Richard’s Hal Taylor Rocker Build

This was my first attempt at a Maloof style piece of furniture. As with many woodworkers, this was on my “must-build” list. This one is for my wife and is a petite size. The overall chair is cherry and the back braces are walnut faced and ash inside for flexibility. I am now building numbers 2 & 3. Overall this was a fun project to build and I think using Hal’s book and video, places it within most average woodworkers’ ability to complete successfully.

Hal has a unique interpretation of the Maloof rocker which is what attracted me to this design. The coopered headrest which is molded into the back legs and the flexible back braces are departures from Maloof tradition, but in my view makes a more appealing look.

From a build perspective, Hal’s approach is to do much of the carving and shaping before assembly which is FAR easier than lots of grinding on a finished chair. This helps in case you butcher a piece. You can always remake the piece, rather than ruin the whole chair.

I would encourage everyone that has this on their “must-build” list to give it a try!


  1. Justin February 11, 2013

    Very nice work. I love the Maloof design and it is truly artwork. Well Done.

  2. Sean Walker February 11, 2013

    Excellent job on the chair. The final product looks amazing!

  3. Stan P February 11, 2013

    Beautiful work. I just want to sit in it and start rocking. A woodworking bucket list is a dangerous thing, so many projects, so little time.

  4. Thomas G. Kaiser February 11, 2013

    Man, All the projects on this site are just outstanding. Richard you have made a great piece of art that is not only pleasing to the eye but the feel too. I bet most likely to sit on as well. Thanks for posting this.


  5. Jeff February 11, 2013

    I LOVE this chair. Absolutely fantastic.

  6. Claude Stewart February 11, 2013

    Beautiful work.

  7. Dan Drabek February 12, 2013

    A nice design–well executed. A very tasteful choice of woods. I really like the laminated back slats. Strong, flexible and comfortable. Good job.

  8. Really Really nice Richard! The grain direction is beautiful and the back pieces are great touch.

  9. Jeff Korbman February 16, 2013

    yasher koach!

  10. Bo February 26, 2013

    This must be the finest rocking chair I have seen in life. It is fine because it has the simple and elegant look. You sure know how to bring out the colors from the wood too.

    How do you go about building the chair? Do you mind sharing your trade secret?

  11. Edward March 22, 2013

    If you’re able make this, is there something you can’t make? :)

    What about production time? Some 200 hours …or more?

    Truely fantactic joinery. Congratulations!

    Inspiring for every carpenter and generations to come!


  12. gerry murray August 24, 2013

    Richard, Great Job! Feels good Doesn’t it? Finished My first Hal Taylor Rocker in December Last Year. Just Started my second one, Sister in law commissioned one.
    He we go! Continued good luck!
    Gerry Murray
    North Carolina

  13. Richard DeBruyn December 4, 2013

    Where would I find book and DVD for this project?

    • Doug G. December 6, 2013

      Everything required to build one of Hal’s chairs is available on his website. He really is a genuine guy, and is always available to answer any questions you have during your build.
      If you really want an experience, you can go build a rocking chair with him. I did this a few years ago, and we have been friends since.

  14. Jeff Hunter January 27, 2014

    That is an Elegant chair. I especially like the lines and the laminated slates. I am currently tooling up for my first Maloof inspired rocker. Best Wishes and Thank you for sharing your wonderful chair. Jeff Hunter

  15. Beautiful. I will be working on one just like this as a gift for a friend of mine. Stunning.

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