Charles Brock Workshop on Building a
Maloof-inspired Rocking Chair

Woodworkers from around the country converged on Highland Woodworking July 11-13, 2008 to study the design and construction of the revered "Maloof-inspired" rocking chair. The 3-day workshop was facilitated by Charles Brock and assisted by Cecil Cheves.

The Friday night session was all about design. The rocker's functional requirements as well as its appearance were discussed. Charles' own Maloof-inspired rocker in English walnut was on display for the students to examine. All were amazed with its beauty and comfort. Charles employs a number of Maloof-style elements in his chairs but also adds "Recaro" side support to the lumbar back area. The chair's design is one of hard and soft lines that indicate constant motion as well as unique surfaces.

View a Slideshow of the July 2008 Class

The goal for Charles' demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday was to instill in each student the confidence and skill necessary to complete this "bucket list" project. Charles showed how to cooper and scoop out the saddle using a bandsaw and grinder. The unique bridle seat/leg joinery was explained and demonstrated using the table saw and routers. Woodworkers learned to sculpt the legs, arms, headrest and back spindles using the bandsaw, spokeshaves, rasps and scrapers. Everyone enjoyed the glue-up of the laminations that create the signature cyma curved rockers with ebony and maple highlights.

Charles Brock returns to Highland Woodworking
February 27 - March 1, 2009
to teach the 3-day class once again.

Here are a few comments from some of the students attending:

Eddy Turner said "The one quality that most impressed me about Charles is his ability to speak to all levels of woodworkers. No question is too simple nor too extensive. His background in teaching [was obvious], and my ability to remember his comments and examples were profoundly increased by his teaching methods."

Harvey Darden told Charles that this class "Hit the ball out of the park!"

Curt Jarrell said "Charles showed me the chair was seventeen carving projects that come together to make a beautiful rocker. This helps give me the confidence I need to complete the project."

Larry Taylor said "I thought it was a great class. It's rare that I get to see a master woodworker in action. The chair would be a daunting project for me but I hope to attempt one sometime soon. I think I would make it out of maple with ash spindles. Even if I never make a chair though, I picked up a lot of useful woodworking tips.

Mike Watson added "I came all the way from Memphis and thoroughly enjoyed the class. It gave me some great fundamentals to attempt something that before seemed daunting. This gives me everything I need to know to build something I've only dreamed about building before. Thank you for providing the opportunity to learn."

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