Four Guys, Seven Days & Four Maloof Inspired Rockers

  • Advertise with us
Project by Charles Brock posted 11-10-2010 04:39 PM 6321 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Four woodworkers came from Canada, Wisconsin, Texas and Alabama to my studio in Columbus, Georgia to build their “bucket list” rocker with me October 25-31.

Day One
They all started with 8/4 and 10/4 prepared walnut stock stacked on their Hoffman and Hammer work benches. They began by crafting coopered seats so their seat could have that “Smile”. They cut the bevels in their seat boards and reinforced them with Festool Dominos. After cutting the seat to width they cut their notches in the seat to begin the signature joinery at the schools new SawStop using a Kreg miter gauge and a cross cut sled. Two other tasks also began. Charles’ assistant Mark McGowan worked with each woodworker individually gluing up sets of laminations to make their reverse curve rocker skids. Charles demonstrated spindle making using a bandsaw, patterns, Auriou Rasps, Microplanes and scrapers of various shapes and sizes. Seven spindles have to be made for each rocker. Learning to carve and reconcile a set of spindles is the primer for carving the entire chair.

The Taste of Columbus Lunch Tour began with all the fix’ns at Country’s Bar-B-Que.

Day Two
The rasps were rasping out spindles while the coffee pot was brewing up another round on day two. Spindle making was at full tilt. I hated to slow spindle making, but progress had to be made on the rabbeting the seat joints. Each woodworker experienced rabbeting the joints on the superb Kreg Router Table. With great care in set up and with everyone understanding how to use the starter pin, the rabbets were just jumping off the table. Next, I demonstrated the process for laying out the seat bowl and removing waste at the band saw before glue-up. While each waited their turn at the shop’s Agazzani and Steel City band saws more spindle carving and skid glue-ups were taking place. Everyone got their first crack at using the set of three Festool RAS 115 grinders w/ Dust Collection we have at the school. They used the grinder to shape and waste some stock from some seat boards that would be hard to band saw unless you were Sam Maloof. Since no one decided to be a hero, they all successfully used the grinders. A long day indeed! Everyone dusted off and got a good nights sleep.

The Taste of Columbus Lunch Tour visited B. Merrell’s today for wings and good American food.

Day Three
Yes we do have glue! But first, we faired the back legs band sawn from the pattern and squared the arm and seat joint stems with a Lie-Nielsen hand plane. I love those hand tools! We cut the front profiles of the back legs at the band saws before gluing on adder blocks at the seat stems. These will be ready by afternoon for some tapering, dadoing, rounding and fitting to the seat joints. We fit the front legs to the seat joints by cutting the dados, rounding them over using router planes, sanding blocks and floats fit them to the rabbeted notch. Then we band sawed the profiles and turned them. Also more spindle making (started making 1/2” tenons) and as our friend from Wisconsin said, “Back to the rasp”! More skids, too! and Oh Yes! We glued up the seats!

The Taste of Columbus Tour wentUptown in Columbus to Minnie’s. Southern food served by ladies that call you honey and sugar and just make you feel welcome. Our woodworking friend from Ottawa really enjoyed the experience.

Day Four
We started grinding the seat bowls into the signature contours that make this a wonderful rocker. We had three going at one time while I worked on details with each woodworker. After drilling holes with the Miller Dowel Bit and driving Spax screws we were all legged up by the end of the day. Time for a major celebration! Yesssssss!

The Taste of Columbus Lunch Tour had a treat at our place to go eat lunch in Columbus for the last 60 years. Dinglewood Pharmacy. This is the home of the “Scrambled Dog”. They took pictures of it, ate them and lived to tell about the experience.
Day Five
I showed the guys how to fit, band saw and sculpt a Maloof Inspired arm. We worked at that for most of the day!
We also worked on seat, and leg refinements, spindle reconciling and gluing transitions. They were happy but tired when they scurried out at the end of the day.

The Taste of Columbus Lunch Tour enjoyed generic Mexican at El Carrizo. This was on my dime!

Day Six
Everybody worked on arms, skids, spindles, and such before starting on headrests. We fit them by mitering them at the table saw. Then cut the front back and bottom profiles before, drilling the seat and headrest mortises. A full catch-up day of woodworking!

The Taste of Columbus Lunch Tour visited Rose Hill Seafood for fried catfish, shrimp, broiled flounder and the like. My parent’s favorite!
Day Seven
Get-A Way Day! Airplanes and automobiles after an all day session on sculpting the chair. I went through every joint and how to sculpt them with several different tools. There is a secret to getting that monolithic flowing look that comes from fairing in the joints. Now they know it! We also worked on finishing sanding and recipes for that Maloof inspired finish. We took pictures, packed chairs for transporting and shared our joy over the project and experiences we have shared together.

We ate in the shop on this busy final day.

Wow! I just love teaching this chair! It is especially good in my new school facility consisting of a 500 square ft. bench room and a 1000 square ft. machine room. All with heat, AC and plenty of good light. I can also sleep in my own bed each night.

-- Charles Brock

11 comments so far

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 3708 days

#1 posted 11-10-2010 06:49 PM

Amazing work … wish I was closer and could have attended your workshop.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3293 days

#2 posted 11-10-2010 07:10 PM

WOW….that looks like one great class….I would second SPHin above that if I was closer, I would love to attend.

I have the book/dvd set…and will have to get with it – I’ve been going slowly forward….but a class is so much better for motivating…and bypassing the mistakes that are typically made when beginning on projects like these.

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

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3212 days

#3 posted 11-10-2010 08:40 PM

Boy did I find this interesting. I have been kicking around going to a class for some time. I looked over your web site and $300.00 for the class a smoking deal. I have to read it over more to see if there are other charges, besides getting room, car, & food which is a given. I really look fwd to talking to my pops and see if he will go as well. Now that he’s retired hes broke! ( which is so far from the truth ).

Great post and love seeing people have fun! Thx

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

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3797 days

#4 posted 11-11-2010 12:10 AM

Looks like the guys had fun. Everybody should be proud of a job well done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View WoodLe's profile


155 posts in 2819 days

#5 posted 11-11-2010 05:33 AM

Wanted to build one for a long time. Sam Maloof was a nice guy and a great woodworker!

-- Wooster, Ohio

View sras's profile


4806 posts in 3152 days

#6 posted 11-11-2010 05:35 AM

Good to see another post from you Charles. This class is very tempting – any chance you would take the show on the road someday? Say … maybe the Portland / Vancouver area??? Looks like every one had a great time! Thanks for sharing!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18285 posts in 3699 days

#7 posted 11-11-2010 09:29 AM

WOW!! Must have been a blast ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3549 days

#8 posted 11-11-2010 09:52 AM

The teacher and the students have done a very fine job wooking the wood and creating treasures! Wow!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3212 days

#9 posted 11-11-2010 01:29 PM

Ok working nights got me on my earlier post. Not even sure how I hit 300 but after looking over the web page and price for the class $2500 I’m still interested. Hopefully my dad will want to go with me so we can spend all that quality time having fun. Thx for the post.

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

View Charles Brock's profile

Charles Brock

50 posts in 3031 days

#10 posted 11-11-2010 02:15 PM

The weekend demo “Sculpting a Maloof Inspired Rocker” class is $300 in February. The seven day “Build Your Maloof Inspired Rocker Class” is $2500 (includes walnut). The January class is full but a new April class has five benches open. My assistant and myself work with a maximum of five woodworkers. Thanks for your interest!

One reasons for opening the school was the cost of taking the school on the road. Transporting the wood, a rocker, tools an assistant and myself to another location, paying for food and lodging plus workshop space is just not feasible. I held my classes in Atlanta for several years and realized people were still paying to come to Atlanta they might as well come to Columbus. So I opened the Maloof Inspired School of Woodworking about 5 minutes from my house.

The January class has woodworkers from British Columbia, Oregon, Iowa, Ohio and Alabama. I’ve had Canadians at three classes in a row coming to Georgia. So come on down!

-- Charles Brock

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3218 days

#11 posted 11-12-2010 06:20 PM

Wow 7 days to build a rocker. Would take me a lifetime on my own.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics