LumberJocks

Maloof Lace Stool #1: Testing My Skills or Lack Thereof

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 01-23-2019 03:48 PM 550 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Maloof Lace Stool series Part 2: I think you really have to feel it »

Well I’m back in the shop for a bit while I wait for the season to change. There’s some miscellaneous stuff still remaining to do inside, but nothing major. Most of the work left to do is on the outside of the house and in the rear yard. Right now I have the opportunity for a little fun in the shop which will determine my skill level to attempt larger, more complex projects. Uggh!

My real desire is to build a dining table and chairs among other things. I have some ideas on what they will be. However diving right into something of that proportion probably wouldn’t be the best idea. So I thought I’d start small. Being interested in Maloof, Frid, Nakashima and other furniture builders of the mid-century, it’s my plan to fit the house with facsimiles of their work. Heh, no small or modest task as far as I’m concerned. So when thinking of a “starter project” of sorts, I thought a stool would be interesting. I’ve been wanting a short stool near the fireplace to tend the fire or to just hang out and read LJs. So I searched out a “Maloof stool” and came upon something that looked pretty neat and relatively easy to accomplish. Well so I thought. But it wouldn’t need much material and his design could be modified to be shorter and still retain its essence.

The stools I came across are bar stools and were auction items from the estate of Gene Kelly. I’ve since found variations of them that Maloof did, but the Gene Kelly version is what I’m attempting to make. I have just enough Douglas fir from a piece of 2×10 to make a stool that stands 15” high. If this works out, I’ll make another from the walnut slab I picked up recently.

Working from just some pictures on the internet was interesting. I had to estimate dimensions and even form as nothing Maloof did was plainly obvious or ordinary. Well this is the model and where I’m at so far.

Judging from the online pics, I can see that none of the sides or facets of the seat element are in plane. Maloof gently sculpted the top, sides and bottom. Aside form that, there are some things I’ve never done that are needed for this like turning tapered legs and round thru tenons. Now I have to figure it all out :O

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)



24 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

10428 posts in 2719 days


#1 posted 01-23-2019 04:32 PM

Nice challenge Bill, I’m looking forward to your build.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2798 posts in 1208 days


#2 posted 01-23-2019 04:40 PM



Nice challenge Bill, I m looking forward to your build.

- theoldfart


Thanks Kevin. I hope I can get past the glue-up ;p

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

8159 posts in 1406 days


#3 posted 01-23-2019 04:51 PM

I like that stool a lot Bill. Good luck, looks like you’re off to a great start :-) I really like how the tenon wedge flows into the surrounding structure. Never seen that before. Damn sexy!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View JayT's profile

JayT

6060 posts in 2479 days


#4 posted 01-23-2019 04:53 PM

Definitely not lacking the skills, Bill. Lack of experience in building Maloof style, sure, but you have more than enough skill. Looking forward to following along as you work your way through.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

5557 posts in 980 days


#5 posted 01-23-2019 04:55 PM

looks to me to be a very fun build in that beautiful shop Bill :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2798 posts in 1208 days


#6 posted 01-23-2019 05:18 PM

Yeah Kenny I like that detail and the orientation in the version of the stool I’m making. All of the other Lace Stools I’ve come across since researching this more have the spline detail looking like the one below. The stools are also still for sale at the Maloof gallery and they look like this as well.

I don’t know the history of the Gene Kelly stools, but since the original chairs were produced in 1954, my guess is the detail I’m using is the original and then changed to the above.

Here’s a little clip from the auction.

Also, I have Mallow’s book and these are some sketches he put in it regarding this detail. Seems there’s actually a wedge in the tenon and then a decorative detail to cover it.

These sketches don’t show the orientation of the wedge detail and there’s no explanation for it either. I’m not looking to recreate an exact copy. Heck I am sure I couldn’t :) But I do appreciate and respect the aesthetic and the intent and also the methods he used and the forms he wanted to portray.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View pottz's profile

pottz

4080 posts in 1252 days


#7 posted 01-23-2019 05:20 PM

i think youve got the tools needed and judging from your past work all the skills necessary so i think you’ll have no problem creating a beautiful stool.im looking forward to the results,i love anything maloof.good luck buddy.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

8159 posts in 1406 days


#8 posted 01-23-2019 05:25 PM

Looks like he changed the stretcher style too. At least between those 2 stools. The one you’re using as a model appears to have 4 stretchers? I really dig that cross brace and the way there’s a foot rest worked into the stretcher on the gallery stool. Impractical for a shorter stool but pretty brilliant for bar stools.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2798 posts in 1208 days


#9 posted 01-23-2019 05:25 PM

Thanks J. Yeah I’m sort of shooting from the hip right now. I’m used to allowing a machine guided by a fence to do the shaping. This is way out of my comfort zone. This is a whole different means and methods. But it should be fun. If I mess up it’s a learning experience and I’ll start over lol

Hey Tony, you’re only a few short 4hrs away lol Come visit. Got a chair waiting for you right by Willie ;)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2798 posts in 1208 days


#10 posted 01-23-2019 05:28 PM

Kenny I think this is a much more elegant design than the subsequent.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

8159 posts in 1406 days


#11 posted 01-23-2019 05:39 PM

I don’t know Bill. They’re both elegant. I guess my preference would depend on the setting for use. For a shorter stool, I definitely like the 4 stretchers. I think the asymmetry of the one with the cross brace appeals to me more in general though than the 4 stretchers with one being a deviant. Both have a certain balance in the dissimilarities though.

I’ve seen Maloof “style” pieces over the years but never really dug into his work since chairs/stools have never really been a particular interest for me. I can see that a little research could provide some design inspiration though for any type of furniture :-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View pottz's profile

pottz

4080 posts in 1252 days


#12 posted 01-23-2019 05:55 PM



Thanks J. Yeah I m sort of shooting from the hip right now. I m used to allowing a machine guided by a fence to do the shaping. This is way out of my comfort zone. This is a whole different means and methods. But it should be fun. If I mess up it s a learning experience and I ll start over lol

Hey Tony, you re only a few short 4hrs away lol Come visit. Got a chair waiting for you right by Willie ;)

- builtinbkyn


bill dont sweat it i felt the same way doing his rocker but once i got into it i had no problem carving and sculpting the parts,really gave me new skills i never had before.plus it gives your arms and hands a good work out-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2298 posts in 2616 days


#13 posted 01-23-2019 06:21 PM

Bill – you certainly know how to find a challenging project. Seems like every surface of a Maloof (or Gene Kelly) design is sculpted or rounded, or both. Plus the joints are made to show off the joinery. Hopefully the walnut has some wild grain in it.

Take LOTS of pictures – maybe even a blog?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2798 posts in 1208 days


#14 posted 01-23-2019 06:25 PM


Thanks J. Yeah I m sort of shooting from the hip right now. I m used to allowing a machine guided by a fence to do the shaping. This is way out of my comfort zone. This is a whole different means and methods. But it should be fun. If I mess up it s a learning experience and I ll start over lol

Hey Tony, you re only a few short 4hrs away lol Come visit. Got a chair waiting for you right by Willie ;)

- builtinbkyn

bill dont sweat it i felt the same way doing his rocker but once i got into it i had no problem carving and sculpting the parts,really gave me new skills i never had before.plus it gives your arms and hands a good work out-lol.

- pottz


Larry I watched a few videos by different guys on power carving. Aside from being the messiest operation I can imagine, it looked like fun. Of course Maloof did it with chisels, knives, gouges, rasps and other means; some that go against the principles of logic and safety lol. He used a router like a sculptor. No fence or straight edge. Same with his band saw. I’m just looking to break away from reliance on a machine to ensure accuracy and fit. He seemed to sculpt the pieces to fit and did a lot by eyeballing it :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2798 posts in 1208 days


#15 posted 01-23-2019 06:30 PM

Earl you’re right about challenging. I didn’t think it would be when I chose to do it. Probably should have “researched” moar lol But heck, I became a ski instructor in college to pay bills and never took a lesson myself ;p I just learned by emulating what I saw good skiers doing. Watched a lot of Warren Miller films lol

Oh I didn’t forget our deal. After I get past this one way or another :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com