The Best Plan to Build a Maloof Rocker

Woodworkers are visual. I’m sure we all agree that taking a class to work one-on-one with an instructor would be the best of all worlds. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. Travel is expensive and who has extra vacation time available? Nonetheless, we learn more when we see the work completed. Herein is why woodworking DVDs are so important. If you cannot get to the class, bring the class to your shop. Additionally, you can watch and learn at your pace, and watch any technique over and over until you get it.

In 2009, woodworking lost a legend in Sam Maloof. While a true Maloof rocker will never be built again, there are woodworkers building Maloof-style rockers – they are doing a great job of it. If you have seen one of these rockers or a Sam Maloof original, I’ll bet your “must build” list jumped a notch. From what I’ve seen of this rocker, it’s a tricky build. The parts are sculpted and not simply milled and cut to size. This is a project in which a DVD would be extremely important, and full-size patterns would better make project completion a possibility.

Charles Brock has spent years studying the Maloof rocker. His “must build” list was first notched in 1983 and he has been building theses rockers for clients ever since. It’s taken time to get the process fine-tuned. He’s also dipped his toe into the teaching arena – one of his students gained Brock exposure on the Martha Stewart Show (click here to watch the video – begin around the 6:35 mark.)

In addition to in-class teaching of how to build the rocker, Brock has taken the time to create a DVD of the process as well as producing full-size plans along with a companion book – everything you’ll need to build the chair without attending one of his Georgia-based classes. The entire package, “Build a Maloof Inspired Rocker with Charles Brock,” is available at shopwoodworking.com, click here.

The DVD is 103 minutes of instruction, the companion book is 48 pages with 69 photos and the patterns – the full-size patterns, not patterns drawn to scale that you can take to a copy shop to have enlarged – are printed on two sheets that are 24″ x 48″ in size. According to Brock’s web site, “Full size patterns allow every woodworker a chance to build the rocker. It simplifies the construction because the geometry is built into the pattern design. The patterns have valuable information printed on them to help you identify key areas of importance. They are printed on heavy paper and should be glued or transferred to appropriate pattern material for long term shop use (as explained in the book).”

Click here to read more about Brock’s bundled kit, or if you would like to build in the Maloof style, but are more interested in a low-back dining chair as opposed to the rocker, shopwoodworking.com has a kit for that project, too (click here.)

— Glen D. Huey

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About Glen D. Huey

Glen Huey is editor of American Woodworker Magazine, and former managing editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. He's an accomplished period furniture maker and author of numerous woodworking books and videos (as well as magazine articles).

One thought on “The Best Plan to Build a Maloof Rocker

  1. BH

    Mr.Brock’s Maloof package is great but for a bit more info/help in building Maloof rockers and low back chairs, check out Scott Morrison. Cudos to both of these wonderful teachers for sharing their skills and knowledge with the rest of us wood lovers. Thanks Glenn for your wonderful help in building period furniture.

    BH – Toronto, Canada

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