Help pick design for top of rocker

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Forum topic by bues0022 posted 07-30-2012 01:11 PM 1187 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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250 posts in 3401 days

07-30-2012 01:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m finally back to picking away at my ridiculously long rocker build. It’s a Maloof/Taylor inspired rocker. I’m using Hal Taylor plans (mostly) but I liked the headrest/back leg shape of the Maloof rocker better. I need help selecting the style of the top “point” to the back leg at the top of the headrest. I have three designs shown. When I have a hard time seeing in my head what something is going to be, I like to draw it up – so I tossed this together in Solidworks. Let me know which one you like, and why. I have a mild favorite, but I don’t want to steer any thoughts just yet so for now I’m going to keep it to myself. Thank you for the help!

Option #1:

Option #2:

Option #3:

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

7 replies so far

View jdmaher's profile


441 posts in 2820 days

#1 posted 07-30-2012 01:32 PM

This is a matter of personal taste, no?

I keep going back to Option #1. the “hook” seems less pronounced. Options #2 and #3 seems almost claw-like in those hooks.

However, 2 and 3 seem to have a longer curve to that hook, and that appeals to me, too.

So, length of 2/3, but the gentler curvature of 1?

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View bues0022's profile


250 posts in 3401 days

#2 posted 07-30-2012 01:46 PM

Exactly, this is a matter of personal taste, but what my eyes see isn’t always the most appealing to others. Since this is a chair for my wife, I’m looking for other opinions on what you all find what looks good to you. Also, as I’m not extremely experienced, I’m looking towards all of the experts here to learn.

I tried to make the top “hook” the same height on all, but you may be correct that the height is different.

Perhaps I also should explain the designs a bit more also: #1 has both the side and back continue straight up. The contour is only on the inside (towards the headrest) and front. #2 has the side continue straight, but the back hook back slightly. #3 has the side continue straight, and the back not only hooks back, but also comes “in” creating a more dramatic hook effect.

I’ll continue to wait to see what others think before divulging what my preferences are.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2755 days

#3 posted 07-30-2012 02:03 PM

I heartily vote for number one. It is a milder slope and hook, has a more traditional look, and IMHO, is a little closer to the Maloof basic design. The second one is not too bad, little hooky, but the third is definitely too acute, somewhat like a handle, and I don’t care much for the angled transition into the flat.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3091 days

#4 posted 07-30-2012 02:19 PM

Leave it until after assembly and then the view of the whole will guide you.

Taking it in isolation like this is a little risky.

The delicious challenge is to be a bit original here without losing the nod to Sam’s brilliance. It’s an opportunity for a subtle statement of self.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2465 days

#5 posted 07-30-2012 02:35 PM

I think Lee is right. But in isolation, I concur with #1, as the others looks aggressive – and that is not what you are looking for in a a rocking chair.

Do you have photos of chairs with the different approaches? – maybe not identical but similar enough to give you a good idea what it will look like. Is the chair for you? To sell? For a gift? That will make a difference.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View bues0022's profile


250 posts in 3401 days

#6 posted 07-30-2012 03:22 PM

@Lee- Originally, I had thought the same thing. Leave it until later and decide once the chair is a bit more assembled. However, I think it would be tough to hog off a large amount of material once assembled as I would be unable to put it back on the bandsaw. So, I’m trying to find out about where to end up cutting with the bandsaw. I’ll likely still leave it rough and end up doing a LOT of sanding to get it to the right shape.

@Kookaburra- The chair is for my wife. It was supposed to be done before my son was born. He’s now 11 months old. Whoops! I thought my time was better spent inside helping her maintain sanity than out on the shop making a chair. She’s OK with the delay, as when I finish it’ll be something we’ll have forever.

Time for my reveal:
Originally, I was leaning storngly towards #1. Then as I started drawing I liked the way that #2 curved back. #3 is far to extreme for me, but I wanted to present many options. Now, I’m leaning towards a hybrid of #1 and #2. I am thinking just a very subtle backwards arc might look nice. If not, I can always sand it back flat to make it like #1.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View bues0022's profile


250 posts in 3401 days

#7 posted 08-30-2012 06:50 PM

I have a follow-up question if anyone is still following this thread:

On the Maloof-style rockers, how high does the tip of the rear leg extend beyond the top of the headrest? I was thinking maybe 3 inches, but didn’t know if this was a bit excessive. I’d like to get it pretty close now when the leg isn’t glued to anything – material removal is much easier now than later.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

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