"Free Web Class" Koa Rocker

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Project by bkap posted 03-03-2012 11:08 PM 3050 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just though that those following along in the Free Web Class, on, might be interested to see my latest Hawaiian Koa wood rocking chair. One picture is of another rocker being made in my shop, but the rest of the pictures are of the Koa rocker. Note the accent of Ivory and Ebony on the top of the back legs. I use five Backslats (*) shaped to simulate leaves because this rocker is being shipped to Hawaii.

  • Five Backslats or seven makes no difference except for the aesthetics you are trying to achieve. It seems an odd number is more often pleasing to the senses than an even number, not sure why, but that’s the way it is.

I know the picture color is not correct, but what can you expect from a woodworker.

Any woodworker can make these rocking chairs if you have a mind set to follow along with the instruction text and pictures given on my web site Don’t be timid, come along and join us for a pleasant excursion to wonder wood-land.

-- Rocking Chair Guy

16 comments so far

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3676 days

#1 posted 03-04-2012 01:34 AM

Absolutely gorgeous, and comfortable looking too

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View tinnman65's profile


1359 posts in 3534 days

#2 posted 03-04-2012 02:32 AM

Fantastic job!! Love that Koa

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3255 posts in 3833 days

#3 posted 03-04-2012 04:39 AM

Splendid! I wish I had the patience for such a project.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View a1Jim's profile


117203 posts in 3697 days

#4 posted 03-04-2012 05:55 AM

heavy duty cool.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3357 days

#5 posted 03-04-2012 01:26 PM

That’s one of the most beautiful rockers I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing it and also thanks for the online class. If you are ever passing through East Tennessee, let me know and in return for the online class, I’ll fix you up with 40 or 50 bft of some beautiful Appalachian hardwood. I slabbed some ash at 8/4 thick last week. When it’s dry, I’m going to use it to build my first rocker. Then I’ve got a cherry crotch that’s got some beautiful figure, and a walnut crotch that’s dark as chocolate with lots of feather for the back and seat. The center flitches are quartersawn so the straight grain in the legs and back will be both beautiful and strong. I’m taking down a sugar maple tree in my yard that is dying. It is one gnarled, twisted, ugly and at the same time beautiful tree. I hate to lose it because of the shade that it gives and my wife’s grandfather planted it around the turn of the century. But, I’ll replant it from one of the sprouts that spring up in my yard every Spring from the other 5 huge maples around my house.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Ken90712's profile


17570 posts in 3309 days

#6 posted 03-04-2012 03:31 PM

Amazing, I have to agree one of the best I have looked at on here. I’ll check out the web page as well. Great post!!!!!!!

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

View bkap's profile


327 posts in 4377 days

#7 posted 03-04-2012 03:52 PM

Hal, I am envious of all the different woods waiting for your projects, especially because these woods came from your own property, what a pleasure to work with wood originally planted by your ancestors. Just think of it; you will make an heirloom item that in generation to come will be remembered as not only being made by you, but made from trees planted and grown by family members also. Not many woodworkers can have that privilege.

I may come your way just to take you up on your wood offer.

-- Rocking Chair Guy

View Hawaiilad's profile


3255 posts in 3141 days

#8 posted 03-04-2012 07:40 PM

Very Very nice chair and design. Don;t you just love working with Koa…I do

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View bkap's profile


327 posts in 4377 days

#9 posted 03-04-2012 07:46 PM

I do enjoy Koa it has so many revelation.

-- Rocking Chair Guy

View Hawaiilad's profile


3255 posts in 3141 days

#10 posted 03-04-2012 07:49 PM

I sell to a gallery here on the Big Island that only wants Koa products. The owner is an old woodworker that loves working with Koa, but can not any longer because she breaks out all over from the dust of raw Koa. Sure am glad I don’t have that problem. I sell lots of Bandsaw boxes and trivets in her gallery…..all Koa

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View dannelson's profile


194 posts in 2491 days

#11 posted 03-04-2012 10:33 PM

not to bust anyones bubble but lets give a little credit where credit is due. bkap, you mention that the chair is a maloof inspired design on your site but you fail to mention this small fact on your post. I dont see to many design changes that you have made. looks alot like the same chair charles brock offers with a video and full size patterns.granted this is not an easy project and it looks great however. backslats to simulate leaves because it going to hawaii? who are you kidding?

-- nelson woodcrafters

View bkap's profile


327 posts in 4377 days

#12 posted 03-05-2012 01:24 AM

Thanks for your comments Dan,
My web site is full of credits to Sam Maloof and sorry I failed to mention same for this rocker post, although I think I did for some of my other post.

I think you are correct Charles Brock doe sell the Maloof inspired similar items mentioned and I am sure they are useful. I have the original Sam Maloof tape about his woodworking projects emphasizing his rocker construction method. I have enjoyed this tape over the years and would recommend it to anyone if you can find a copy.

The Backslats shaped to simulate long leaves; I have seen in Hawaii, may be a poor description of what I tried to achieve so please forgive me for the liberty I took. It has never been my intention to hide the fact my rockers are inspired by Sam Maloof and lets face it how could one hide this fact? If you will note a small design change I made in this rocker is what I call my ‘ranch’ front leg also besides the Backslats the front of the arms are not at all what Maloof does with his rocker or at least those I have been privileged to handle in person.

Sorry for your note of cynicism about the destination of this rocker. Just to let you know it did go to a customer in Hawaii after I ordered the Koa shipped to me and build the rocker. Not that this fact changes my life, but it may change yours a bit hopefully to brighten you outlook. Mike I have shipped my rockers all over the world some much farther away than Hawaii such as Australia, Germany, England many parts of the U.S.of A. No big deal at my age and the number of years I have been making these rockers one is bound to have done something of this nature.

Whatever you outlook on life you are still a woodworker and that makes you a real person to my mind

-- Rocking Chair Guy

View bkap's profile


327 posts in 4377 days

#13 posted 03-05-2012 01:36 AM

Hawaiilad, it seems I got this post out of order, but I am sure any woodworker could figure it out. Good for you with selling your Koa items. It is always a boost to sell something one has put a part of themselves into.

Wood dust is a real problem one that I have fought all these years especially when your lungs are attached. As a young woodworker I never gave it much though, but as the years passed and I ended up going to an allergy specialist I came to realize how dangerous wood dust can be. Take warning fellow woodworkers be careful and watchful

-- Rocking Chair Guy

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2659 days

#14 posted 03-05-2012 10:05 PM

Beautiful chair, I think the inlays are great! I am hoping to make some scraper shaves and give them a go instead of sandpaper. I hate sanding anyway, and sculpting seats with an angle grinder sure kicks up the dust.

-- I never finish anyth

View bkap's profile


327 posts in 4377 days

#15 posted 03-05-2012 10:56 PM

I have used scrapers, but find them too slow and hard on the hands although they do keep the dust down with fewer lung attacks. What I now do is open my garage door and place a twenty inch fan to the back of me while working with the grinder; this seen to work just great. Of course I live in the country where I can do this and I might add only in the summer time; don’t like to do this with all the snow on the ground. I really don’t mind the snow it is the temperature below freezing that is the problem with the door open.

-- Rocking Chair Guy

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