Here I’m going to outline the method I am taking to build myself a Morris Chair. I’ve been wanting to have one of these because I really like the look and the comfort, but also because I want to learn some new techniques, especially upholstery. I know there are a number of other blogs on building a Morris Chair, but they are all different, and everyone has their own unique ways of building. So here’s mine!
I am not using a plan, per se. I have been looking at lots of pictures, and I have the basic dimensions for height, depth, etc. to follow. I don’t work too well from plans. I do want it to look something like this, however:
The chair will be built with Walnut and Hickory – one of my favorite wood combinations.
I started out by building the legs. I opted to go with hollow legs, joined together with a lock miter.
They look like this once fit together. Lock miters are kind of tricky to get adjusted just right on the router table, but once you get it the first time, keep some scrap to help to align the bit the next time you set up.
Next I cut out the rails for the sides, front and back. I also mortised them.
I smoothed all of the parts after cutting them out in hopes that I won’t have to do much, if any, sanding.
I cut tenons mostly on the table saw, but did use my handsaws to cut some of them down a little. I also used a simple shoulder plane to trim the tenons to fit my mortises.
I have procured some leather, dacron, foam cushion, thread, zipper, etc. for making the cushions. I also purchased a pretty cheap “heavy duty” sewing machine that should be able to handle sewing leather. (Singer model 4411)
I am moving on to steam bending the chair arms. Making the bending form:
Here’s my steam box, set up and ready to go.
I’ve steamed and clamped the arms.
Now I’m steaming the stretchers for the chair back.
After bending the chair arms, I used them to trace the arc onto the chair sides. I then cut the arc with the bandsaw. I had the sides partially assembled (dry fit only) so that the arc would be consistent.
Now I’ve got one chair side completely dry-fit.
I’ll chamfer the ends of the through mortises so they look nicer. They’ll also get pegged.
Ask questions if you like, I know I’m not terribly detailed, and my photography is awful.
This is all I’ve got done right now. Next post (It’ll take a while – don’t get too excited) will be dyeing the walnut, and making the chair back. I suppose the last post will be the upholstery and finish.
Live a life of virtue, give thanks to God for all His blessings, and always keep in mind where you are going…