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Old 09-08-2010, 04:44 AM   #1
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Default Building a "maloof" style rocking chair

UPDATED 13TH SEPTEMBER
UPDATED 20TH SEPTEMBER
UPDATED 3RD OCTOBER
UPDATED 13TH NOVEMBER
UPDATED 21ST nOVEMBER
UPDATED 2ND APRIL 2011 AND COMPLETED.

Hi all.

When I built the rocker for my daughter a few weeks ago I used the experience as a learning exercise and to get into the headspace required to build a "Maloof" style of rocking chair. I have bought the plans etc from a Charles Brock MALOOF INSPIRED ROCKER Instructional DVD, Book and Rocker Patterns - Home and the build has finally begun. This may become somewhat protracted as I seem to have become rather busy of late.

I chose to do the chair in rosewood from an economic standpoint. My first choice would have been walnut but the cost when imported to New Zealand is considerably higher than rosewood and economics dictate. More particularly, I am hoping that this will sell and with the proceeds maybe I can go to walnut for the next one.

The seat is the first task and is made up from 5 pieces of 2" material which is coopered to form a shape in the timber which adds to the sweetness of the seat. The centre piece has both sides angled at 3 degrees and 2nd and 4th pieces are also angled at 3 degrees on the out side faces to make the 1st and 5th pieces sit level. The 5 pieces are dowelled together with care being taken to position them where they will not become a problem when the seat is hollowed out. To reduce the amount that has to be cut out of the seat by grinding, or sanding the centre three pieces are rough cut on the bandsaw first before gluing together.

Photo 1. The chair on the front cover of the instruction book.

Photo 2. End view of the 5 pieces showing the 3 degree angles cut on the individual pieces.

Photo 3. The seat with its first bandsawn cuts to begin the seat shaping and the notches and associated rebates to accomodate the legs.

Photo 4. View from opposing side. The pencil line around the perimeter is the line for the seat shaping.

Photo 5. Seat pieces opened up to expose dowels.

I manage to get in an hour or so after work at nights and generally get one day in the weekend to play on projects such as this. Of course Jim's christmas intarsia challenge will create some divided loyalties.

Cheers,

Rhys





Photo 5.
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Last edited by Hobbyhorse; 05-01-2011 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:37 AM   #2
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It's so stirring to see another scroller who isn't afraid to take on a woodwork project beyond the confines of the scroll saw. And what a project to undertake! Maloof-type chairs are notoriously difficult to perfect, but get them right and you have one of the most beautiful items it's possible to work from wood. I've heard they're remarkably comfortable too, but sadly I've never had an opportunity to try one myself.

Best wishes for this ambitious project. All that rosewood will look gorgeous.
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
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Rhys,

That is quite a challange but I think that you can do it my friend. Looking forward to seeing the work in progress pics and the final project when completed.

DW
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:32 PM   #4
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Looks like a great project Rhys. You sure know how to pick them. LOL

I'm sure it will be a fun challenge.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:08 PM   #5
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Hi Rhys - you already know my thoughts on this one so I'm just going to drool my way through this WIP.

I do have one suggestion though for you to ponder over. Maybe before you finish this chair you can find somewhere on it to emboss or carvesome type of personal monogram, something like a small embossed kiwi or anything else that takes your fancy. I'm suggesting this because I remember seeing a long time back a set of furniture made I think by a guy from the UK who always carved a small acorn and oak leaf on his furniture and it always struck me as being a really nice touch. If the same guy is still breathing and making furniture I guess he will have bought a CNC router by now to do this job- LOL! - me, I like the personal touch.

Keep the photos coming please!
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:35 PM   #6
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Rhys, this rocker will be a real challenge, but a beauty if you pull it off. I hope you'll post lots of wip pics, it will be a treat to see it develope
Good luck with it
Marsha
PS: forget about Jim's Christmas challenge this looks way more intersting.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
PS: forget about Jim's Christmas challenge this looks way more intersting.
Ouch Marsha - you really know how to hurt a guy's feeling - but I'll survive - LOL!

I must admit though that seeing Rhys pulling this off will be a great way to make me feel totally inadequate as a carpenter or craftsperson, and what's more, his Challenge has no strings attached!!!
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:49 AM   #8
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Thanks all for your kind comments ... appreciated

Gill, I really appreciate your words. This chair is something I have admired for some time and I hope I can do justice to it in the name of Sam Maloof who was a very special type of guy. The hardest part is to visualise the shapes one has to create out of the rough timber and although I have watched a number of Maloof's videos, not to mention the DVD with this plan set it is still something of a mystery. Maloof made it look so easy !!!

DW, I guess we all thrive on a challenge ... well let us hope so anyway.

Tim, at least I won't have to wind this one every morning LOL

Jim, are you trying to create more work for me!! Your suggestion has been logged away in my mind for further thought....thanks

Marsha, Jim was a friend of mine but I think you just blew it for me..LOL The camera is in the workshop awaiting more progress.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:37 AM   #9
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Rhys

At least you will have a nice comfortable rocker to sit in after you go wind all the clocks in the morning. I'll be following this one as well.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:29 PM   #10
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A little more progress over the weekend.

Photo1. Showing the coopering of the seat which has come out at a about 5/16"

Photo2. The beginnings of shaping on the seat. I used a 41/2" disc grinder with a 36 grit disc to rough it out and then used an airpowered dual action sander to take out the worst of the grinding marks. I have yet to establish the exact shape ot the perimeter of the seat and when this is done I will take the hollowing out to the line. There is still a lot to come out to get the shape required.

Photo3. The front leg joint and rough shape of the whole leg. The joint is called a bridal joint by Charles Brock, who supplied the plans, but I do not know why.

Photo4. Front leg fitted into place. Obviously there is still a lot of "serious" shaping yet to be done.

Photo5. The chair with all of the legs fitted. The top widened section is to take the headrest and the fattened section is to give sufficient wood to satisfactorily blend the head into the legs. The fattening in the centre takes the armrest and that too has extra wood left on to give a nice fair curve to the joint.

Only a couple of small blues thus far and nothing that could not be covered up with a minute filling piece and CA glue. Don't you feel stupid when you read the instructions and then do something else!!!!

Cheers,

Rhys
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