Black Walnut Morris Chair

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Project by schroeder posted 01-23-2008 04:18 AM 5123 views 11 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

WE built this chair on commission for a friend. He had cut a Black Walnut tree down from his family’s homestead in 1982 and milled the whole thing with a chain saw. The wood has been sitting in his shop for some 25 odd years. He had me build a Morris Chair & ottoman for his dad. I used through mortise & tenon throughout and for the first time on the back rails as well, I thought it added a “craftsman” feel to the design (this is the chair I used for my Sketchup design). The upholstery is fine grain “not leather”. This is the 13th chair the upholstery shop has done for me and he is getting pretty good at it. The small pillow was his idea and I think it really makes the chair complete. I finished with 3 coats sealer, 4 coats of poly and am going to try a “French polish” using wax that I read about in FWW.

Anyhow, I hope his dad likes it; Cronk & I spent a lot of time (~170 hours) milling the “chain-sawed” boards” and book-matching grain to make sure it was something special. It has a great deal of his family’s history in it and is one of the better chairs ever produced from our shop.

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

25 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3982 days

#1 posted 01-23-2008 04:26 AM

Looks great. I love the wood!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 3988 days

#2 posted 01-23-2008 04:29 AM

Beautiful work! Looks like it will last for milleniums. You are good at these chairs, Schroeder!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3929 days

#3 posted 01-23-2008 04:29 AM

I 2nd Gary’s comment.
The arms are realy good looking. Nice work.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4394 days

#4 posted 01-23-2008 04:30 AM

Great chair Schroeder. You are getting pretty good pushing them out the door. Another great job.

-- 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 schroeder's profile


702 posts in 4119 days

#5 posted 01-23-2008 04:46 AM

Thanks all! – I forgot to mention that Cronk did all the milling so technically “we” have 170 hours in the chair – he definitely had the tougher part. Thanks Karson, I was looking forward to being done with these things for a while, but…you know how that goes…now we have momentum in the shop so we are going to build 2 for Cronks house out of figured maple he cut forever ago…

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4375 days

#6 posted 01-23-2008 04:49 AM

Beautiful work schroeder , it looks very comfortable and i love the colors

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View gizmodyne's profile


1779 posts in 4084 days

#7 posted 01-23-2008 04:57 AM

Very nice work. It is looking good. The grain is amazing.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4212 days

#8 posted 01-23-2008 04:58 AM

Beautiful wood….beautiful chair!

That would be one heck of an expensive piece if you priced your labor at, say, $35 per hour!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3977 days

#9 posted 01-23-2008 05:06 AM

nicest walnut morris chair I have ever saw !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4080 days

#10 posted 01-23-2008 05:20 AM

OMG….that is SO sexy!

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4058 days

#11 posted 01-23-2008 06:58 AM

What Bob said. The curly figure in that ottoman is beyond belief. More Gnarly mastery.
Give your shop foreman a pat and a biscuit for me.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4060 days

#12 posted 01-23-2008 07:27 AM

Well, I don’t think it’s sexy – but it is a BEAUTIFUL chair. The Morris chair is one of my favorites and this one is my all time favorite. I really like the wood. One of these days I will work up the nerve to order some plans and get one made. Great job.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3868 days

#13 posted 01-23-2008 11:55 AM

That is a mighty fine chair. I love it when a very well built piece actually has a story to go with it.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4154 days

#14 posted 01-23-2008 02:14 PM

very nice indeed!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3973 days

#15 posted 01-23-2008 02:31 PM

Wow, the grain in that walnut is really spectacular, as is your care in using it.



-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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