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My version of a Morris Chair

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Project by TheeWoodShed posted 03-04-2013 09:39 PM 2110 views 7 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first attempt at building a Morris Chair. I’d never done mortise and tenon joints by hand so for this project, I built this chair and ottoman from 5/4 pine pallets. I wanted to learn how to do things right so I thought it wouldnt cost me but a few dollars if I screwed up the mortise and tenon joints! I should admit, I did mess up two of the legs, so instead of four legs for this chair I ended up making six. This chair had 26 mortise and tenon joints, but now, I love doing them!

The cost on this chair was the foam, a 6” high density foam. I found a company in North Carolina that uses soy bean oil to make their foam. So a 24”x 72” was less than $80, compared to the local fabric store wanting $185 for same size. Then I bought the fabric on sale for 50% off. So less than $150 for the cushions for the three pieces! This part, the cushions, was my biggest worry. I read that so many guys paid out huge dollars for the material and foam. Then their upholstery gal charged them upwards of $350 to $500 for some. I was able to barter for mine. The lady needs 2 benches shortened and we exchanged her sewing skills for my woodworking!

I thoroughly enjoy the barter system. You both get what you want and need!!!

-- "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."





17 comments so far

View frosty50's profile

frosty50

46 posts in 1808 days


#1 posted 03-04-2013 09:59 PM

Love them. I have a rocking chair made in the Morris style and would love to have the rest of the chairs and couch done this way but can’t convince the Boss of it.

-- frosty

View TheeWoodShed's profile

TheeWoodShed

165 posts in 1371 days


#2 posted 03-04-2013 10:02 PM

Frosty, the next one I make is for my wife! She loves this chair! Now she wants one and if I can find enough wood, she wants me to build a couch!

-- "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

966 posts in 2526 days


#3 posted 03-04-2013 11:14 PM

Mark, these are a nice combo. Looking at your pic it would seem your a big man just like me, is it comfortable and easy to get in and out of?? Barter is KING. I have done this several times with my electrical business and it has worked out well each time. Knock on wood, I hope I didn’t just jinx myself. LOL Pat

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View TheeWoodShed's profile

TheeWoodShed

165 posts in 1371 days


#4 posted 03-04-2013 11:22 PM

Pat, yes I am larger than most! LOL Over 6’ 3” and tip the scales at…. ok, no one needs to know that! But I’ve struggled for years with recliners holding up to my size. Even new ones dont last more than a year or so. So I wanted something that would stand the test of time. I think you drive a truck over this chair and all it would hurt is the truck!!! LOL And bartering is a good thing… its how our forefathers lived years ago. They help each other. I look at bartering as easy as if both are happy with the arrangement, then its a good deal.

Too bad you’re so far away, I could use your expertise! I’m getting ready to move into a new building that needs totally re-wired and then insulated and drywalled…. LOL Have a great day!

-- "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

966 posts in 2526 days


#5 posted 03-04-2013 11:28 PM

Only 6’ 3” I’m almost 6’ 7” and weigh the same amount as your explanation. LOL

If your as handy as I think you are maybe you could do all the wiring up to the panel and hire an electrician to do the tie in and bring in the new service if needed. I have done this several times over the years. Just drop me an email if you need some help, I’ll be glad to walk you thru the steps.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4166 posts in 2317 days


#6 posted 03-04-2013 11:41 PM

Great combination
I like your design changes.
I think you will enjoy making the M&T’s in hardwood, it is much easier than pine.
The barter system is always the best system, I get eggs and veggies and give
out shavings & potash
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Dakkar's profile

Dakkar

303 posts in 1388 days


#7 posted 03-05-2013 12:09 AM

One thing I like about this forum is I’m always learning something interesting. I’d never heard of soy foam before. I’ll definitely look into it the next time I’m in the market for some cushioning.

The chair and ottoman look great. I love seeing creative uses for pallet wood.

View TheeWoodShed's profile

TheeWoodShed

165 posts in 1371 days


#8 posted 03-05-2013 01:01 AM

Jamie, I have already planed the White Oak for the next Morris chair. I am going to attempt the bowed arms. LOL I just dont give up! Wife wants pieces in the side of hers.

Pat, sorry, but I will pass on the electrical! I had a friend who said he knew what he was doing when he was helping me disconnect and move some wires. Sadly, he was disconnecting the main wire from the pole to the meter…. after watching him fly about 20 feet and calling EMS, NOPE, not this boy! I’m sure I could do the boxes, but not doing any of the wiring! I will fire off an email to ya through FB and talk to you about the layout in the shop tho… I want sections in the shop… not sure I’m describing that right… but will email ya.

-- "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

View BusterB's profile

BusterB

1920 posts in 1469 days


#9 posted 03-05-2013 01:46 AM

Sweet build woodshed…. I am constantly trading and bartering for materials and so forth. I built a flip-top cart and a tablesaw stand outta leftover plywood a bud gave me after I built him him a storage cabinet. Must have been tickled with it, he dropped off three more sheets today for me to build him a work table to match the cabinet..lol

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View TheeWoodShed's profile

TheeWoodShed

165 posts in 1371 days


#10 posted 03-05-2013 02:37 AM

Dakkar, I’m new here so dont know all of the rules, but I could PM you info about the soy foam. Not sure the process of it, but so far, I’ve been impressed. And it was over 50% cheaper!

BusterB, he must have liked it… coming back for more!!! LOL Love it!

-- "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

View balidoug's profile

balidoug

396 posts in 1939 days


#11 posted 03-05-2013 11:26 AM

Nice work and a great story. Wheelin’ and dealin’ and woodworking. Came out great.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Arnies's profile

Arnies

126 posts in 1969 days


#12 posted 03-05-2013 12:57 PM

Did you have plans for the chair? I have the same problem you have, 6’2” and big. I have never tried any chairs and have been a little leery to try it.

-- arnies

View TheeWoodShed's profile

TheeWoodShed

165 posts in 1371 days


#13 posted 03-05-2013 01:34 PM

Arnies I looked at several plans, including the ones in the magazine Wood. But all were basically the same size. Too darn narrow for me. So I widened and deepened the chair by 2” on most of the plans I read. My chair is 26” wide between the legs, not 24”. Just gives me more comfort. I used the 6” high density foam and so glad I did. Before my cushions were done, I was using a set of couch cushions… and it was like sitting on a board… which is how my bottom is. I dont use the nylon webbing… again, because I am so big! I used a piece of 3/4” plywood for the bottom of the chair… but with the new cushions, its awesome and very supportive.

As for the back, I tried to stay close to what the plans showed, but since i widened my chair, I had to widen the back too… but also I made the arms 2” longer at the back so I could have more angle if I wanted it in a more reclining position. I used 10 degrees in both the bottom and the back. Very comfortable for me.

Thats the great thing about building your own personal chair. Make it for you and how you want it. If you have a chance, sit in one at a store or friends, or when building one, before you “finish” the arms and angles, clamps some boards up and try it… once you are satisfied, then screw and glue the braces and cut the arm supports. Its all about you and what you like in comfort. And I say GO FOR IT! Build one! If you dont want to build it out of quality hardwoods at first, build it out of pine or something like it… inexpensive… learn from it and then once you are comfortable, make one from hardwood.

-- "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

View woodsmithshop's profile

woodsmithshop

1253 posts in 3006 days


#14 posted 03-05-2013 05:44 PM

woodshed, great job on the chair.
it sounds like you want different zones for your electrical in the shop, zones are great, but make sure all or most of your light switches are at the door when you come into the shop, my first shop I put my switches near each zone, later my plans changed, now when I want light all over the shop I have to walk all around the room turning on switches, some I did rewire, but it would have been much better with all switches in one place.

-- Smitty!!!

View TheeWoodShed's profile

TheeWoodShed

165 posts in 1371 days


#15 posted 03-05-2013 05:56 PM

WoodSmithShop, thats exactly the word I was looking for… ZONE! I’m in the middle of design and ease of moving from machine to machine. I know things change, but want to at least start out right with lights and electric outlets.

-- "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

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