My First Blog - My Morris chair(s) Project

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Blog entry by schroeder posted 03-06-2007 07:05 PM 2894 reads 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first Blog – Morris Chairs
This project started when a friend was building a new home for his family. He asked if I would hire build them a dining room table and chairs, ( Having never attempted such a project I was all game. He had seen some fumed oak projects that I had done in the past and wanted fumed quarter sawn white oak. I told him to pony up for 500 bf of 8/4 and sit back for about two years til I got done. When I had finished the table and chairs (nine months later), I gave it to them as a house warming gift. When I ordered the lumber I had expected to butcher out the sapwood, but they liked the look so after the table and chairs, I had lotsa lumber left over. His house is based on a craftsman theme, so I suggested that I build them a matching set of Morris chairs, (and I still have enough lumber left over after this project to make them a mantel).
I decided on a modified Woodsmith design with traditional through mortise & tenon joinery. I wanted quartersawn on all four faces of the leg so I used a Stickley trick and used a locking miter joint.

My next issue was the through tenon on the arms – “the button” – I tried to cut them accurately, but they just ended up to sloppy. I used a modified Woodsmith trick to cut the buttons and then glue them to the top of the arm – a dirty trick for the purist, but whatcha gonna do – I was committed at this point. The way I cut the buttons, they appear as the tightest possible through tenon. I took the time to glue up quartersawn stock and cut the buttons (I admit this was just to fool the craftsman who looks at the piece, civilians would never notice a qrtrsawm button).

Cut & organize the parts

Glue up & Fit

The final inspection and product (after much sanding), the couple picked out a brown fake leather and I had the upholstery done.

Then I took a moment to sit and gloat with Cronk (this is about 100 hours into the project).

Into the 33% ammonia fume tent for 30 hours

Two coats of sealer, two coats of poly and a final waxing and buffing and I BE DONE! Ready for delivery! The colors came out especially rich Carmel color that will match their hardwood floors well. I’ll post this as a project once I can take some good photography in their home. This was a GREAT Project. I want to build a couple more and plan on incorporating some ideas from Mark DeCou (square pegs would fit the style much better – and some carving as soon as my fingers heal ;)

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

13 comments so far

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

766 posts in 3115 days

#1 posted 03-06-2007 07:21 PM


You’re my idol, Schroeder. Not sure I’d ever want to build the Morris chair, being a smaller project woodworker, but… I strive for your level of craftsmanship in the Craftsman style.

Thanks for the motivational story and imagery!

Oh, and welcome to the world of blogging! You entered with a splash!

-- Ethan,

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 3097 days

#2 posted 03-06-2007 07:43 PM

Awesome Job.

My hats off to you.

-- Dusty

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 3102 days

#3 posted 03-06-2007 07:47 PM

Very nice! One of the classic designs that does not go out of style.

I love the picture trail from beginning to end. Something I need to do with my work.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View schroeder's profile


693 posts in 3066 days

#4 posted 03-06-2007 08:59 PM

Thanks! I like this “Blogging” thing – maybe it will help someone else who wants to try this type of project – I know DeCou’s helped me on these chairs-

I just took them up to the family I made them for- he liked them fine and was very appreciative, but really it takes a “Lumberjock” to know how much work a project like this – and of course, – FUN!

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3255 days

#5 posted 03-06-2007 11:59 PM

They look great to nap in! Good start in the blogging world.

View Karson's profile


34951 posts in 3342 days

#6 posted 03-07-2007 02:58 AM

Very nice workmanship. Do they wish that they had used real leather now.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View schroeder's profile


693 posts in 3066 days

#7 posted 03-07-2007 03:03 AM

Thanks Dennis!, I’m likeing this, seems like fun (I just recently found the “blogs” on Lumberjocks). It’s good to read others on see their take on projects

Karson, nope, they have two young boys and their plan is to re-do after they have grown and left the house – they’re great kids, but it seems like a wise plan to me (if ya know what ah mean!)

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 3268 days

#8 posted 03-07-2007 03:08 AM

Great chairs, Love the look, and finish. With Kudo’s from Dusty to boot!
Great blog entry too… looking forward to many more.

A chair like this is my ultimate “someday” project.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View schroeder's profile


693 posts in 3066 days

#9 posted 03-07-2007 03:32 AM

Thanks Scott (…and your right, that does mean a lot to me coming from Dusty). It’s funny you say that about chairs – I was just talking today about the dining room chairs I built for this same family. I spent two solid months on the first proto-type and literally burned up the first six, (something about the compound angles and shoulder on the tenons I just couldn’t grasp – (though we did have lotsa kindling this winter), But if anyone can make the time, it is a GREAT experience to build a chair! I should have asked more people more questions but, I muddled through it somehow and now, really recommend it to others.

Maybe I will blog about that, I guess I do still have some frustrations I can share!

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 3178 days

#10 posted 03-07-2007 04:24 AM

I just built legs like that for a Hickory Coffee Table. 45 degree on all the 4/4 Hickory with a piece of Oak in the middle to make it solid. And here I thought I was doing something new.

View Karson's profile


34951 posts in 3342 days

#11 posted 03-07-2007 04:26 AM

You were Obi. He used White Oak on White Oak.

You used Hickory on Oak.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View tooljunky's profile


34 posts in 3052 days

#12 posted 03-07-2007 11:30 AM

Nice chairs, looks like you put your heart in them. I have always wanted to build one of them also, it is in line with the 1000 other project that I want to do.


View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 3178 days

#13 posted 03-07-2007 03:49 PM

The chairs are exceptionally nice.

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