Maloof Style Side Chair

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Project by gashley posted 01-17-2019 03:02 PM 1207 views 4 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In 1991 I was lucky enough to attend a weekend seminar with Sam Maloof at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass. After the seminar, using some pictures as a guide, I built my first Maloof style side chair. That first chair has been in my office ever since. It’s pretty, but the angles are all wrong, the back angle is too steep, and it’s just not a comfortable sitting chair.

So I vowed to do another one and this time to do it right (or at least better!). This is that attempt. I had some beautiful Claro Walnut (from an old college friend at – thanks Beau!). Beautiful bookmatched center seat blanks and some great curly figured pieces for the back and arms.

I’d forgotten how long it takes to do all the shaping and sanding for a piece like this. But it was a fun exercise I hadn’t done in a while. Learned a few new lessons along the way on better and easier ways to handle the joinery and shaping.

Since it’s a Maloof style, i finished with Maloof poly/oil – about 6 coats, then 2 or 3 coats of Maloof Poly/Wax.

-- Gary in OP

25 comments so far

View majuvla's profile


13793 posts in 3132 days

#1 posted 01-17-2019 04:05 PM

Unrealistic beauty.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Ocelot's profile


2128 posts in 2902 days

#2 posted 01-17-2019 04:09 PM

Beautiful! So, how does it sit?

View gashley's profile


104 posts in 3271 days

#3 posted 01-17-2019 04:11 PM

Beautiful! So, how does it sit?

- Ocelot

Lol. I guess I forgot to say – it’s really comfortable. Back is low enough and angled properly for good comfort. However, a couple of people have said it’s too deep and not built for short people. But I’m tall – so it fits me just fine!

-- Gary in OP

View PaulDoug's profile


1761 posts in 1968 days

#4 posted 01-17-2019 04:40 PM

Absolutely beautiful!

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


151 posts in 44 days

#5 posted 01-17-2019 05:04 PM

Nice. Are the sides in one plane? i.e. if you laid it on its side would it lay flat?

View gashley's profile


104 posts in 3271 days

#6 posted 01-17-2019 05:57 PM

Nice. Are the sides in one plane? i.e. if you laid it on its side would it lay flat?

- BlueRidgeDog

Sides of the seat actually taper in width from front to back by a couple of inches. Plus the arms actually extend and curve out beyond the edge of the seat. Laying it on it’s side won’t work!

-- Gary in OP

View builtinbkyn's profile


2790 posts in 1205 days

#7 posted 01-17-2019 06:30 PM

Gary beautiful work. Beautiful wood and amazing results.

Your posting this is fortuitous for me. I’m planning a dining table build and was prepared to simply purchase chairs for it. However, in a search for some available chairs in the Maloof style, I came across a Maloof style chair build by Scott Morrison. It’s his version of this Maloof chair. I purchased the templates and his DVD build video. I am considering making the chairs for the table. There are some differences to the design from the original, but it’s still very respectful to the original.

I’d be interested to know what you worked from. Plans? Anything someone should know or plan for during the build? Again, that chair has the wow factor!

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

View wood_maestro's profile


135 posts in 2958 days

#8 posted 01-17-2019 07:37 PM

Wow, beautiful chair.
Look, what I have been working on for last six months!!!

-- wood maestro....... Be Well, Do good work, and Stay in touch

View pottz's profile


4058 posts in 1249 days

#9 posted 01-17-2019 10:55 PM

just did a maloof rocker myself last summer and i know quite well what you went through making that chair,you knocked it out of the park,your sculpting is beautiful,and the walnut is spectacular.sam would smile at this one.
BILL-go for it those style chairs are gorgeous,it will take some time but it will be worth it and youll have heirloom furniture that your grandkids will brag about way after your gone.the only problem with maloof furniture is the amount of wood that gets ground away to create the sculpting,not cheap when your using nice walnut.
PS-i went back and checked out some of your other work,you sir are true craftsman,or as sam would say,im a woodworker,a title he took pride in.

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

View Redoak49's profile


3793 posts in 2253 days

#10 posted 01-17-2019 11:10 PM

Excellent job..

View sras's profile


4986 posts in 3394 days

#11 posted 01-17-2019 11:20 PM

Excellent job on a challenging project!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View swirt's profile


3664 posts in 3236 days

#12 posted 01-18-2019 03:17 AM

Simply beautiful…. well maybe not simply, but beautiful. Nicely done.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Woodknack's profile


12517 posts in 2644 days

#13 posted 01-18-2019 07:06 AM

I’m not a big fan of Maloof style but I recognize great woodworking when I see it, nicely done.

-- Rick M,

View Peteybadboy's profile


615 posts in 2214 days

#14 posted 01-18-2019 10:43 AM

The is beautiful!

-- Petey

View dannmarks's profile


813 posts in 846 days

#15 posted 01-18-2019 12:22 PM

It has all been said and it is all true… Lovely work.

showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

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