Maloof style chair instructional DVD by Scott Morrison

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Review by MeadNotkin posted 11-20-2017 04:41 PM 2559 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
Maloof style chair instructional DVD by Scott Morrison Maloof style chair instructional DVD by Scott Morrison Maloof style chair instructional DVD by Scott Morrison Click the pictures to enlarge them

Let me say up front that in terms of the money I’ve spent on woodworking classes over the past couple of years, Scott Morrison’s DVD on how to build a stool was the best bang for the buck. I say that because my initial hesitation was over whether to spend $100 on two DVDs and some plans. It was well worth it.

As another reviewer has mentioned, Scott’s instructional DVDs are very well done and are easy to follow, and he was available via email to answer my questions. Just today I successfully completed my third and final stool, and there’s no way I could have figured out this build on my own. And as Scott sells these stools for $3,200 apiece, I figure I just saved $9,700 by making them myself!

Here are a few caveats:
This is a two stage build. First stage you cut out all the pieces and screw and glue them together into the rough, unshaped stool. Stage 2 is shaping every surface of the chair using grinders and rasps and sandpaper. The first stage is very challenging, but somehow I managed to pull it off. When I watched the DVDs the first time and saw Scott pull out the rasp for stage 2 and start shaping by hand, my heart sank and I never thought I could pull it off.

And I ain’t gonna lie – it was a challenge and took a lot of work. But it was also extremely enjoyable, and taught me many valuable new skills.

You will also need a variety of specialized tools for this project. In terms of power tools, you will need the usual suspects – table saw, jointer as well as a band saw, although you could probably get away with a jigsaw. You will also need two grinders – a regular grinder and a die grinder. Scott uses a pneumatic die grinder, and to power that tool you need a 60 gallon compressor and enough space to store it in. I had neither, and it took me a few weeks to figure out a workaround. First I bought a Foredom flex tube die grinder, which is a nice tool, but I quickly realized that it would be very difficult to maneuver the flex tube, which is short, around the stools. So I returned it. After many internet searches I realized that DeWalt sold a hand held electric die grinder with enough power to use Kutzall extreme burr heads, which are the bits I used.

I’d never used a die grinder – to tell you the truth, I didn’t even know what a die grinder was before doing this project – so finding the right equipment was part of the learning curve for me.

However, you cannot die grind your way to completion with this project. You will also need to use wood rasps. Never having used a rasp, I purchased an 11 grain, 8 inch rasp. A very nice rasp but it was too fine and was not up for the task so I bought a 6 grain 12 inch auriou rasp, and it turned out to be the Samurai sword of rasps. The hand shaping was actually manageable with this more aggressive rasp. BUT – I also bought a rat tail rasp, another rounded coarse rasp from Kutzall, a round microplane rasp and a saw rasp – and I used every one of them to complete this project.

Which brings me to the one omission that I found in the DVDs. Shaping the joints for a newbie is complicated. The curves go every which way, and I had no idea, really, how to shape them, and Scott’s DVDs do not go into the kind of detail that a beginner like me needed.

Fortunately I have a knowledgeable friend who explained where the curves are supposed to go and how to approach it.

I also live in the D.C. area and found out there’s a Maloof chair on display at the Renwick Gallery, so I went down and took a look, and that was also a big help.

So now I know how to build a chair, and my next project might be to use the Maloof joints explained in Scott’s DVDs in some dining chairs of my own design.

It was an amazing project. If you’re looking for a challenge, I highly recommend it. It’s definitely brought my woodworking skills to a new level.

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#1 posted 11-22-2017 02:00 PM

Beautiful Work; along with a wonderful journey. Once you’ve mounted the challenge on sculpted furniture, there is no turning back.

Thanks for the review on Scott’s work. I may undertake this, as well.

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