Walnut Rocking Chair

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Project by Marshall posted 12-30-2015 02:11 AM 2478 views 5 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been wanting to build a Maloof style rocker for about as long as I’ve been a woodworker (about 5 years I think)... I always put it off thinking that my skills weren’t there yet. Well, I still think that, but I did recently complete my first rocking chair.

My wife and I had our first baby about 3 months ago, and when we found out she was pregnant, I decided to build this chair for my son.

I started looking around online for plans, tutorials, classes, etc. I decided to buy the book and template set from Hal Taylor. His book and DVD does a phenomenal job explaining and illustrating the build process step by step. He also answers questions by email and through his yahoo group community. Without him and the yahoo group, there’s no way I could’ve completed this project.

The legs, arms, and rockers are made from two bookmatched walnut slabs. The seat and headrest come from a third slab. I tried to match the look of the grain and sapwood throughout the chair. The back braces actually come from some scrap walnut I had laying in my shop. I actually love the way they turned out with the gnarly grain pattern.

This project pushed the limits of my woodworking skill, and taught me new skills. It also provided an excuse for a few new tools :). It didn’t come out perfect, but I’m quite happy with the results. It took about 8 months to complete my first chair, and I’m already looking forward to starting my second!

Check my blog for photos of the build process.

Thanks for looking!

-- Marshall -

19 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


2133 posts in 4261 days

#1 posted 12-30-2015 02:52 AM

Very nice rocker. Your craftsman ship shows well.

Having built a rocker, I know how much work goes in to making one so I appreciate the time you spent on it.

Thanks for sharing your family heirloom.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3323 days

#2 posted 12-30-2015 03:04 AM

Stunning, well done! It looks timeless.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View bushmaster's profile


4135 posts in 3531 days

#3 posted 12-30-2015 03:09 AM

I thought perfect was perfect, but you say there is one more perfect, maybe that is perfection, well I would say you got that too, so where do you go now. I greatly admire woodworkers that put there heart and soul into a project like this. very very well done

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View bobasaurus's profile


3736 posts in 4432 days

#4 posted 12-30-2015 05:09 AM

Looks like a huge amount of work (especially sanding). Nice job.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Marshall's profile


151 posts in 3304 days

#5 posted 12-30-2015 01:53 PM

Thanks guys (and gal). Yes it was a ton of work, but quite rewarding. I enjoyed it all up until the sanding… sanding is my nemesis on all my projects :)

-- Marshall -

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4115 days

#6 posted 12-30-2015 01:59 PM

This rocking chair is very beautiful and nicely made.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View RogerM's profile


809 posts in 3647 days

#7 posted 12-30-2015 03:13 PM

This chair gives you away. With results like this your skills are obviously way up there!!!!! Nice job and thanks for sharing!!!

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View JNP's profile


113 posts in 3826 days

#8 posted 12-30-2015 04:42 PM

Congratulations on both the new child and the new chair! Stunning work!

-- Jeff

View sras's profile


6359 posts in 4378 days

#9 posted 12-30-2015 05:33 PM

Great job on the chair! I enjoyed following your blog as well.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View mkodikan's profile


3 posts in 2127 days

#10 posted 12-30-2015 05:40 PM

Nice work

View Marshall's profile


151 posts in 3304 days

#11 posted 12-30-2015 05:42 PM

Thanks for the comments guys. Steve, I really like your quote in your signature. I’ve learned that the hard way a few times. You’d think it’d stick one of these times :)

-- Marshall -

View mc269's profile


90 posts in 2715 days

#12 posted 12-30-2015 06:00 PM

Awesome build, something that will be passed down for generations. Very nice work

-- Mike Chaffin - Past-Time Woodworks

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3592 days

#13 posted 12-30-2015 07:09 PM


View leafherder's profile


1986 posts in 3201 days

#14 posted 12-31-2015 12:15 AM

What a great creation. Looks like you did some great work there. Yes it was a long process but the results were worth it. It must feel really good to know you can produce something so amazing. I’m sure that everyone who visits your happy home will marvel for years to come. Thanks for posting.

Oh yeah, the chair is really great too. :)

Congratulations on the birth of your son, and may you live to see many generations of your offspring rocked in this chair.

Happy New Year and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2016.

-- Leafherder

View Woodbridge's profile


3751 posts in 3666 days

#15 posted 12-31-2015 12:17 AM

beautiful rocker. You did a great job matching the wood for the seat and back. they look great. I agree with your the wood you choose for the back braces is very nice. Congratulations on a very fine rocker, but more importantly your first child.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

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