Walnut Maloof Style Rocker

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Project by mwilhelm posted 06-01-2016 02:00 AM 2352 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My brother and I recently built this Maloof style rocking chair to donate to the Akron Symphony Orchestra charity auction. This is the second chair he and I have built together. I have to say it turned out great. We used some fantastic looking black walnut (Jugulars Nigra) from Northeast Ohio. The pieces were selected from two book-matched slabs. The arm rests are cut from crotch figure while the seat has minimal crotch figure but some pretty cool grain patterns. We chose to use a 6-board seat to keep symmetry with the grain patterns on the seat. To continue with the symmetry, we used 6 back slats and one board (cut cross-grain into 6 pieces, angled, then glued back together) for the head rest. The accents are Hickory in the runners, maple in the dowel holes and fiddle-back maple on top of the back legs. We chose to make the finish more gloss, which I will say made the finishing much harder.

We were somewhat nervous as to how much it would go for at auction considering not many people go to charity auctions to buy a Maloof style rocker…. unless they are in the market for a Maloof style rocker. Thankfully, there were a few people interested in the rocker and it ended up going to $4,000 which made us very excited (also the orchestra since they made all the money). We are so happy with the product and the fact that we were able to help raise that much money for the orchestra. The finish in these pictures is not complete (but these are the most complete pictures I have). After these pictures, I wet sanded with 2,000 grit and then applied two coats of Howard feed-n-wax. It was smoother than my 7 month old’s rear end. ;)

13 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


5858 posts in 2352 days

#1 posted 06-01-2016 02:23 AM

Your Rocker is soooo beautiful!! The way you used the grain in the various elements is amazing. Cutting it from one piece at the top of the back, incredible. It’s no small wonder it sold for as much as it did. Your rocker is possibly the finest looking one I’ve seen here. A true masterpiece!

View majuvla's profile


12683 posts in 2954 days

#2 posted 06-01-2016 03:38 AM

Real piece of art and woodworking craftmanship.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Mip's profile


453 posts in 2164 days

#3 posted 06-01-2016 05:35 AM

That grain on the arms is something else! Beautiful workmanship. $4000 you say? Could be the start of a small side job going on here. That finish is something else, too!

View Ken90712's profile


17566 posts in 3275 days

#4 posted 06-01-2016 08:17 AM

Amazing work, beautiful work. Amazing wood , Wow.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 862 days

#5 posted 06-01-2016 03:09 PM

That’s pretty incredible finishing, and construction too. How many hours went into this thing?

View JimInNM's profile


305 posts in 1303 days

#6 posted 06-01-2016 03:46 PM

This is undoubtedly the most beautiful rocker/chair I have ever seen. The design in making all the grain patterns match is flawless and the craftsmanship leaves nothing to be desired. You’re a better man than me, I could never part with something this special…Thanks for sharing

-- JimInNM........Space Case

View Richard's profile


1917 posts in 2777 days

#7 posted 06-01-2016 08:24 PM

I think Sam would be proud of you both for the work invested and for the cause it was done for.

View Gary's profile


1303 posts in 4410 days

#8 posted 06-01-2016 09:54 PM

Glorious!!! It’s an exceptional beauty.

-- Gary, Florida

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2776 days

#9 posted 06-02-2016 12:05 AM

Y’all did a super job on this one! The wood grain, contrasting materiels, and attention to detail make this a one of a kind. I think they got a bargain @ $4000.

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

View Woodbridge's profile


3560 posts in 2504 days

#10 posted 06-02-2016 01:47 AM

beautiful work on the rocker.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View ClaudeF's profile


705 posts in 1793 days

#11 posted 06-02-2016 08:50 PM

Great work with some beautiful wood!



View mwilhelm's profile


20 posts in 1692 days

#12 posted 06-03-2016 01:19 PM

Thanks everyone for the great comments. We really appreciate the feedback.

View mwilhelm's profile


20 posts in 1692 days

#13 posted 06-03-2016 01:21 PM

That s pretty incredible finishing, and construction too. How many hours went into this thing?

- gargey

It’s hard to say exactly as we both work full time and just do this in our evenings and weekends. I would say that in total it took somewhere around 120 hours including finishing time.

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