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Maloof Style Rocker Spindle - Router Template Jig

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Project by Woodbridge posted 772 days ago 4201 views 21 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am in the process of making a Maloof style rocker (using Charles Brocks plans) and have gotten to stage where i need to make seven spindles.

Rather than spend lots of time with my portable belt sander to get them to the proper shape before final shaping I decided to make a simple template jig that I could use with my router. Since I need to make seven the same I thought a jig would be a useful tool. Since the spindles are relatively high (about 1.5”) and quite narrow, the jig has three wide tabs to provide stability. The top of the jig is attached the bottom with three threaded knobs. The spindle blank is inserted and lined up with the top template. The spindle blank is held in place with three threaded knobs screwed in from he top. I grinded points on these knobs so the blank is held firm. From the bottom a few finishing nails sit slightly proud of the bottom of the jig and keep the blank from moving. The centre tab prevents routing every part of the spindle so a bit of time is required with the belt sander.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario





15 comments so far

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2421 posts in 1676 days


#1 posted 772 days ago

thats cool! I always thought they laminated or steam bent those….never thought about that approach! nice job – awesome jig!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

2546 posts in 1003 days


#2 posted 772 days ago

Thanks

There seem to be two schools on making rocker spindles – some do use bent lamination to make the spindles, others others use solid rockers. I used bent laminations when I made the spindles for my Dream Rocker Reproduction, but in this case since I’m using Charles Brocks plans for this one so I thought I would stay true to the plans and give solid spindles a try.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1774 days


#3 posted 772 days ago

Great work, look fwd to seeing the finished projects.

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

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1822 days


#4 posted 772 days ago

Great idea for your jig. I’m planning to build some rockers from the same plans. Only I’m going to modify then a tiny bit. I’m going to laminate the spindles and rockers with walnut and ash. I like the way the laminates look. I’m going to make a jig to form the spindles from 1/8” strips. I built a hydraulic press to glue up laminated gunstock blanks and it will press a 55” X 8” board. To build the jigs, I’m going to laminate 2X6’s then cut the curve in the center so I can press them together to hold the laminates while the glue sets. I’m going to build 2 rocking chairs for myself, and several more for my kids and relatives.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View woodworkerscott's profile

woodworkerscott

352 posts in 1399 days


#5 posted 771 days ago

Making a Maloof Rocker with Brock’s plans myself. After watching the vid and reading the book the first thing I did was spend part of a day making templates for everything out of various MDF. Your spindle jig is a great idea. I was going to use my template and a flush trim router bit, much in the same concept as you but the jig you designed and built would be a lot safer. When you consider having to make eight (gotta have an extra just in case), safety and consistnecy is a must. Thanks for posting.

-- " 'woodworker'.....it's a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1937 days


#6 posted 771 days ago

Cool Idea.. I’ve actually have the same concept when making my spindles, but the Jig I made actually routes 2 spindles at once.. that allows stability of making sure that the spindle doesn’t “rock” or tip while routing and I can screw my jig to the spindle and the hole left by the screw get’s cut out when you cut the face profile..

I am currently teaching 2 back to back rocker classes this month and will be making a video of each step to make a Maloof rocker.. especially the jig I use for making the back legs 5 degree joint

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

2546 posts in 1003 days


#7 posted 771 days ago

Randall, thanks, that is a great idea to make the jig wide enough to do two spindles at once. Is one profile the the front side and the other is the back side? Then I assume your would switch them around to do the other sides?. I look forward to seeing your video. Thanks.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1937 days


#8 posted 771 days ago

yes..that is correct.. you draw the profile using the template on the spindle.. the jig is cut on one side to match the front of the spindle and the opposite side is cut to match the back.. leave a space about 4 or 5” between the two and add handles which are 1” dowels attached to the jig in the middle.. you line up the profile of the jig with the line of the profile you drew on the spindle and screw it at the top and bottom of the spindle (my jig is 3/4 plywood and the screws are 1” with a washer) when you finish pattern routing unscrew the spindles and swap them to route the other sides..since there are 7 spindles.. leave one spindle on to stabilize it when routing the last spindle.

The key is to mark the jig so the spindles get placed exactly the same for all 7 spindles.. this will assure you that all are routed identically..

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4682 posts in 1427 days


#9 posted 771 days ago

You guys rock! LOL! What amout of time is saved in building the jigs? Vs, Lamination? Or One at a time?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1937 days


#10 posted 771 days ago

With the Jigs..I can have all my spindles cut and ready for rasping and shaping in 1 hour.. with steam bending.. it takes a lot longer, and you have spring back which can occur from different densities of wood not to mention taking a whole lot longer.. I find that bandsawing and using my jig just simplifies and speeds production

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

2546 posts in 1003 days


#11 posted 771 days ago

Thomas, thanks. Overall for me it would take a lot longer (in total ellapsed time to do laminations) because I would likely only build one form and then have to do seven glue-ups. Although the glue-up time may not be that great i would wait 12-24 hours before taking the lamination out of the form and moving on to the next. I suppose if I staged laminating with other work I was doing on the rocker then it would not add to the total time to build a rocker, But at this stage in my wood-working I’m not eager to start developing Gantt charts and critical paths. If I were only building one rocker I probably would not have bothered with the jig (about 3 hrs of “Puttering around” time to build it), but I suspect this will not be the last Maloof rocker I build.

However from what I have read the decision to use solid rockers vrs laminations is based less on how long it takes but rather your own views of strength (laminations can provide more strength because you can avoid cross grain situations), whether you feel the spindles should be flexible (laminations) or provides more rigidity (solid spindles), your view on overall looks and the extent to which you want to shape them (solid rockers perhaps allow more shaping.) Significant shaping on laminated rockers would end up revealing the laminations which may not be a bad thing if you like that look.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4682 posts in 1427 days


#12 posted 771 days ago

Thanks,

You both were very enlightening! Wonered about time investment. Jigs are a great tool, especially in repetitive cosistant work.

Maybe yo two could do a blog together?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1937 days


#13 posted 771 days ago

I will be doing two back to back Maloof rocking chair classes in June.. I will be filming a step by step process on how to make this rocker using the jigs..I also have a jig for the 5° joint for the back legs that simplifies cutting it, for if its off even a hair..the legs do not sit true and it shows at the top of the legs when viewed from the sides

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

950 posts in 2397 days


#14 posted 763 days ago

Looks easy.
Perfect jig. Thansk for sharing.

-- Jiri

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2162 days


#15 posted 763 days ago

Cool Jig, sounds like Randy has a winner too.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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