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Question for Maloof Rocker Experts

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Forum topic by JamesT posted 342 days ago 1658 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JamesT

102 posts in 544 days


342 days ago

I’m using Charles Brock Maloof rocker plans to build my seventh and eighth Maloof rocker. The one thing I don’t like about the Brock plans are the adder blocks used on the back leg to seat joint to get the 5-6 degree splay. I thought about ordering the 5 degree router bits that are available from Whiteside and Eagle American but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how they work. I also see from an on-line video that Sam Morrison uses a 5 degree jig to route the joint on his chairs.
I’m looking for advice from the Maloof rocker experts that use the 5 degree bits or the Morrison jig. Also, would using the bits or jig and not using the adder blocks affect the width of the chair at the head rest? Thanks

-- Jim from Doniphan


8 replies so far

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1983 days


#1 posted 342 days ago

I have been building authentic reproductions of Sam Maloof rockers for years now and build them the same way Sam built his..the bits are relatively simple to use because they are following the 5 degree cut on the outer seat blanks.. that’s the beauty of the bits.. the bearings on them are also made in a 5 degree which will follow the 5 degree cut made on the blanks. outside of properly setting the depth of the bits cut..they are made to cut 1/4” in which is what you want. Let me clarify.. seat blanks for a Maloof rocker are 1-7/8” thick by 4-1/4” wide by 20-1/2” long finished dimension.. if you are milling for the back and front legs and have a 7/8” tenon.. then the depth of the bits are to be 1/2” on top and bottom.. the outer seat blanks have to be laid out to the thickness of the legs (2”) but being extra careful that the lay-out of the 2” is at the top of the seat, not the bottom.. from that mark on top, you want a 5 degree cut so you get the 5 degree splay.. trust me the bits simplify the joint procedure.. PM me if you need any clarification I can send pictures that explain it better..

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

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casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1107 days


#2 posted 342 days ago

JamesT Perhaps the drawing will help when my description fails. the rear seat corner is notched to accept the rear legs with a 90 degree vertical cut in the side to side direction. The front to back cut is 5 degree off vertical. You then would use all three router bits to prep this one joint area, with the straight cutter used top and bottom on the side to side area and using each of the 5 degree bits top and bottom matching the cut angle to the tenon.

hope this helps…....

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RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1983 days


#3 posted 342 days ago

from the looks of the picture…is the joints shown for both the front and back leg? or both for the back legs only? if so.. the longer cut is incorrect.. the joint shown needs to be turned around.. but I see what your saying..

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

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JamesT

102 posts in 544 days


#4 posted 342 days ago

Thanks guys, lets see if I understand: In addition to using the 5 degree bits, the front to back portion of the notch is cut at 5 degrees, which would make the bottom side of the notch something more than 2 inches.
Is the finished seat 21-1/4 inches wide?
It appears that Morrell Woodworks (I said Morrison earlier, to many people making chairs) cuts the 5 degree angle using his jig on the side to side portion of the notch. http://morrellwoodworks.com/?p=153
I also have a Hal Taylor instructional DVD and he too uses adder blocks, much the same as Charles Brock.

-- Jim from Doniphan

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RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1983 days


#5 posted 341 days ago

The routerbits eliminate the need for any jigs, which is what I like, NOW… in saying that.. I need to say this.. first off.. why does anyone make a “Maloof inspired” rocker? Sam’s design is classic, and elegant and if you don’t know what your doing, downright difficult, me, knowing Sam personally and seeing his rockers up close and personal for many years, I can attest that I have seen the drawbacks using the routerbits, such as this.. When you look at the routerbits closely..the 1/4” on the bit that is used on top of the seat blank, the 1/4” depth starts at the bottom of the cutter ( closest to the bearing) and “flares” outward the 5 degrees, meaning it’s now slightly wider than the 1/4” cut closest to the bearing, this “flare out” cuts a smidge deeper where it hits the corner of the joint, and because the front of the joint gets only the 1/4” chairmakers bit, it leaves a slight roundcut that the leg cannot fill tightly but it’s just a small gap and only at the corner of the joint. now that I’ve said that i will say this.. Sam’s chairs.. ALL OF THEM.. had this gap as well. he simply filled them with epoxy and sawdust and it was barely ever noticeable.. that’s the only drawback with using these bits..of all the rockers I have ever made..I have never had any issue with any of these gaps..but I can also say that if your careful, and stop the 5 degree bits cut just a hair shy of the corner and then route with the 1/4” chairmakers rabbetting bit..it can be avoided..but then again, if we are striving to make an authentic looking Maloof rocker, this is all part of it as well

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

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JamesT

102 posts in 544 days


#6 posted 341 days ago

Randall,
The small gap you speak of, is it on the bottom side of the seat or is it visible from the top?
Seems to me their are so many Maloof inspired chairs that it takes someone such as yourself to understand the details of an authentic Maloof rocker. As for myself, I try to make a rocker that I’m pleased with, not worrying so much if its authentic or not. For me rockers are a hobby and I can’t justify the cost of fancy woods, so I use local Missouri walnut or cherry. Of all the maloof “inspired” or “style” I’ve looked at, I think I like Scott Morrison’s interpretation the best. Thanks

-- Jim from Doniphan

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RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1983 days


#7 posted 339 days ago

the small gap is on the top, but like I was saying it can be eliminated by stopping the bit just before it hits the corner of the joint and allowing the straight chairmakers bit to hit the corner instead.. Scott Morrison does a great interpretation of the Maloof inspired as well..

As for making them authetic, I encourage folks to make them however they see fit and what works best for them, as for me..I just fell in love with the way Sam makes his and teach my classes to make them the same way, but also allow them to explore what they would like to do differently as long as it doesn’t affect the structure integrity of the chair..

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

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JamesT

102 posts in 544 days


#8 posted 339 days ago

Thanks Randall, you’ve been a big help. Jim

-- Jim from Doniphan

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