Sculpted Rocker

Marc Spagnuolo

The Sculpted Rocker is a Sam Maloof-inspired design. We collaborated with Charles Brock to make his interpretation of the chair. Due to licensing restrictions there will be no digital patterns distributed with this project. Patterns must be purchased separately.

  • 25 lessons
  • 337 min
  • $99.00
  • Sculpted Rocker Paper Patterns

    Two 2' x 4' sheets of paper containing the relevant patterns required for the Sculpted Rocker project. You can use these paper patterns to create your own templates as shown in the video series. Mailed upon purchase.

Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Getting Started

    A few things you’ll need to know before you get started on your Rocker.

  2. Lumber Selection & Rough Milling

    Selecting the best lumber and the most appropriate grain layout is essential to making a good chair.

  3. Templates

    Templates aren’t terribly exciting, but they are crucial to your success.

  4. Seat Construction

    A coopered seat makes the most out of our stock, helping us achieve a deep and graceful recess.

  5. Seat Joinery, Pre-Sculpting, & Assembly

    The joints are cut, the parts are pre-sculpted at the bandsaw, and the seat is glued up.

  6. Seat Sculpting

    Shaping the seat using some sweet power carving tools!

  7. Front Legs

    The front legs receive joinery and an offset turning!

  8. Rear Leg Construction

    The legs are cut to shape and an adder block is glued to the seat joint in preparation for joinery.

  9. Rear Leg Joinery

    The shape of the rear leg is refined and the joinery is cut.

  10. Rear Dado Alternative

    An alternative method for creating the dados in the rear legs.

  11. Leg Screws

    The legs are pre-drilled for SPAX screws and attached to the seat.

  12. Arm Construction

    Fitting and rough-shaping the arm blank.

  13. Arm Sculpting

    The project start looking like a chair as we sculpt and attach the arms.

  14. Headrest Construction

    The headrest is cut to fit, shaped, drilled for spindles, and attached to the legs with screws.

  15. Seat Details & Refinements

    Adding profiles to the seat, drilling spindles holes, and preliminary front leg shaping.

  16. Back Slats

    The back slats feature a unique shape that cradles the back and makes this chair notoriously comfortable.

  17. More Seat Refinement & Assembly

    The seat receives the final shaping and details, giving us a chance to do our first glueup.

  18. Headrest Refinement

    The headrest is sculpted to the final shape and blended into the legs.

  19. Body Sculpting

    The legs are carved into the main body of the seat.

  20. Arm Glueup & Sculpting

    The arms are glued to the legs and sculpted to final shape.

  21. Spindle & Headrest Glueup

    The headrest and spindles are glued into place and the plugs are added to cover the screw heads.

  22. Rocker Lamination

    The rockers are constructed using a method known as bent lamination.

  23. Rocker Fitting

    Attaching the transition blocks and fitting the legs to the rockers.

  24. Rocker Sculpting

    Attaching the rockers to the chair and sculpting the final details.

  25. Finishing Your Rocker

    Choosing the right finish and how to apply an oil finish to your rocker.

What You’ll Receive:

Over 5.5 hours of detailed step-by-step video instructions (24 videos) available for immediate download after purchase. Patterns must be purchased separately.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Wood Selection
  • Chair Joinery
  • Carving with power tools (angle grinder and die grinder)
  • Shaping with rasps
  • Designing elegant curves
  • Creating curved templates
  • Bent lamination
  • Oil finishing

What You Need:

The list of tools used in this project is rather extensive, but keep in mind there are always alternative options available if you don’t own something in this list.


Seat (5) – 4 1/4” W x 22” L x 2” T
Front Legs (2) – 2 13/16”W x 19 1/2”L x 2” T
Headrest – 7”W x 22”L x 10/4 (or laminated 8/4)
Arms (2) – 4 1/2” W x 19 1/2” L x 10/4 (or laminated 8/4)
Rear Legs (2) – 6” W x 48” L x 2” Thick (or as close as you can get)
Spindles (7) – 2 1/4” W x 30 1/2” L x 1 1/2” T
Rockers  (2) – 1 1/2” W x 50” L (8/4 stock should provide adequate thickness. These pieces will be sliced up into 6-8 laminations that will add up to a final 1″ thickness)


Nice to Have:

Oscillating Spindle Sander


The videos were easy to follow and gave a ton of information. My only complaint was that were were a couple of times where an instruction was given in a later step that should’ve been given in an earlier step (for example, angling one of the screws for the rear leg so as not to interfere with the spindles). But overall, that’s not worth knocking a star off, as the videos really made a hard project seem pretty straightforward. I’d definitely recommend it to a friend.

Ben McCarty
Guild Member

Completing this project gives me a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Not only do I have a nice rocker but a skill set that improves my woodworking ability for future projects.

This is a complex project but the videos break it down into a series of steps that make it doable. I watched the videos over and over as I worked my way through the project. It’s helpful to watch them all the way through before cutting the first piece of wood, it puts the process into perspective. You won’t need to guess at any of the steps. You are not just given brief directions such as “drill equally spaced holes”. The video shows exactly where to mark the first hole and how to locate each one from there.

The tools listed for the projects are very well suited for the tasks. I don’t have a lathe but had no problem shaping the front legs without one. Aside from the seat most of my sculpting was done with a spoke shave, rasps and scrapers. Marc suggests sculpting both sides of the chair step by step. This helps maintain visual symmetry but also workload symmetry. If you carve too much on one side you’ll have to carve too much on the other as well. Some of the joinery needs to be precise but after that there is no “wrong way”

This project is an investment in time, tools and materials. The resulting piece of furniture is beautiful. To me, the skills acquired are the biggest reward. It’s like moving from paint by number to free hand. I can color outside the lines and the lines don’t need to be straight and square.

kevin winsor
Guild Member

Your work with Darrell Peart using Sapele reminded me to send you pics of my sculpted rocker (made with Sapele) now that it is finally complete.

I’ve got to tell you what a tremendous building experience this was. Your videos were extremely well done and very informative. Many techniques used were new to me (power carving, hand rasps, shaping, and joinery). You truly simplified these complex processes and I am beyond excited have these new skills and insight as part of my woodworking acumen now!
I was well outside my comfort zone with many of the techniques you demonstrated but you made them simple and boiled down to a series of steps (as promised) and opened up some cool new doors for me. Much appreciated!

I’m a fan of your work, and love what you and others are doing for the craft!
You should be very proud of the content you produce, your product and brand are strong!

Guild Member
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About Your Instructor:

Marc is a podcaster, video producer, woodworking enthusiast, and author of Hybrid Woodworking and Essential Joinery. He has contributed articles and video content to, Popular Woodworking Magazine, WOOD Magazine, and Woodcraft Magazine. He is also the host of The Wood Whisperer, an instructional woodworking video series that’s been going strong since 2006. He is also one of the hosts of the Wood Talk podcast. He has taught classes at the William Ng School, Marc Adams School, Weekend with Wood, Fine Woodworking Live, as well as at various Rockler and Woodcraft stores. He also speaks periodically at woodworking events like AWFS and IWF.