What does it take to make a rocker?

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Forum topic by Jim posted 03-18-2010 04:37 AM 1510 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3497 days

03-18-2010 04:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: rocking chair sam maloof question

I’ve been looking into the classic Maloof Rockers lately, and I REALLY want to make one. I’ve been thinking of trying out the instructional DVD that Scott Morrison sells, but want to do some research on it first. I was just wondering how much the typical cost in materials is? I know it differs from species to species and location to location, but I just want to know what I’m getting into cost wise in this endeavor. Any info would be appreciated. Also, what are the better species for making these out of? I know Walnut was always the Maloof preference, but I didnt know if there were some other economical solutions that didn’t jeopardize quality of the chair.

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

6 replies so far

View Pete Mohr's profile

Pete Mohr

75 posts in 3263 days

#1 posted 03-18-2010 02:36 PM

There are lots of plans and tons of info available on the web for making chairs. Spend some time and do some research.
I’d suggest making your first chair using something really inexpensive. This is my first one. I used SYP 2×10’s from the BORG. I planned on it being a throw-away but it came out OK so I put it on the porch for some fair weather rocking :-)) You’ll learn a lot for a small investment.
Cost me about $20 for the lumber. Just spend some time digging through the rack and you can get some decent boards. Then rough cut and sticker them for a while to let them dry.

-- "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another." -Anatole France

View chewbuddy13's profile


150 posts in 3460 days

#2 posted 03-18-2010 03:33 PM

I am doing the Simple Rocking Chair from Scott Morrison. I had to get about 40-45 board feet of 8/4 lumber. I picked up some cherry for it for about $4 b/f. I think I spent a little over $200 on it, but it was all rough lumber. I would assume you would need about the same amount for the Maloof Rocker, but am not sure.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3249 days

#3 posted 03-18-2010 03:39 PM

There are several woodworking schools that teach you how to make a rocker. At one school I looked at, the material charge for a rocker was $150 for walnut.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 3443 days

#4 posted 03-18-2010 03:58 PM

Flippant; just like a doctor, it take patients.

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3497 days

#5 posted 03-18-2010 11:11 PM

Thanks everyone for the responses! I’ve started to realize just how much I’ll have to put into this project and I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it for a bit. My wife and I are starting the closing on a house this weekend, so in the next 6 weeks or so I get the fun opportunity to pack up my shop (sarcasm). But I will get a new, dedicated shop thats larger than I have now. But the drawback is I’ll be strapped tight for money. And with needing a couple hand tools, and the cost of the DVD, and the lumber (even though Eric_S found me some local walnut on Craigslist for $1.50 bdf which I may have to buy regardless for that cheap!) it may have to wait till the end of the summer or next year. Oh well, I don’t plan on quitting this hobby anytime soon anyways. The hard part will be trying to hold in my eagerness to build one! Thanks again guys!

P.S. that SYP rocker looks pretty nice Pete!

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

View cathyb's profile


827 posts in 3419 days

#6 posted 03-19-2010 07:38 AM

Wow, you folks are so LUCKY. My koa rockers cost me about $2,000 in materials. I am including glue, brushes, finish, and sanding material. The wood I use is koa, select ( $17 b/f) for the legs and laminates. For my arms, headrest and seat I use curly koa, which costs $35 to $42 b/f. Believe it or not, in Hawaii, koa is such a highly desirable wood that if you make a chair from anything else you’d better like it, because you won’t be able to sell it! It’s crazy…......

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

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