Hopefully starting a conversation on Maloof style joints, tricks, jigs & probably too much geometry

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Forum topic by Ehren posted 06-07-2012 03:50 PM 3293 views 3 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 2250 days

06-07-2012 03:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: joints joinery jig trick maloof joining tip resource

I have been working on a pair of Maloof rocking chairs. I have completed all the seat joints. After muddling through the work I was hoping to start a conversation on tips or tricks for successfully completing these types of joints. I don’t think we could replace the advice of instructional guides but wanted to start a place where we could pass on information about these joints for application in all kinds of projects.

I’ll start with a way that I did them and hopefully there are some tricks out there.

The front legs were pretty straight forward. I chunked out the square slot in the seat board with a dado blade on the table saw then ran my router to make the slot. To help with tear-out and keep the entry and exit square, I clamped a couple equal size scraps of wood for the bit to follow. The rear leg cut out was pretty similar, except I used the table saw and took my time on the band saw for the inital 90 degree cut out.

The front legs were cut to match as close as I could the out side width of my front leg cut out. I then rounded over the corners with a 5/8” roundover to match the radius of my rabbet bit and cut my slot with a dado blade on the table saw using the fence and miter guage. I don’t have a high tech fence or table saw so it was really slow taps to as close as I dare. I then spent the remaining time slowly with chisels, card scrapers moving the slots out to the exact size. I would mark the roundover wherever it would touch before the the joint was flush and then scrape and sand those spots.

The back legs were tricky. I know there is a method where people can add an ‘adder’ block to get the 5 degrees and I’d be interested in seeing how that is done. Instead I made a jig that will support my router at 5 degrees then routed a 5 degree surface onto the inside of the back legs. I then followed up by using the same jig to rout the 3/8” x 1” slot. I added a couple pieces of MDF that had been slowly brought down to size that matched the collet on my router and bit to give me the ~1” slot I wanted. The other slot on the front of the back leg was done by running it over the dado blade on the table saw with the miter locked in at 5 degrees. This all took test cuts and tapping with a hammer to get as near exact as I could. It was a bit clumsy, so if there are any other good ideas please share.
The picture shows the jig and a back leg. The jig has a 3/4” board on the underside elevating the MDF like a ramp, and the outside edges are clamped to the sqare front face of the leg. You can see where I added the strips of MDF and held them with blue tape to narrow my slot.

I spent the remaining time rounding over the corner to for the rabbet, ( I did it last so I would have more surface for the router and Jig) and then time with chisels, files and scrapers getting the joints exact.

Now the geometry behind the jig starts so feel free to tune out.
For the jig above I used a 3/4” hard wood under neath set at 8.572” from the front edge. Any sizes can be used to accomodate any sizes you may have. It is just a “tangent” function. I’ll copy a chart as best I can, i hope it makes sense. And I do apologize if this is mundane, but I can get OCD about some of these things. You can also use a phone app. I’ve used “visual geometry” a few times. Or for more complicated angles;

Also here is a sketch of a jig, the slots are places for the riser block to be placed to get a certain degree rise. I hope the combination of chicken scratch below and the pictures help.

So after all that, please if anyone has advice, other tips tricks, critique feel free to add to this, I hope this can be a good resource for everyone with some help.

1 reply so far

View hjt's profile


826 posts in 3133 days

#1 posted 06-08-2012 04:50 AM

I look forward to seeing the completed project

-- Harold

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