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Stickley #369 Morris Chair #1: Leg Laminations and Angled Tenons

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Blog entry by pintodeluxe posted 02-24-2014 09:27 PM 1929 reads 13 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Stickley #369 Morris Chair series Part 2: Frame Assembly and Through Tenons »

Here is the project at hand, a slant arm Morris Chair. I am working off plans from the Popular Woodworking April 2011 issue, which I recommend you buy. The Author is Robert Lang. He posted a free diagram to Sketchup, but with this detailed of a project, you will want to order the back issue. My techniques differ from Robert’s methods significantly, so I will try to elaborate along the way.

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I like to start by laminating the legs for quartersawn figure on all four sides. Normally you could glue several layers of 3/4” lumber to yield the 2-3/8” leg stock, but in this case I started with solid 12/4 stock milled to 2-1/2” x 2-3/16”, with thin veneers on two sides. This is to avoid seeing laminations on the through tenons that pierce the armrests.

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I make the veneers 1/4” thick because they plane better than thinner strips. My planer can technically handle strips to 1/8” thick, but they often suffer tearout and snipe. So I avoid these problems by leaving the veneers thicker, and after the glueup they are planed down to 3/32” thick.

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Here I am flush trimming the veneers at the router table.

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After all four rough edges are trimmed flush, I head over to the planer to trim the legs to 2-3/8” square. Here is where carefully planning your leg blank size pays off.

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Here you can see my reasoning for using 12/4 stock for the legs—-> no visible joints in the end grain.

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The legs are mortised for side rails and seat rails. I used a 3/8” hollow chisel, and made two passes. I suffered some bit deflection on the second pass, but keeping the mortise settings the same and making a third cleanup pass seemed to yield consistent results. All of the mortises in the legs are 5/8” wide.

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The shoulders of the rear leg tenons are angled to 7 degrees. This is easily accomplished by using a dado blade and an angled miter gauge. Then switch back to a combination blade. With the blade angled to 7 degrees and the miter gauge square, you can complete the front and rear shoulder cuts.

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I try to mill and rip all the stock for a project before switching to the dado blade. This minimizes the number of times I have to switch blades. The 8/4 stock is for the curved back slats.

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Then I go about cutting the tenons with a dado blade and miter gauge. For the through tenons I sneak up on a perfect fit, always checking on the OUTSIDE of the mortise. Once the tenon just begins to fit into the mortise, I stop cutting. Just a little work with the chisel and sanding block will create good fitting joints.

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Next I carefully layout the mortise locations for the 10 side slats, and 5 backrest slats. I gang the parts together for an accurate layout. I indicate the edge of the shoulder with a dashed line, and the mortise location with a solid line to avoid confusion.

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I picked up some leather a while ago with this project in mind.

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The leather is from Tandy Leather Factory, and is made by Terino Leathers in the “Montgomery Whiskey” color.

Next up will be mortising for the side slats, and dry-fitting the side assemblies.
Cheers!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush



6 comments so far

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

753 posts in 382 days


#1 posted 02-24-2014 11:48 PM

Are you publishing your work now, Willie? If not, you should be. I worked with Bob Lang for about three years, and your approach, text and step photos are up there with the best.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

5839 posts in 735 days


#2 posted 02-24-2014 11:50 PM

Cool man. I’d love to get some 12/4 stock, but haven’t had much success. This is the same chair that’s in my avatar pic if I’m not mistaken. Your gonna love it.

-- Red-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4940 posts in 2635 days


#3 posted 02-25-2014 12:37 AM

Yea, another build blog. I love these.
And Willie, you are such a joy to watch.

Great start and great stuff.
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View NormG's profile

NormG

4544 posts in 1757 days


#4 posted 02-25-2014 03:13 AM

I love these chairs, can’t wait to see the completed piece

-- Norman

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1486 posts in 1010 days


#5 posted 02-26-2014 12:18 AM

Ah, the next series of lessons for my education. I always enjoy learning from masters.

-- Art

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2087 days


#6 posted 02-26-2014 10:40 AM

Some great ideas to learn from here Willie. Very nice work so far. I like your leg treatment a lot, very smart.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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