Curly Maloof Rocker


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As I've promised I'm going to journal my next Maloof Rocker build. This is one of my favorite all time builds and this will be my 5th rocker in the past 2 years (third rocker of this year). I started

Ok, @Spanky got me going to finish up this post. I had put my last coat of finish on the Rocker yesterday and so I went home at lunch to move it into the house and grab some pics.  When I left of

Short update, only spent a little time in shop and have a busy weekend, so here's where I'm at. Finished shaping, sculpting all leg to seat joints. Sanded to 180 but I still have a few scratches

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As one who has yet to attempt this chair, let me ask an ignorant question...

Do the dominoes really help much in the seat glue-up? From what I can see, it looks like a simple set of cauls should hold things in algment well enough. Am I totally missing something?

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17 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

As one who has yet to attempt this chair, let me ask an ignorant question...

Do the dominoes really help much in the seat glue-up? From what I can see, it looks like a simple set of cauls should hold things in algment well enough. Am I totally missing something?

In some forums I've read that a rep from Titebond speaking at a club meeting stated that the dowels or Dominos don't add any strength to the glue-up in the seat. I search YouTube but most of the test I saw IMHO were not valid. the best two were by Dowellmax (did not include just glueing) and Wood.Work.LIFE. (little on the weak side). Ref the test by Wood.Work.LIFE (

Test bt Diwekknax > 

 

. his handcut  Mortise & Tenon broke at 118 lbs and the domino with two broke at 238. I could argue that the dominio was stronger based on this test. Thus I suggest that the domino is stronger than just glue but the real question is do you need the strength. If you have a DF500 IMHO there is no question as to if you should (yes you should). You are going to spend a LOT for the wood and invest 60+ hours, why take the gamble.

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3 minutes ago, jgt1942 said:

In some forums I've read that a rep from Titebond speaking at a club meeting stated that the dowels or Dominos don't add any strength to the glue-up in the seat. I search YouTube but most of the test I saw IMHO were not valid. the best two were by Dowellmax (did not include just glueing) and Wood.Work.LIFE. (little on the weak side). Ref the test by Wood.Work.LIFE (

Test bt Diwekknax > 

 

. his handcut  Mortise & Tenon broke at 118 lbs and the domino with two broke at 238. I could argue that the dominio was stronger based on this test. Thus I suggest that the domino is stronger than just glue but the real question is do you need the strength. If you have a DF500 IMHO there is no question as to if you should (yes you should). You are going to spend a LOT for the wood and invest 60+ hours, why take the gamble.

I didn't watch both videos, but in your comment, you indicated these tests were with mortise and tenon joints, which are a cross-grain glue application. In the seat blank for the chair, it is a long-grain glue-up, which is supposed to be stronger that the wood itself, and has shown to be so in my limited experience. In that situation, I fail to understand the advantage of using dominoes, dowels, biscuits, or any other device.  Just curious what I might be missing.

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I personally think that either using dowels or dominos best helps with the alignment and holds the boards in place when you apply the clamps for the glue to set-up. In the past when I glued boards without anything to hold them in place it was super difficult to keep them aligned when the clamps were applied. When I started using the DF500 the first thing I noticed is that the boards were perfectly aligned.

Now that I've glued up the seat (I should have waited and done this after doing some other steps first) I realize I could have used the side-stop extension on the front dominos and achieved a more accurate alignment. When I build with good wood I will use them for the front, this is where I will use the smallest width that the DF500 will cut. In the back I will use a marker line on either the top or bottom and use the middle setting for the DF500. The front dominos will correctly position the boards front-to-back and up-down as well. The back dominos will correctly position the boards up-down, the front-to-back will be loose. If you cut the back domino slots with the DF500 narrowest setting it would require that the slots be 100% accurate. That would require the boards to be exact equal lengths and the position of the DF500 to be exactly on the lines. It is possible but highly unlikely that you could achieve this.

I agree that you could use "custom" cauls (you need cauls to fit the shape of the slope, also at the time you are gluing up the seat the slopes on the boards have very rough cut on the top side) to get perfect alignment, however close might be good enough for the up/down position. I have the Scott Morrison DVDs, when he marks for the joints on the seat he uses the front and side edge of the board 5 as his reference point for measurements. He then sets his stops on the tablesaw based on these measurements and cuts both #1 & #2 boards. If the boards are not the exact same lengths the joints will NOT be correctly aligned. This will throw off the position of the legs. I'm not sure how critical the actual position of the legs are but they would be different.

Scott measuring from the front edge of the board to determine the front edge of the front joint.

 556891701_TB37Scottmarksthepositionofthefrontseatjointbeforeglueup.thumb.jpg.0ff07ba3706e24d59bbc81cf2fb81280.jpg

Scott measuring from the back edge to determine the position of the front-to-back line of the joint.

547237933_TB38Scottmarksthepositionofthebackseatjointfront-to-backline.jpg.101e88b30b5de5d28bad6d06c064e701.jpg

Using the mark just made Scott draws the front-to-back line of the back joint and marks the position of the front of the joint.

460432524_TB39Scottdrawsthefront-to-backlinebasedonthemarkhejustmade.jpg.d0c89f8fa4b2c9f9435be81b6900443f.jpg

Scott draws a line to mark the front of the back joint.

650674464_TB40Scottdrawsthelineforthefrontedgeofthebackjoint.jpg.413a815accfb3da33e8a737bd3f3f5d5.jpg

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32 minutes ago, Tpt life said:

Don got me on shooting a trim nail that projects, then snipping it sharp to provide a little tooth to keep things from slipping. 

I've done this on a few things but often I'm going to turn something that I'm gluing up and anytype of metal does present a problem. Thus I seldom use the nail idea and most often forget to use it when I can. Old age has made me forgetful. Every walk in to a room and you ask yourself, "Why did I come into this room"?

The nail idea would work for the seat alignment, sure is a LOT easier than the domino or dowels. When grinding out the seat if you hit a domino or dowel you just won the big goof badge, if you hit the nail it is time to stop grinding and most likely you should still get the big goof badge.

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OK I finally realized that the drawing for the "plans" are not exact and are for reference, they are close but not exact. I'm following Scott Morrison's DVD and plans. This and the issue I introduced was driving me nuts (short drive) I will be making two chairs for very young girls (under the age of 3) thus I needed to reduce the scale. I determined that 75% of original would be a good size so I reduced the plans to 75% or so I thought, it's an old age thing. So when following Scott's video my 75% measurements were not coming out as I expected. When I disco vered the error and adjusted the measurements for 71% it was like magic, the measurements were correct (amazing!). The red arrows identify the three cut lines, the small black arrows identify the tablesaw blade side of the line.

147900244_TB43Readjustedmeasurementfrom75Pto71Poforiginal20200715_104743sm.jpg.823760c3a387ecc49ffca197b98329ea.jpg

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Bmac ref your Oct 22 post "Cut the back notches for the rear leg joints. A few thoughts here, first the size of the notch is only somewhat important. I try to be dead on but as you'll see with assembly there is extra seat here extending out past the rear leg. So if you cut the notch at 2 15/16ths" instead of 3", you'll be fine. The real big deal is the fact that this notch needs to be dead on square, I mean dead on. "

I noticed that Hal Taylor does square cuts, I really like how he does the back slats.

Scott Morrison cuts a negative and positive 5 degree cut on the back joint on the side that runs from the back toward the front of the seat. I see that you just make it square. Other than not have to deal with the +/- cuts what do I gain or loose. I noticed that Hal Taylor also uses a square cut (I have not watch his DVD or read through his document).

I've been watching Scott's DVD and he states that you want the legs to splay out but as I see his setup for the cut, it seems to me that it is backwards. He set the fence 85 degrees to the blade. places the top toward the blade and makes a cut on board 1. 

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So yes, the legs splay. With my Rocker builds, using Marc's plan (which is from Charles Brock), we do a 6 degree splay. This is not accomplished with the seat cut but by adding a 6 degree adder black to the inside of the back leg. 

I've never seen Scott Morrison's video on the rocker build. I've used him for some other sculptured chair builds, so I'm not familiar with his technique here in splaying the back legs. What I can say is whe you are doing those cuts to splay the legs on my build, I always get confused and mixed up on which direction the angle cut is, and it always seems like I'm not doing it right until I do it and put the leg up to the chair seat. Trust Scott and do it the way he says and you'll be fine.

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Frankly, while a Maloof-style chair of SPF lumber is probably not going to wear well, I think it is going to look pretty cool. The nail holes and small knots add a rustic character to what is generally viewed as a high-end luxury piece. I hope you follow through and completely finish your 'practice' chair.

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On 7/20/2020 at 6:09 PM, Coop said:

Are you keeping written notes as well as pics of your do’s and don’ts? 

Yes I am! When I started the build I watched the DVD about the portion of the build I was doing. Sometimes I had to watch a section numerous times to get everything or some fine detail that I missed. I take screen with SnagIt and then add my notes, everything is in a Word document (I'm a PC user). Currently I'm on page 24 of my build and I just made it to the back legs. Scott builds the chair a bit differently with respect to the sequence of things. First is board selection, then making the templates, then cuts all the boards to rough length, then mrks the boards with the templates (I reduced the size to 71% because this will be for a 3 year old and a 2 year old set of girls). He then makes the seat, (cuts 3 degree angle, inserts dowels (I used Dominos) makes the leg joints in the seat, rounds over the bottom edge of the seat. Now he glues the seat together and then  grinds it out,  This is followed by cutting out the rear legs. This is as far as I have gotten. I'm slow and old!

At various points I've had problems with following his directions, some were because of me and some I think he left something out.

When I finish I should have a very good set of notes that I will call draft one. When I start the actual build I will use the notes and make more enhancements.

BTW I've also ordered a set of plans and instructions from Hal Taylor. He and I have been exchanging emails. Hal has a LOT more detail and of course does it differently. I'm waiting for the delivery and may just use is plans for the real build. Hal suggest NOT building with scrap wood, he suggest jumping into the project with the final product wood. To some extent I agree, this is a big build and I will invest a LOT of time. I have not been keeping track of the time and my current estimate is 3 times what Bmac spent on his build but he has a lot more experience with the build than I do. If you are considering ordering from Hal, make sure you order directly from him using http://www.rockingchairuniversity.com/store/c3/Rocking_Chair_University.html I had a very difficult time finding this URL (could be just me).

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On 7/20/2020 at 9:43 PM, wtnhighlander said:

Frankly, while a Maloof-style chair of SPF lumber is probably not going to wear well, I think it is going to look pretty cool. The nail holes and small knots add a rustic character to what is generally viewed as a high-end luxury piece. I hope you follow through and completely finish your 'practice' chair.

Current plan is to finish the build. I'm thinking of making the rockers out of Oak from pallets. If it turns out good then one of the girls can have it or I will give it to our local library or a hospital where they have a kids section.

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OK I've hit a small snag with my build. I just finished the back legs and clamped it in place. I have NOT cut the key section in the leg that will fit into the seat. It seems that the leg should be about 1/4" thicker on two sides. Obviously I can make another leg easy enough or just glue some wood in that area or customize the edge of the seat in that area so it will be flush with the leg. GEE decisions, decisions!! Possibly I made a mistake when I rescaled to 71% of original size. 

Looking at the first image below, if I cut the key in the current leg, it will slide forward 1/4" and to the left 1/4".

104208566_TB50BackLegThickness0120200722_211300.thumb.jpg.c9cf9675d3318d876a17480bc7efd3ae.jpg

1746757800_TB50BackLegThickness0220200722_211314.thumb.jpg.115e3e67db70345d174f430ae052cb2c.jpg

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14 hours ago, Coop said:

Did you scale back on the legs but not the notch in the seat? 

I've gone through all of the measurements, including the scale, a few times and so far I have not found where I goofed. Possibly one of the issues is the way Scott makes his measurements and the way my mind works or does not work. I'm going to cut a new board for board 5 of the seat, as you face the seat from the front this would be the right-most board, and follow Scotts' directions and ensure I did the scale reduction correct. 

Scott starts with 2" thick boards, at 71% this would be 1.42"

He then cuts all stock to rough measurements (I added an extra inch)

He then planes all the cut pieces to 1.75", at 71% this would be 1.24" thus the leg "should" be 1.24" thick. I checked my leg board and it is 1.3" thick. I then checked the back leg cuts without measuring the 1/4" cut I can see that something is off and it is NOT going to work. For it to work with the current board thickness A would have to be a max of 0.95" (this would allow for the 1/4" lip made by the router) and B would have to be a max of 1.45" (this would allow for the 1/4" lip).

Now for the hard part, I got to think!!! OH GEE WHIZ!

I can resolve the current issue by adding 1/4"+ to the inside of the leg and 1/4" to the front joint area of the leg and then just taper everything so it looks natural. However if this was the official build with some really good wood it might look bad, for sure it would be different.

286352691_TB50Checkingbackseatcutsmeasurements.jpg.bc4a512b7fddabbcf5e77113203a8985.jpg

Bmac, I just looked at your post regarding the notches in the seat and don't understand how you made the measurements, possibly I just missed that section.

The way Scott makes the measurements starts with a rectangular boards, e.g. boards 1 and 5 cut to "the" length. He either measures from the outside edge or the front/back of the edge. After you trim the seat you loose the reference point for the measurements.

If I had deducted a 1/2" to account for the lip I would have been MUCH closer or exactly at what I needed. Perhaps that is what I should have done. I just checked my front leg joint cuts and all looks OK here (or I think it is OK). Obviously I made some error on the back.

1828455313_TB50Checkingfrontseatcuts20200723_133938.thumb.jpg.12e9d5699c438d369ccd9bc3728eeb24.jpg

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Did you scale the rabbet / rebate of the notches, in addition to the notches themselves?

This sort of thing is why I tend to change the scale on just the overall critical dimensions, and work out the joinery as I go, like I was starting from scratch.

FWIW, re-dimensioning plans like this is where parametric modeling tools like FreeCAD or Fusion 360 can really save your bacon.

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I measure from the front after the boards are cut to length and I cut my joints before the glueup of the seat. 

As for the back legs, you may not be as far off as you think, once the joint is cut in the leg and the leg placed on the seat, you will have the seat overhang, or stand proud of the leg. This is ok and will be cut back later once yoy start sculpting/shaping the final look of the seat. 

Now in my build, using Brock's and Marc's plan, an adder block is added to the inside part of the leg and this is something you could do also. I think I showed that process clearly in my posts.

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18 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Did you scale the rabbet / rebate of the notches, in addition to the notches themselves?

This sort of thing is why I tend to change the scale on just the overall critical dimensions, and work out the joinery as I go, like I was starting from scratch.

FWIW, re-dimensioning plans like this is where parametric modeling tools like FreeCAD or Fusion 360 can really save your bacon.

I did not scale the 1/4" for the rabbit just because I did not have a bearing that would produce that size. When I cut my seat template to the 71% scale I did cut the notch out on the template, this was a goof on my part but I just checked it against the leg and I think the joint would be a very close fit.

112209752_TB50checkingseatbackcutinthetemplate20200724_164820.thumb.jpg.0056d98f3cb29077c5db4002be533556.jpg

When Scott discusses the back joint I think that it might be just luck when it comes out correctly. He uses the outer edge of boards 1 & 5 as measurement reference points.

1026371620_TB50Scottmakingmeasurementforbackseatjoint01.jpg.c29152ed0c9294bc32c85ec4ee09675e.jpg

He says something similar to this: 

Now let’s layout the position of the back leg. From the outside edge measure and mark 2 7/8” for 100% scale, (2.04” for 71% scale). (I added the 71% numbers). He makes a mark at the 2 7/8" measurement.

937960476_TB50Scottmakingmeasurementforbackseatjoint01.jpg.8be727eaa6d0074c9697d59e22e3c7a0.jpg

"From the back edge, place the square on the 2 7/8” mark for 100% scale, (2.13” for 71% scale) mark, draw a line down to the 3” point on the ruler for 100% scale, (2.13” for 71% scale) mark on the square." and he is making his measurement as in the following image.

665360967_TB50Scottmakingmeasurementforbackseatjoint01.jpg.320713ef1f3837e412e0b6bb2e1f01ee.jpg

At the end of the 3” mark for 100% scale, (2.13” for 71% scale) mark draw a line to the outside edge

1118794369_TB50Scottmakingmeasurementforbackseatjoint04.jpg.9655909aa98dec4df3ecbf44f36e7333.jpg

The then states he has the cutout area for the back leg

122633527_TB50Scottmakingmeasurementforbackseatjoint05.jpg.7307222b98a88b42716746d7b326c2af.jpg

IMHO if you positioned the template on the boards incorrectly this measurement will be off. No where does he discuss any alignment for the template.

As I stated above, when I made the template, I cut out the back notch areas. However I think they can be used for more accurate placement of the leg joint. I did notice on the plans that the left/right back joints were not mirror images of each other. I need to correct this goof (this was Scotts goof).

At this time I'm just going to glue a piece of wood to each leg and move forward. I need to think about how I want to correct Scotts directions so when I do my build with good wood I will not have this issue. Another note I may completely follow Hal Taylor's instructions. Hal ships a paper copy of the template. The first thing I will do with the paper copy is to take it to a drafting shop and have them scan it at full size. This will ensure I have a copy.

Hal cuts a lot of his chair on a CNC machine but he does not sell the CNC files.

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