custom wooden rocking chair blog

Custom wooden rocking chair design & build blog

The making of a Maloof style low back chair

The making of a Maloof style low back chair..........






One-Of-A-Kind-Show - Gift guide feature

We've been featured in the gift guide for the up coming One-Of-A-Kind-Show

As this is our first time at the One-Of-A-Kind-Show we feel honoured to have won a new artist scholarship and now getting featured in their gift guide. They asked for a few pieces to take pictures of and settled on featuring our unique pedestal side table. We hope to see you there!


Spring One of a Kind Show
March 30 - April 3, 2011
Direct Energy Centre - Toronto, Ontario    

Custom Walnut display stand - Work in progress

We recently started a very unique pedestal display stand built from Canadian Black Walnut.



DSC01666Here I am turning the rough blank round. We glued up the piece early in the morning and I wanted to have it turned round before the end of the day, so Joel could come in and get right to it, laying out his lines to start turning it to final shape.



Here is Joel the master turner at work. With chips flying I snapped this shot.

Note the complete face shield and rolled up selves. Always safety first when it comes to working with power tools!

After some time turning, we're getting closer to the rough shape.

Here is the column all done, 

Here it is only many many hours of sanding left.

The stand is 48'' tall with 3 shelves separated by 13 inches. Completely built from solid walnut it will be sanded until it glows before our oil/resin finish is applied.

This is the truly unique maloof style joinery that we used for this custom wooded pedestal display stand. The is built using re-inforced miter joints and tongue and groove joinery, with much hand sculpting and sanding it is truly a beautiful organic shape. We can't wait to get done with the sanding to see the grain pop when we apply our hand rubbed oil finish.

Commissioned Work - Photo Shoot

Solid Canadian Black Walnut was used thought the store, accented with Gabon Ebony.

This piece was built to fit around the frozen yogurt machine, with a shelf that can be raised up to place a crock pot on for samples. It is built with frame and panel construction with 3/8’’ thick matched panels. The side shelf is built with a Maloof style wooden hinge and wood shelf support which swings up and supports the shelf.

Thanks for having a look! You can see more pictures in our custom woodwork commissioned pieces gallery.





Natures Beauty WOOD - Curly Clairo Walnut

It amazes me every time I run a rough board across the jointer to square up a face and an edge. This is always the first step that let's us expose what nature is hiding under the rough, dirty and usually sun bleached surface. Every board creates excitement in the soul, especially with Walnut I might add. Every board has unique grain patterns, unique colour and some time hidden figure.With Walnut the colour can be a deep black to light brown, it can have a purple hue, it can have a deep red hue and it can have all this on one board. All this contrasts against the milky white sap wood. We prefer air dried because it allows the wood to remain as nature intended it, most commercial Walnut has been steamed. This steaming process actually bleeds the darker heart wood into the sap wood, causing the beautiful grain patterns to get blurred and rich deep colours become bland and blended together. Figure can show up in many ways the most common is around knots or where the grain changes rapidly into swirls this is usually isolated to a bit of curl or quilt figure within inches of the abnormality in the board. Sometimes though nature really kicks it up a gear and creates a board like below which is a piece of heavily figured Clairo Walnut from California that is 2 5/8'' thick about 32'' long and 14'' wide. It has heavy curly figure covering the entire board, I fell in love with this board as soon as I saw it. Immediately our minds start working...... What projects can be built to best show off the beauty nature has to offer.  First we think of back braces for our custom wooden rocking chairs because we cut the laminations about 2.2mm thick we would be able to cover 10 chairs in this beautiful curly Clairo Walnut. Or how about slicing off our own veneer maybe for the top of a trestle coffee table or side table. After dreaming and imagining what projects this could be used for I decided to sand one surface up to 500 grit and burnish it with a sheep's wool pad, wow did the curl pop! We then soaked it in water to simulate how our oil-resin finish will make the grain pop and bring out the woods true colours.

A sharp day - sharpening chisels and building some custom wooden rocking chairs

Here is our not so advanced sharpening setup to grind and hone our chisels and hand plane blades. We have a slow speed grinder with a wire wheel and a nice wide "cool" grinding wheel. Mounted in front of the wide grinding wheel is a Veritas MADE IN CANADA sharpening jig, easily adjusted to the angle we need. There is also an attachment that we mount our hand plane blades in that slides in the groove in the jig to keep a perfectly square edge.

chisel grinderHere are our japanese water stones as well as a grinding stone that smoothes the surface on the stones to keep them dead flat. We use a 4000x / 6000x combination stone then move on to the 8000x stone. When not in use the stones rest in the rubbermaid container full of water, these stones use water as the lubricant which I prefer over an oil stone.

japanese water stones

sharp honed wooden chisels

In these two pictures you can see that they are now super sharp after going through all the steps, first they are ground on the grinder making sure to keep the edge square and to not burn the metal. The wheel on the grinder is round so it leaves a hollow grind. We then lap the back of the blades and hone the front of the blades on the water stones starting with the 4000x moving on to the 6000x and finally finish with the 8000x. We expect to see about 1/16'' super smooth/sharp edge at the very top and bottom of the blade, just as shown.  Sharp enough to shave with! I usually test them on my arm hair just to prove to my self i've done a good job and after doing these ones i'll have to wait a while for my arm hair to grow back. (-: