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Thread: Maloof Rocker Species Decision

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  1. #1
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    Maloof Rocker Species Decision

    My first is on the way, and like every other father-to-be woodworker, the Maloof rocker is on my mind. I have 5 months to get it done, so i figured i better start planning now and make this my next personal project. Ive seen variations of the chair in walnut 100 different ways, and I like walnut. I also have about 2,000 bdft of 8/4 walnut on hand with a lot of 2-4' shorts from making countertops and islands. The chair would essentially be 'free' in that regard. However, we are really only talking about 50-60bdft of lumber here, and my mind started to wander towards other possibilities. Does anyone have a favorite example of the chair? I know its slightly ubiquitous and overplayed at this point, which is another reason im considering something other than walnut. I once saw a figured maple chair that was dyed to a butternut color and looked fantastic. If I remember correctly, that guy completed the chair and then sent it off to a professional finisher to dye and finish the chair. Leads me to believe his results are probably profoundly better than my own amateur finishing abilities. Still, the chair left an impression as a unique and different example of the rocker. With the time this will take to make, i dont mind spending $500+/- on really figured or exotic stock.

  2. #2
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    Personally, I think they look best in walnut, but if you choose another material be sure to pick one that will work easily with rasps and shaves as you will be spending a lot of time shaping by hand.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I have seen them fancied up in many ways including curly maple but, walnut is my favorite.
    Buy a man a plane ticket and heíll fly for a day.
    Push a man out of a plane
    and heíll fly for the rest of his life.

  4. #4
    I think it will look as good in walnut as anything. Walnut is a tad softer than maple, so shaping may be a little easier.

    Also, with 2000bf to choose from, you'll be able to really choose appropriate grain for your rear legs, seat, crest, and spindles. THAT's what'll really make it look good and perform well.

    I also highly recommend Waterlox Original Sealer Finish on this. It's easy to apply, has a great color that makes the walnut look dark and rich. It's also about as durable as wiping varnishes get.

  5. #5
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    Whelp, nothing wrong with a classic. Sounds like Walnut it is.

    The figured maple chairs look good, but i worry about executing the finish. With Walnut and a wipe on finish, its going to look good to great pretty easily. Yep, ive applied many many gallons of Waterlox. I stopped using it awhile ago because of the VOCs and cure time, but this might be a project to bring it back. I certainly dont want to spray the rocker, that sounds like a disaster.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Walnut is a wise choice. Itís stable and any little gaps in the joinery are not easily spotted.
    With maple itís not as forgiving unless your Sam.
    My favorite Rocker he made was Macasser Ebony a real Master piece.
    Good Luck
    Aj

  7. #7
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    Mar 2003
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    I agree with the above, BUT if you want something else and like the look of butternut why not use that?

  8. #8
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    Walnut is a good choice but it does fade from moderately brown to pale brown even in the shade. Onto the bare wood I wipe on a coat of Minwax Special Walnut for a rich and permanent brown.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    Walnut is a good choice but it does fade from moderately brown to pale brown even in the shade. Onto the bare wood I wipe on a coat of Minwax Special Walnut for a rich and permanent brown.
    For something that will be an heirloom piece, please consider Tom's suggestion. Walnut can and will fade from rich to insipid over time. A dye or pigment stain is a fine idea; my personal preference is to glaze the sealed walnut and then topcoat from there.

  10. #10
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    How long does that take, do you think? I have seen faded walnut--mostly interior trim, paneling, moulding etc. In libraries that are pushing 100+ years old at this point. On my projects that are 5-6 years old, i cant discern any level of fading. Do modern finishes slow down the UV fading that much, or is this something you typically dont witness for decades?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    Walnut doesn’t fade its mellows out over time.
    I like the look of walnut when it’s been in service for a long time. It’s a quality well built furniture and time share.
    Why would anyone want to prevent that is odd to me.
    Good Luck with your build Patrick.
    Aj

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