Bow Arm Morris Chairs finished

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Project by corncob posted 06-12-2010 12:31 PM 2029 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I finally am finished with the chairs. After taking the summer of ‘09 off, then building the ottomans in the fall, the stain department got the finish on at the end of the year. We then looked around for an upholster. We first found a place called Great Lakes Re-Upholstery in Fenton MI. They picked up a chair and a deposit on January 21st of this year and told us 3 weeks. After 15 weeks, countless phone calls unanswered, a registered letter and a letter from my attorney, they returned the chair and deposit unfinished. A couple more weeks looking for a reputable upholsterer and we settled on Demitrie Upholstery in Royal Oak MI. They said 2 weeks and finished the job as you see it in 10 days.

-- If at first you don't succeed it'll make some mighty fine kindling -- corncob --

13 comments so far

View michaelray's profile


232 posts in 3449 days

#1 posted 06-12-2010 01:46 PM

Wow! Nice work. Is this the new favorite place to site.

Sorry to hear about the bad luck with the upholstery complany. I don’t understand how some people can be so blatently dishonest.


View WoodNuts's profile


74 posts in 2943 days

#2 posted 06-12-2010 01:51 PM

Turned out very nice, corncob.

I have been considering one similar and have a couple of questions, if you don’t mind.

—Which wood did you use, and which finish? (what, why).
—How long did it take?
—Does the back position to different angles, and if not was that a component you chose to leave off?
—Any tips/techniques you would care to pass along?
I notice pads , for non-scuffing?

FineWoodworking has a plan/video detailing a pyramid topped through tenon;
it looks great, and is a G. Stickley influence, but I don’t know if that would provide discomfort on the arms.

Looks great and must have been a good project since I see you made one for yourself after momma.

-- ...there's a fix fer dat...

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3069 days

#3 posted 06-12-2010 02:01 PM

Very nice.

This is a refreshing version of the Morris chair. I’m used to seeing them in darker wood and with leather upholstery. I really like this lighter wood and cloth upholstery. My wife might even let me put a couple of these in our living room.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View mpmitche's profile


428 posts in 2971 days

#4 posted 06-12-2010 02:40 PM

I’m happy to hear that you got the chairs back, it would have been awful if they were lost. Is the upholstery attached permanently to the chairs? I have been considering this project and would have my mother in Colorado make the cushons for me while I worked on the chairs. After reading this post I’m not sure if that will work, do you have to have the chairs to do the upholstery?

They came out beautiful, I second that I like the natural finish on the wood.

-- Mike, Western New York

View corncob's profile


20 posts in 3324 days

#5 posted 06-12-2010 03:17 PM

Woodnuts, I used Oak mostly because I really like oak furniture. The stain is minwax golden oak topped with satin polyurethane. The backs adjust to 5 positions. This is depicted more clearly in an early project post of the same chairs in unfinished state. The pads are fear of scuffing the floors. The floor is only a couple of weeks old and another disaster story that turned out for the good. I chickened out on the thru tennons for lack of personal experience. I think I would try them if I were to do it over again. The position of them would not provide any discomfort I am sure.

mpmitche, the cushions are loose, just setting in place on the chairs. The upholsterers both wanted one chair to do the work. They wanted the cushion foam to be cut to the correct size to fit tight without squeezing in. It may be difficult to get the foam the exact right size without the chair present to kind of sneak up on the dimensions.

Thanks for the good words all. It took a year and a half start to finish, but I had some fun (and some frustration) along the way.

-- If at first you don't succeed it'll make some mighty fine kindling -- corncob --

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 3422 days

#6 posted 06-12-2010 04:12 PM

good looking chairs
I too like the lighter finish

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#7 posted 06-12-2010 04:27 PM

These look great to bad about the flaky upholster

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dave T's profile

Dave T

196 posts in 3615 days

#8 posted 06-12-2010 04:28 PM

Nice. I like the finish you used. I too just finished mine over the memorial day weekend.

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 2933 days

#9 posted 06-12-2010 04:37 PM

That’s a good looking chair and odoman. I bet it’s pretty comfy too. I was an upholsterer once a long time ago I don’t think I could remember enough to be any good at it now.I do like the lighter finish…............Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View rlwilson's profile


46 posts in 3043 days

#10 posted 06-12-2010 04:38 PM

Redford Township has a shop that does good work also… I used to pastor a church there and he re-did our pews…

View terry603's profile


320 posts in 2908 days

#11 posted 06-12-2010 06:52 PM

great looking chairs. it would have been a shame to have lost them to the 1st upholsterer

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

View Mcnervy's profile


108 posts in 3099 days

#12 posted 06-13-2010 02:28 PM

they are beautiful
I really want to make some now
Great job

-- Bennett; If it can't be fixed with a hammer its an electical problem

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3668 days

#13 posted 06-25-2010 03:11 AM

Those are some beautiful morris chairs.

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