Maloof-inspired rocker

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Project by Grant Libramento posted 06-22-2010 02:37 AM 3897 views 6 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally join the growing fraternity of woodworkers honoring the late Sam Maloof by building a sculptured chair in his unique style. When I first attended a demonstration by Sam in Atlanta in 1996 I knew I would someday get around to making one of these. It has taken me until now.
I’m just an amateur so I don’t count hours, but it surely was a long time in construction; certainly a lot more than the Windsor chairs I usually build. I used the templates and advice of Charles Brock because I like his interpretation of the Maloof style.

Black Walnut lumber; three coats of Waterlox. Lots of sawdust and sweat.
Thank you, Sam, for the inspiration.

-- Grant, Tryon, NC

23 comments so far

View Woodenwizard's profile


1360 posts in 3601 days

#1 posted 06-22-2010 02:49 AM

WOW! Something I have wanted to do. Maybe someday. Thanks for sharing.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Jesse.R's profile


56 posts in 3483 days

#2 posted 06-22-2010 03:55 AM

beautifully done. looks like a LOT of work hand sanding.

-- jesse

View a1Jim's profile


117781 posts in 4135 days

#3 posted 06-22-2010 04:02 AM

SOOOOO beautiful and well done

View Paul's profile


226 posts in 4010 days

#4 posted 06-22-2010 04:07 AM

Those chairs are so nice. I will attempt one soon.
for my front porch, in a hurry my wife and I bought a couple of rockers from the home center.
I can’t sit on them for more than ten minutes.
Before the end of the summer I will start on one of those chairs.
Before the end of the next summer I should finish it.
What I like about wood working is if you make a mistake you simply start over.. And all the mistakes remain in the garage. It’s not like trying something in the house and then having to live with it and having other people look at it when they come in. By the time it comes out of the garage you’re happy with the results.
Nice job on the rocker.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4236 posts in 4133 days

#5 posted 06-22-2010 05:45 AM

That is a thing of beauty Grant!
My skill level is going to have to come waaay up to make a rocker that nice!

View Skylark53's profile


2721 posts in 3618 days

#6 posted 06-22-2010 10:49 AM

This has GOT to be a satisfying work. You did a tremendous job on it.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3573 days

#7 posted 06-22-2010 01:03 PM

OOOH LA LA what a beauty , Grant. What a gorgeous build. Lovely wood choices for each piece (it all flows), beautiful finish work. I hate it when I lust in public, BUT I WANT TO MAKE ONE TOO!! EXCEPT, I will not be able to make it as fine & graceful as yours. Congrats, Grant, it is SUPERB

View Mike Chapman's profile

Mike Chapman

53 posts in 3542 days

#8 posted 06-22-2010 03:24 PM

A really, really nice chair. The lines are beautiful.


View Rob W's profile

Rob W

434 posts in 4094 days

#9 posted 06-22-2010 03:28 PM

Looks great

-- Rob — I've cut it off twice and it's still too short!,

View stevo_wis's profile


128 posts in 3585 days

#10 posted 06-22-2010 05:18 PM

Fabulous job Grant. I was hoping to start one this year, maybe with William Ng in California. Great job!!!!!

-- Stevo

View ramon's profile


153 posts in 3742 days

#11 posted 06-22-2010 08:01 PM

Cuando un trabajo esta bien hecho y me gusta como el tuyo nunca pregunto cuantas horas tardastes.Pienso que todos los que nos gusta la carpinteria cuando descubrimos el trabajo de Maloof todos deseamos fabricar una de sus piezas y esto tambien me pasa a mi.Enhorabuena tu ya lo has logrado.

View F Dudak's profile

F Dudak

342 posts in 4368 days

#12 posted 06-22-2010 10:50 PM

Beautiful chair Grant! I have Hal Taylor’s plans and can’t wait to give this a try. A little different than building a Windsor but I’m sure it is just as fun. Curious if you used any hand tools where the build would call for using power tools. The use of hand tools is what really draws me to Windsor chair making.

-- Fred.... Poconos, PA ---- Chairwright in the making ----

View Grant Libramento's profile

Grant Libramento

176 posts in 3537 days

#13 posted 06-22-2010 11:37 PM

Many thanks to everyone for all the uplifting comments. You made my day. Lumberjocks is a wonderful site for building confidence.
Answering Fred’s question, This chair represented my return to power tools. I practically had to relearn to use the table saw, jointer, planer and router. For years I had been using only had tools for my Windsor chairmaking. In this chair each individual part is itself is a sculpture, and after rough shaping with power carbide grinders, burrs and rough sandpaper, I used an assortment of hand rasps for a controlled approach to final shape. So instead of the drawknife, which is the essential hand tool in Windsor chairmaking, the rasp is the important hand tool for sculptured chairs. I don’t think there is a practical way to avoid sawdust with this style of chair. I did lots of the rough shaping outdoors. Invest in a good respirator/dust mask.

-- Grant, Tryon, NC

View degoose's profile


7263 posts in 3912 days

#14 posted 06-24-2010 12:17 AM

Sam would have been proud.. nice to be inspired..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3828 days

#15 posted 06-24-2010 12:29 AM

From one who has taken up the challenge (and not yet completed it) – Bravo to you Grant, for a project very well done. I am slowly assembling some of the “hand” tools in order to do that more specialized shaping you describe. I have some woods to work with on hand, but am considering whether I want to order a more forgiving species to use for my first trial. Your choice was fantastic and the finish is superb. You have certainly earned your way into the Sam Maloof fraternity….congratulations.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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