Sam Maloof Inspired Cherry Rocker

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Project by Mike Chapman posted 07-29-2010 12:03 AM 4640 views 6 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The second rocker is now officially complete. I made the Walnut rocker, which you have already seen, to prove to myself that I could do it. I made the Cherry rocker next just to prove that the first one was not all luck. Visit my website to see the complete building process by clicking the “Work-In-Process” navigation button once you get to my site.

Thank you for your interest.

Mike Chapman


17 comments so far

View TulsaWoodSmith's profile


228 posts in 4419 days

#1 posted 07-29-2010 12:56 AM

Some of us build stuff, and some truly create—-You certainly are in the latter group. I’m not sure I would even know where to start a thing like that. Thanks for sharing this beauty.

-- TulsaWoodSmith, Tulsa, OK The tools aren't the problem-It's the organic interface!

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 4000 days

#2 posted 07-29-2010 01:21 AM

DITTO What he said….........................................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 4861 days

#3 posted 07-29-2010 01:29 AM

Gorgeous execution. You should be proud.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View tinnman65's profile


1414 posts in 4476 days

#4 posted 07-29-2010 01:48 AM

Very nice work,what a nice pair!!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Paul's profile


226 posts in 4514 days

#5 posted 07-29-2010 02:23 AM

Really nice job. Are you using plans or freehanding it?
How many hours to make this chair?

View Mike Chapman's profile

Mike Chapman

53 posts in 4046 days

#6 posted 07-29-2010 03:09 AM

I started making the Walnut chair last November using Charles Brock’s dvd available at Highland Hardware. It’s about 10% patterns and 90% eyeballs. The dvd was a requirement for me getting started. I needed to understand how the “bridle Joint” works, then the rest is just standard woodworking.

It helps to print off a bunch of Sam Maloof rocker images using Google Image search. These serve as the guide for your eyes when sculpturing the chair.

About 200 manhours are required in my experience. Stock up on sandpaper and ambition.


View Grant Libramento's profile

Grant Libramento

176 posts in 4041 days

#7 posted 07-29-2010 04:32 AM

Very sweet, Mike. Is that ebony in the rocker lams?
I’ve started my second one, but in walnut. Is the cherry as forgiving as the walnut?

-- Grant, Tryon, NC

View edgarO's profile


68 posts in 3967 days

#8 posted 07-29-2010 04:51 AM

WOW that is awesome. lovin the walnut one. you sir are an artist

View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4077 days

#9 posted 07-29-2010 12:42 PM

we see so many of these posted lately, we forget the amazing amount of work that goes into these. I’ve made a ton of chairs over the years, but this is a masterpiece.

View FatScratch's profile


189 posts in 4364 days

#10 posted 07-29-2010 02:19 PM

I love these style rockers. Yours look great!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5308 days

#11 posted 07-29-2010 02:21 PM

Very nice compliment to Maloof.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Mike Chapman's profile

Mike Chapman

53 posts in 4046 days

#12 posted 07-29-2010 06:07 PM

I find Walnut to be the most forgiving wood to work with for just about anything. Cherry is my next favorite, but you have to be selective about finishes. Cherry tends to blotch. It helps to test your current Cherry stock before applying finish to a project.

The rocker laminates are:

Cherry Chair-Walnut laminate
Walnut Chair-Cherry laminate


View RalphNevin's profile


71 posts in 4093 days

#13 posted 07-29-2010 08:35 PM


Those are beautiful examples of the Maloof style. Thanks for the pictorial of your build, that really show the work that goes into a piece like this. I have been contemplating the DVD/template purchase, but I don’t think I have the talent to pull off one of these.

Thanks for sharing


-- Ralph New Hampshire,

View F Dudak's profile

F Dudak

342 posts in 4872 days

#14 posted 07-30-2010 03:04 AM

Beautiful Rocker!! Cherry!!

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

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5467 days

#15 posted 03-01-2011 09:16 PM

beautiful work

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

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