Sam Maloof: How I Make A Rocker
A master craftsman reveals the details of his iconic rocker.
Synopsis: Sam Maloof’s rocker with a solid wood seat and flat spindles is frequently imitated. Maloof doesn’t have a formula that he follows, nor does he work out mathematically the way his rocker rocks. Each one he makes differs somewhat in dimension and density of its parts, so he works out its balance along the way. He arranges seat boards for the nicest figure match, regardless of whether it’s bark-side up or down. Then he lays out both back legs, looking for a curve in the grain to match the curve in the legs. He tablesaws a notch in each rear corner of the seat blank and miters it; the notches for the front legs are less complicated; they are simply dadoed out and rabbeted. He bandsaws the back spindles and explains how he makes the crest rail and arms, and how he finishes the piece.