Maloof Inspired Two Seat Bench

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Project by mnorusis posted 12-07-2011 02:58 PM 4565 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Maloof inspired two seat bench in Cherry, with the traditional Maloof finish.

This is absolutely my favorite project to date, for several reasons. While inspired by a few different pieces, including the low back chair I made as well as Scott Morrison’s twosome bench (, I feel like I’ve made it my own. This is also the first project I’ve taken from sketches, to google sketchup, to tablesaw.

The center legs are joined to the seat with what I suppose I would call two-sided maloof joints, and I think turned out really cool.

14 comments so far

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1110 posts in 5098 days

#1 posted 12-07-2011 04:18 PM


-- Max the "night janitor" at

View a1Jim's profile


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#2 posted 12-07-2011 04:23 PM

View brazjuca's profile


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#3 posted 12-07-2011 04:26 PM

very good, congratulation

-- Brazjuca guarapari Brasil. All worth it when the soul is not small. (Fernando Pessoa)

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4341 days

#4 posted 12-07-2011 05:03 PM

Well done! I like that you’ve taken what you’ve learned from other highly talented and craft-changing individuals and begun to tweak it a bit to fit not only your style, but what you have in-mind as far as project-specific details.

Since you were not working from plans or specific instructions, what unforeseen challenges did you face? Would you do anything differently next time? I really enjoy seeing your projects and look forward to seeing what you do in the future!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View mnorusis's profile


157 posts in 4434 days

#5 posted 12-07-2011 07:20 PM

Thanks for the kind words gentlemen.

@Jonathan: I thought everything through pretty well I think, so there were not really any big surprises, but certainly a few things I would tweak if building another one. The one thing that bothers me most are the legs, they need to be a bit more rounded on the edges, if that makes sense.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5537 days

#6 posted 12-07-2011 10:50 PM

Beautiful homage to Maloof.

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

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4278 days

#7 posted 12-08-2011 12:01 AM

Wonderful bench.
What rabbeting bit did you use?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4979 days

#8 posted 12-08-2011 01:03 AM

Nice looking Cherry and design. Just wait until the Cherry “ripens” with color.
Have you had two people sit together on it yet ?
Have you named the bench yet ?
I would call it “Tusk” or Pi … : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View MrDan's profile


209 posts in 4578 days

#9 posted 12-08-2011 01:59 AM

Nicely done. Absolutely beautiful bench.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1628 posts in 4856 days

#10 posted 12-08-2011 03:08 AM

Mike that is one fine bench, looks amazing! Now about those middle leg joints….how did you do them? And as Dusty56 said about the color aging, would be nice to see an update picture in a year or so.

Great work.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 5184 days

#11 posted 12-08-2011 03:25 AM


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3887 posts in 4728 days

#12 posted 12-08-2011 05:46 AM

I have a question. I’ve never built something like this but would like to for my wife for our newly remodeled bedroom.

The grain direction on the seat. I looks great that way. Is the seat strong enough with that grain direction / thickness / leg distance placement? Or am I just inexperienced with this thing and don’t realize that it’s plenty strong? Did you joint the seat segments with biscuits or maybe tenons?

Thanks in advance for clarifying for me. I didn’t realize cherry could look that good!

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View mnorusis's profile


157 posts in 4434 days

#13 posted 12-08-2011 04:47 PM

Thanks guys,

@Tim, agreed on the color/aging. This is my first project using cherry, I can’t wait to see what it looks like in 6 months to a year.

For the maloof joint, you usually just dado 3 of the 4 sides on the leg. For the middle legs, I dadoed (is that a word?) all for sides of the leg. The flat middle section of the bench is two separate pieces, each with matching dados to accept the 4 sides of the legs. (I’m realizing how difficult that is to describe in words, unfortunately I don’t have pictures.)

@Craftsman, the overall dimensions of the bench are 47” wide / 18” tall / 18” deep. With the legs in the center, the width of each seat span are about the same (smaller I think) than the other chairs I’ve made, so I’m not concerned about the strength at all. With the strength of glues like titebond, it’s really not an issue. I did use dowels between the seat boards, but that’s really just for alignment during glueup. From what i’ve read, that doesn’t really add much strength to an edge joint.

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4341 days

#14 posted 12-08-2011 07:33 PM

The seat certainly seems thick enough, provided you’re not sitting down 2-heavy people at once. If I were to build something similar, I may use loose tenons, but I tend to over-engineer things.

I thought that’s maybe how you did the middle legs. I get exactly what you’re saying. Not sure if there’s a term out there for it or not, but maybe we could call it an “encapsulated dado,” or “fully enclosed dado” or “fully wrapped dado”?

I hope you post an updated picture after the cherry begins to patina.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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