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Maloof-inspired rocker

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Project by Grant Libramento posted 1494 days ago 2391 views 6 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally join the growing fraternity of woodworkers honoring the late Sam Maloof by building a sculptured chair in his unique style. When I first attended a demonstration by Sam in Atlanta in 1996 I knew I would someday get around to making one of these. It has taken me until now.
I’m just an amateur so I don’t count hours, but it surely was a long time in construction; certainly a lot more than the Windsor chairs I usually build. I used the templates and advice of Charles Brock because I like his interpretation of the Maloof style.

Black Walnut lumber; three coats of Waterlox. Lots of sawdust and sweat.
Thank you, Sam, for the inspiration.

-- Grant, Tryon, NC





23 comments so far

View Woodenwizard's profile

Woodenwizard

1056 posts in 1653 days


#1 posted 1494 days ago

WOW! Something I have wanted to do. Maybe someday. Thanks for sharing.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Jesse.R's profile

Jesse.R

50 posts in 1523 days


#2 posted 1494 days ago

beautifully done. looks like a LOT of work hand sanding.

-- jesse

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2175 days


#3 posted 1494 days ago

SOOOOO beautiful and well done

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Paul's profile

Paul

213 posts in 2050 days


#4 posted 1494 days ago

Those chairs are so nice. I will attempt one soon.
for my front porch, in a hurry my wife and I bought a couple of rockers from the home center.
I can’t sit on them for more than ten minutes.
Before the end of the summer I will start on one of those chairs.
Before the end of the next summer I should finish it.
What I like about wood working is if you make a mistake you simply start over.. And all the mistakes remain in the garage. It’s not like trying something in the house and then having to live with it and having other people look at it when they come in. By the time it comes out of the garage you’re happy with the results.
Nice job on the rocker.

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3560 posts in 2173 days


#5 posted 1494 days ago

That is a thing of beauty Grant!
My skill level is going to have to come waaay up to make a rocker that nice!

-- Having fun...Eric

View Skylark53's profile

Skylark53

2557 posts in 1658 days


#6 posted 1494 days ago

This has GOT to be a satisfying work. You did a tremendous job on it.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2189 posts in 1613 days


#7 posted 1493 days ago

OOOH LA LA what a beauty , Grant. What a gorgeous build. Lovely wood choices for each piece (it all flows), beautiful finish work. I hate it when I lust in public, BUT I WANT TO MAKE ONE TOO!! EXCEPT, I will not be able to make it as fine & graceful as yours. Congrats, Grant, it is SUPERB

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

View Mike Chapman's profile

Mike Chapman

53 posts in 1582 days


#8 posted 1493 days ago

A really, really nice chair. The lines are beautiful.

-- mikechapmanwoodworker.squarespace.com

View Rob W's profile

Rob W

423 posts in 2134 days


#9 posted 1493 days ago

Looks great

-- Rob — I've cut it off twice and it's still too short!, http://www.witzkewood.com

View stevo_wis's profile

stevo_wis

64 posts in 1625 days


#10 posted 1493 days ago

Fabulous job Grant. I was hoping to start one this year, maybe with William Ng in California. Great job!!!!!

-- Stevo

View ramon's profile

ramon

153 posts in 1782 days


#11 posted 1493 days ago

Cuando un trabajo esta bien hecho y me gusta como el tuyo nunca pregunto cuantas horas tardastes.Pienso que todos los que nos gusta la carpinteria cuando descubrimos el trabajo de Maloof todos deseamos fabricar una de sus piezas y esto tambien me pasa a mi.Enhorabuena tu ya lo has logrado.

View F Dudak's profile

F Dudak

342 posts in 2408 days


#12 posted 1493 days ago

Beautiful chair Grant! I have Hal Taylor’s plans and can’t wait to give this a try. A little different than building a Windsor but I’m sure it is just as fun. Curious if you used any hand tools where the build would call for using power tools. The use of hand tools is what really draws me to Windsor chair making.

-- Fred.... Poconos, PA ---- Chairwright in the making ----

View Grant Libramento's profile

Grant Libramento

172 posts in 1577 days


#13 posted 1493 days ago

Many thanks to everyone for all the uplifting comments. You made my day. Lumberjocks is a wonderful site for building confidence.
Answering Fred’s question, This chair represented my return to power tools. I practically had to relearn to use the table saw, jointer, planer and router. For years I had been using only had tools for my Windsor chairmaking. In this chair each individual part is itself is a sculpture, and after rough shaping with power carbide grinders, burrs and rough sandpaper, I used an assortment of hand rasps for a controlled approach to final shape. So instead of the drawknife, which is the essential hand tool in Windsor chairmaking, the rasp is the important hand tool for sculptured chairs. I don’t think there is a practical way to avoid sawdust with this style of chair. I did lots of the rough shaping outdoors. Invest in a good respirator/dust mask.

-- Grant, Tryon, NC

View degoose's profile

degoose

6972 posts in 1952 days


#14 posted 1492 days ago

Sam would have been proud.. nice to be inspired..

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 1868 days


#15 posted 1492 days ago

From one who has taken up the challenge (and not yet completed it) – Bravo to you Grant, for a project very well done. I am slowly assembling some of the “hand” tools in order to do that more specialized shaping you describe. I have some woods to work with on hand, but am considering whether I want to order a more forgiving species to use for my first trial. Your choice was fantastic and the finish is superb. You have certainly earned your way into the Sam Maloof fraternity….congratulations.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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