Morris inspired chair #5: I couldn't resist.....dry fit seat and back

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Blog entry by Bob Babcock posted 06-12-2007 05:58 AM 1580 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: The back goes together......finished crossed wedged tenon Part 5 of Morris inspired chair series Part 6: Note to self....don't forget the glue. »

I braved the mosquitoes to get some more done tonight. I think I lost a 1/2 pint of blood. Gotta get some repellant.

You have to be brave at moments like this….splitting the tenon for the wedge. I think I’ll cut them on the bandsaw the next time I try something like this. I think it would give better consistancy.
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The pegs go in the back
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The dog thinks there’s a woodchuck under the shed.
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OK…here it is…I couldn’t resist…had to check some measurements anyway….I’ll be damned if they aren’t what they are supposed to be…:)
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Here is a shot of the hinge. I will cut a 1/2” wooden washer from the caps to fit in the space between the back and the seat. That will maintain the 1/4” spacing between the back side posts and the arms as the back pivots.
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I like working at night…
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You can just barely see the threads in this lousy photo. I cut the caps from the lyptus. It is so hard and dense, it’s great for this kind of application. As I screwed in the 3/8” pipe it self taps a perfect thread.
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I think I’m on track to have a finish go on this weekend. My finish knowledge is very weak. What would you folks use for this? I’m thinking just a clear finish…no pigment….especially if I hit it with the mineral spirits and my wood selection looks good. I may want to enhance the contrast but won’t know until I wipe it down.

It will probably take my wife a night or two to sew the upholstery. We are buying all new foam and material this weekend. Hopefully by mid next week it will be 100% finished.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

10 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4362 days

#1 posted 06-12-2007 06:01 AM

Great continuation of the chair. It’s been a nice trip.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3998 days

#2 posted 06-12-2007 06:04 AM

This is a work of art, Bob. Really turning out to be a nice piece. I hear ya with the mosquitoes. In this neck of the woods, they are big enough to carry away a pet, or a small child. Just brutal! Again, a really great series. Really wonderful craftsmanship as well!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View WayneC's profile


13751 posts in 4059 days

#3 posted 06-12-2007 07:20 AM

Great progress. I’ve got no suggestions on the finish. Perhaps Mark can weigh in.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Kaleo's profile


201 posts in 4102 days

#4 posted 06-12-2007 11:14 AM

The chair looks really good Bob, as for the finish if you want a clear looking finish to highlight the wood- I would go with a good oil finish. Of course it means you have to prepare the surface better, by sanding to at least 400 if not 600. But nothing looks better I think than a natural hand rubbed oil finish. I use a natural product called Ardvos Oil. But any Danish oil of Boiled Linseed would look good as well.

Can’t wait to see it finished.

-- Kaleo ,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4123 days

#5 posted 06-12-2007 11:28 AM

following your blog—this looks really easy to build—this step, then this step, and voila. Here’s a magnificent chair.
Well done Bob. You definitely have proved that that you were up to the challenge.

Mosquitoes: we breed them here where I live. And all I have to do is feed them on a daily basis. It’s a draining job but somebody’s got to do it.
I hear that they don’t like the smell of garlic, so if you wear one of those anti-vampire garlic necklaces around your neck you should be good! :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4261 days

#6 posted 06-12-2007 12:44 PM

I viewed your whole series of this chair this morning. It’s looking great, & I don’t think it’ll ever break apart. It should last many lifetimes. A beautiful heirloom.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View gizmodyne's profile


1776 posts in 4052 days

#7 posted 06-12-2007 03:58 PM

Looking good…. I would use Watco Danish Oil..which is a thin varnish..then you can renew it without stripping an old finish….... I would also stick it out in the sun to darken it

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4048 days

#8 posted 06-12-2007 05:34 PM

Thanks all.

I was actually surprised that it has been as easy at it was. My joinery skills were just barely up to the task though. I struggled (and it shows) in a few spots. This has been a great experience though and has really raised my confidence level. It’s been kind of funny…I cut all the pieces and each time have expected the worse when it came time to fit up. Most times I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the fit. When I was 1st puting the back on the seat I was thinking “this is going to be screwed up somehow, SOMETHING has to go wrong” but it went in smooth…all the spacing was perfect…the 1/2” wooden washers will maintain exactly 1/4” space for the back to pivot….I was shocked it was so exact.

Sounds like an oil finish is the way to go. How long does it take for the sun to darken mahogany?

That’s the idea Dick…..I’m hoping my great, great, grandchildren have to draw straws to see who gets it…:). If it survives 10 years with me sitting in it, it will last forever. It should be almost impossible to come apart with all the pegs and wedges.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4048 days

#9 posted 06-12-2007 06:51 PM

Well whadya know….Fine Woodworking is going to have the chair in a gallery of Sketchup designs to accompany an article on Sketchup later this year. I’ve been doing a blog on using Sketchup in FWW for the last couple months and they’ve asked me to contribute to the gallery.

Me? in FWW….for a design…..too weird.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4123 days

#10 posted 06-12-2007 07:03 PM

(on the fitting of the chair pieces AND on the FWW honour!))

Well done.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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