Outdoor Morris Chair

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Project by vrice posted 11-21-2011 10:32 PM 5337 views 12 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a Morris Chair I built for the back porch. This is based on a design published in Popular Woodworking April 2002. I basically stuck to the original design with a few minor exceptions. I adjusted the overall dimensions a bit. I also choose to use a full spline in the arm joint. The original published design called for a simple biscuit at this joint.
I constructed this from cypress and finished it with Spar Urethane. Hopefully this will reasonably well protect it from the weather, even down here on the gulf coast. This was the first project where I used a wiping varnish approach as opposed to a brushed varnish. This wiping varnish technique is truly idiot proof.
The only snag I encountered, that I didn’t properly anticipate, was finding cushions. This was like hunting for hen’s teeth this time of year. No one is carrying outdoor furniture stuff this time of year. Plus what little I could find didn’t really fit as well as I wanted. I managed to find something marginally acceptable so I can use this chair during Thanksgiving when we will have a house full of folks. I have made up my mind to make some cushions once the holidays are over.
You can download a complete Sketchup model for this chair; nine scenes with all parts dimensioned. The download is at Google 3D Warehouse.

-- Vic Rice

6 comments so far

View dpow's profile


503 posts in 2807 days

#1 posted 11-22-2011 04:49 AM

Nice job on an old classic. Looks too nice to leave outdoors. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3151 days

#2 posted 11-22-2011 12:32 PM

Great job on an oldie but goodie!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View terry603's profile


320 posts in 2876 days

#3 posted 11-23-2011 01:37 AM

someday i got to make one. i like your work stand

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

View ~Julie~'s profile


607 posts in 2997 days

#4 posted 11-24-2011 05:51 AM

Nice job!
I made the same chairs from that plan. It has an adjustable back, as you show, but we never adjust it. Also it is too deep from the front to the back. I also found that cushions are impossible to find in that size. I wanted to make my own but found that foam is very, very expensive, was over $100 for each chair.
Anyway, hope you enjoy resting in yours!

-- ~Julie~

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3540 days

#5 posted 11-24-2011 07:43 AM

Looks good enjoy

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View vrice's profile


101 posts in 2654 days

#6 posted 11-26-2011 04:42 PM

Thanks for all the comments.
Julie, I definitely noticed the cushion issue. I did find the cushions pictured at Wall-Mart that are a decent fit. However, the cushion shown on the back is actually a seat cushion. But it worked fine for the back of this chair and used the same fabric as the “real” seat cushion. Haven’t looked into materials yet for making my own. $100 for the foam. YIKES!

-- Vic Rice

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