-30-2015 03:13 PM

This chair gives you away. With results like this your skills are obviously way up there!!!!! Nice job and thanks for sharing!!!

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View JNP's profile


113 posts in 1997 days

#8 posted 12-30-2015 04:42 PM

Congratulations on both the new child and the new chair! Stunning work!

-- Jeff

View sras's profile


4363 posts in 2549 days

#9 posted 12-30-2015 05:33 PM

Great job on the chair! I enjoyed following your blog as well.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View mkodikan's profile


3 posts in 298 days

#10 posted 12-30-2015 05:40 PM

Nice work

View Marshall's profile


151 posts in 1475 days

#11 posted 12-30-2015 05:42 PM

Thanks for the comments guys. Steve, I really like your quote in your signature. I’ve learned that the hard way a few times. You’d think it’d stick one of these times :)

-- Marshall -

View mc269's profile


65 posts in 887 days

#12 posted 12-30-2015 06:00 PM

Awesome build, something that will be passed down for generations. Very nice work

-- Mike Chaffin - Past-Time Woodworks

View david38's profile


2380 posts in 1763 days

#13 posted 12-30-2015 07:09 PM


View leafherder's profile


854 posts in 1372 days

#14 posted 12-31-2015 12:15 AM

What a great creation. Looks like you did some great work there. Yes it was a long process but the results were worth it. It must feel really good to know you can produce something so amazing. I’m sure that everyone who visits your happy home will marvel for years to come. Thanks for posting.

Oh yeah, the chair is really great too. :)

Congratulations on the birth of your son, and may you live to see many generations of your offspring rocked in this chair.

Happy New Year and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2016.

-- Leafherder

View Woodbridge's profile


3451 posts in 1838 days

#15 posted 12-31-2015 12:17 AM

beautiful rocker. You did a great job matching the wood for the seat and back. they look great. I agree with your the wood you choose for the back braces is very nice. Congratulations on a very fine rocker, but more importantly your first child.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

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