|Project by jtriggs||posted 01-30-2008 07:34 AM||2195 views||7 times favorited||8 comments|
This is my first project posting and wanted my latest one as my first. I worked on this Morris chair and ottoman for about 4 months and waited for another two to buy the leather and get the upholstery finished. This is probably the piece I’m proudest of, with my complete kitchen overhaul a close second. The plans came from Woodsmith and I think the number was #155.
This photo is the finished, in the house, read to sit in and enjoy photo. That’s my cat Butu approving.
The wood is quarter sawn white oak I purchased at my favorite little mill in western Iowa. I think one of the things I enjoyed most was learning something new. That was fuming white oak with ammonia. I read up on the process and decided rather than try to find the aqueous ammonia all the literature said to use, I test plain old cleaning ammonia (18%) from my local fleet and farm. I found that a plastic pail with an inch or so of the solution in a large Christmas tree bag with the whole chair for just an hour and a half produced a beautiful color. I tested several pieces before settling on the time I finally chose. After five hours, the samples were extremely dark. I just don’t think the more dangerous concentrations of ammonia are at all necessary.
With several coats of clear poly and a final of semi-gloss, the finish was just what I wanted. The poly warms up the color just enough to take away that raw, fumed look. The other thing that my tests revealed was that the great ray and fleck pattern of the wood took on a much more three dimensional look with fuming over staining. I describe it as a hologram effect as you tilt the wood in the light. Very cool.
Below is a photo of the ottoman which shows off the grain pretty well.
The joints are all pegged with walnut. I did the upholstery by myself except for the back pad on the chair. My sewing machine can’t handle leather. Luckily I’ve got a friend in town who does leather work. I did up the pad and he sewed the bag with a zipper in it.
I did vary from the plans just a little on the seat pad. After making it according to the plans I thought the seat sank too far, not enough support. I had some 1/4” white oak left that made perfect slats so I screwed them to the bottom of the frame and now I’ve got just about perfect firmness in the seat.
I can’t think of much else to say other than it was a rewarding project and a very nice sitting chair. I even find my wife stealing it too often.