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
  • $120.00

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.

Recommended:

Nice to Have:

Oscillating Spindle Sander

From the Guild:

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

Marc,
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!

Jmarrone
Guild Member

I have been a woodworker for about 4 years now and considered myself an intermediate woodworker going into this project. Following the videos and described procedures, things went along quite nicely and turned out great in the end. I had not followed other people’s plans for furniture before, but for a project of this complexity and magnitude I thought I’d give it a try and boy am I glad I did. There are sooo many details and little tricks that you learn watching the videos. Importantly, it also taught me how to “think” about power sculpting which is a skill set I am now comfortable with (was very intimidating to me in the beginning but after the chair seems as comfortable as a cross-cut.) Since I don’t own a tablesaw I had to improvise some alternate methods for the initial joinery, but nothing more complicated than “mark the line, saw to the line.” A bandsaw is really a *must* for this project.

My only complaint is that the suggested miller drill bit does not leave a 3/8″ hole so the plugs don’t fill the space so you get a pretty thick ring around the plug (even with a tapered plug cutter.) If I were to do it again, I’d turn a dowel on the lathe to the right circumference. This is one of those details only a woodworker would notice and is immaterial to the overall beauty of the piece.

I wish there was a bit more covering work holding, especially for weirdly shaped parts, but at the end of the day a handscrew in the vise covers 99% of the issues.

Don’t skimp on your rasps!

Aaron
Guild Member
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About Your Instructor:

Marc is a podcaster, video producer, woodworking enthusiast, and author of the book Hybrid Woodworking. He has contributed articles and video content to FineWoodworking.com, 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 the owner and operator of The Wood Whisperer Guild and 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 Rockler and Woodcraft stores. He also speaks periodically at woodworking events like AWFS and IWF.