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Thread: The Great Morris Chair project

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Stanwood, WA
    Posts
    3,059
    I for one am going to replace one of my aging La-z-Boys. I may enlist my mother in-law to do the upholstery (if that is not against the rules).

    I would be interested in where participants are planning on getting their QSWO. I am going to start local and see what the prices are here but it never hurts to consider an online shipment.

    Dewey
    Dewey

    "Everything is better with Inlay or Marquetry!"


  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Brush Prairie, WA
    Posts
    191
    Count me in. Book's ordered. It's been on my list for a long time, and this will ensure I actually get it done in a timely fashion!

    Although, I may commit a "material felony" for the ages and use Alder (still have many hundred feet of 8/4 left) to match the bedroom set...and most of all because it requires no wood purchases.

    Great idea, guys...

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
    Posts
    4,168
    Quote Originally Posted by gary Zimmel View Post
    Dave

    With you having built the chair, maybe you could give us some tips on the build.

    Maybe you could build the foot stool to go with the chair.

    I too am not sure where mine is going to live. (may have a fantastic chair and ottoman to relax in my shop....)
    I will post some pic's about mid week as I have some crazy work hours the next few days. I also built the Ottoman at the time. My chair is currently unfinished but I plan on using Rockler Mission cherry. God! I love that color. I also have yet to make the chair cushions.
    Something that may be of interest to the group. I used flat cut Red Oak for my project as I have a ton of it in my shop. I mostly used the grain along the side of the boards that look like quarter sawn, Not the typical "arch" pattern in the middle. I also used all 3/4" inch stock and glued up and planed to the thickness needed.
    It has been some time since I built it. if anyone has questions I hope to be able to remember and give you a hand.

    Just as a side note. The chair was all built with a Shopsmith mark 5 and Shopsmith wood planer. except the Mortises were cut on a benchtop Grizzly unit.


  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    2,318
    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey Torres View Post
    I for one am going to replace one of my aging La-z-Boys. I may enlist my mother in-law to do the upholstery (if that is not against the rules).

    I would be interested in where participants are planning on getting their QSWO. I am going to start local and see what the prices are here but it never hurts to consider an online shipment.

    Dewey
    Great way to use that recently acquired Unisaw, Dewey!

    FYI, Colorado Woodworkers always has a great selection of high quality lumber. If it's not in stock, the owner is a great guy who will order it for you.

    CO lumber is also pretty good. Their lumber isn't quite as high in quality as Colorado Woodworkers, but it's also a little lower in price.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Stanwood, WA
    Posts
    3,059
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post

    Just as a side note. The chair was all built with a Shopsmith mark 5 and Shopsmith wood planer. except the Mortises were cut on a benchtop Grizzly unit.

    Man... A classic Morris Chair built with a SSmith??? Boy Howdy!
    Dewey
    Dewey

    "Everything is better with Inlay or Marquetry!"


  6. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Windsor, ON
    Posts
    654
    Blog Entries
    3

    Lightbulb If you are sitting on the fence...

    Hello Creek, How are Ya?
    As we near the close of the third day of this invitation, we have 8 builders on board. Outstanding!
    If you are sitting on the fence about jumping in on our first group build, there is still time.
    In the coming days, stay tuned for posts about the tools and lumber needed to build this chair.
    It would be great to have a shopping list,
    so we can get our lumber into our shops to acclimatize before dressing.
    [ok, there's my homework...give me a couple days to put it together)

    Members have asked about the best way to get these plans.
    I can only answer for myself:
    I like the style, and feel the book is well done and well worth it.
    I have contacted them re: the differences between the other options, and am assured that the paper plans=the PDF file.
    For eager beavers, the PDF is instant, and a solid option if you have
    a decent printer. Gary Z. printed his off in colour and it looks great!

    As this is a first run of a group project, we have a chance to establish
    how this (and possible future) build runs. Your input is valued and welcome
    through every phase. Please feel free to share your thoughts with
    Gary Z. or myself, in this thread or by private message.

    If you are tempted to join us, but feel unsure of your shop or ability,
    I encourage you to take the plunge. Some may find it amusing that
    between us, Gary and I have accumulated a total of zero chairs built!
    How can you feel less than confident with a track record like that?!?
    This project is shaping up nicely, and promises to be rewarding for
    ourselves, our fellow members and our beloved Creek.

    So come down off that fence, you are welcome...
    and besides, we would not want you to hurt your butt!
    thanks,
    Walt
    There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going! WCC

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr. Seuss

    Crohn's takes guts. WCC

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Windsor, ON
    Posts
    654
    Blog Entries
    3

    lumber shopping list part 1 of 2 *super looong*

    Good Day group chair builders,
    The WOOD mag. A&C furniture plans offers a meager lumber list. Helpful but not quite enough to send us shopping just yet.
    For the Morris chair, the net, dressed lumber required will be around:

    >7 bf of 3/4” thick for leg blank laminations, if you stick to the legs as original plan
    (more on leg options in the next posting)

    >16 bf of 5/4” thick for stretchers, rails and decorative corbels
    (all 25 thin slats are contained in frames of this thicker stock)

    >10 bf of ½” thick for slats, splats and bow arm lamination layers (3 per side)

    I say greater than these amounts, because you must always dance with knots, end checks, light sapwood that I try to remove, and butt ugly sections of grain. (character!)
    Not to mention that most every board is just a little too short to get that last set of matching rails out and with pleasing grain layout… (shucks again!)

    The material needed for this project hinges on two main variables:
    #1 Will be how you go about getting to ½” thick for the various slats for seat, back and sides. You may choose to resaw, or heavy waste thickness planning.

    -The spendy but straightforward heavy waste approach:
    If you were to just joint straight and flat, then plane ¾” stock down to ½” thick, it would take twice as much wood as the net 10 bf indicated,
    for a total of gross 20 bf of ¾” thick stock.
    The board feet calculation would be the same surface area, which is length x width, but multiplied by twice the starting material thickness.
    All to end up in the same place. The upside would be plenty of stock to work with, making it less stressful to get to the desired ½” slats, well straight and flat.

    So if you could buy acceptable ½” hardwood, you would need about 10 bf for your slats.
    If you were to plane down ¾” stock down to the ½” , we would need 20bf for slats,
    plus the 7 bf of ¾” needed for the leg blanks. ( =27 bf total ¾” stock)

    -resaw 5/4” approach
    Depending on how generous the actual thickness you start with, and how cupped, twisted and bowed your boards, you may be able to resaw some 5/4” right down the
    center. After stack and sticker a while, these will probably have moved, and then need to be dressed to acceptably straight and flat. The catch is you will need enough
    extra thickness, to dress after resawing, to end up at the desired ½” thick in good shape.
    Good luck, the condition of your boards, and their internal stresses may contribute to your own condition and stresses!

    -resaw 8/4” approach
    Myself, I may try to take my slats out of a pile of 8/4” oak I have been sitting on. (make that tripping over!)
    My goal will be to resaw into 3 equal layers, stack and sticker and let it move until its happy, and then joint straight and flat, and plane to the needed ½”.
    This would allow me to use up my thick stock, and provide opportunities for good grain matches.

    In fact, I have come up with an idea, which I have never heard before, when I explained it to Gray Z., I called it a ‘stack match’. (surely I didn’t invent this…)
    My idea is to try and take the 3 layers earmarked to become ½” thick eventually, out of the 8 quarter.
    If the slab is wide enough, this might allow enough extra wood for dressing, and allow me to take all 7 slats for one side from the same thick board.
    If this works, it would mean my 6 narrow plus one wide center slats would all be from the same board ‘neighbourhood’, hopefully providing pleasing colour and grain matches.
    All this hinges on if the resawn bananas afford me enough extra to dress away and end up with suitable straight and flat slats.
    It would be easier to do then my akward attempt to explain. Sarry!

    Refer to next post for the second main stock variable --- leg approaches
    Stay tuned to this station for #2. (and more endless blah, blah, blah)
    Last edited by Walt Caza; 06-10-2008 at 2:18 PM.
    There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going! WCC

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr. Seuss

    Crohn's takes guts. WCC

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Windsor, ON
    Posts
    654
    Blog Entries
    3

    lumber shopping list part 2 of 2 *super looong*

    The other main variable in buying lumber for our chair project,
    is which way we choose to build the 2 1/4" square legs.

    #2. options for building up 2 ¼” square chair legs

    If we build up our legs by following the original plans, each leg is 3 pieces of net ¾” stock glued together.
    This should prove a stable assembly with long grain to long grain lamination lasting many seasons to come.
    The solid core will serve our through mortises very well. The trade-off for this simple leg construction will by a pair of glued seems on 2 sides of each leg.
    Also, if we use the traditional QSW oak, we will end up with 2 sides of ray fleck, and 2 other sides only a mother could love,
    each with a pair of glued seams and plain sawn grain. (cathedrals in sharp contrast against our straight grain with flake)

    Going with the original plan approach would require:
    >7 bf of 3/4” thick for leg blank laminations

    There are many other ways to build the legs, each with it's own pros, cons and appearance.
    The ultimate choice, by my humble opinion, would be a 5 piece leg with invisible seams and quarter sawn straight grain with
    attractive ray fleck on all 4 sides. If the front legs on our chosen design had poked up thru the arms, this could have been real tricky.
    We could still make fake tenon caps, in that classic pyramid shape, to simulate the effect with less difficulty.

    I have played with the simplest of 5pc legs previously. (not simple at all, by the way!) As linked here...
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=86109

    Other approaches to the quadrilinear leg include:
    -Leopold Stickley's original 4pc shaper profile. Who could argue against the man that invented it? (me, with no shaper?)
    (while Gustav, the most famous of the 5 Stickley brothers, was using veneer caps)
    [can anyone post a picture of this gem?)

    -similar to Leo's leg, is the lock miter router bit, although ww's seem to love'em or hate'em...
    Both of these options leave a hollow leg, ok for our design choice this time due to no visible leg tops.
    Also the hollow offers less support for our through mortises.

    -dab hand and pro, fellow Creeker Mark Singer once posted a 3pc leg, with a core ripped with bevels and infilled
    (can someone find that inspired post and include it here for our chair builders?) I failed to locate it...

    -please post any additional methods you have ever heard of, used, or are curious to try.....

    Obviously, our leg approach will require an adjustment (in the spendy direction) of our lumber purchase for this chair

    stay tuned for a future post on required tools
    thanks,
    Walt






    more to come...
    Last edited by Walt Caza; 06-10-2008 at 2:19 PM. Reason: elaboration
    There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going! WCC

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr. Seuss

    Crohn's takes guts. WCC

  9. #24

    Thumbs up A photo essay of Arts & Crafts legs

    Just in case you didn't see Walt's excellant essay on legs...

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=86109
    Glenn Clabo
    Michigan

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Stony Plain, Alberta
    Posts
    2,702
    My plans are bought, downloaded, and printed off...

    I have spent a little time going over them and they seem pretty straight forward. My legs will be 4 piece, 2 1 1/8" pieces and then 1/16" veneers.
    The chair slats I may bump to 1/2" rather than the 3/8". On top of the bowed arms I think it would like to add 2 square plugs for effect and am considering raised square plugs to give the effect of pinned M/T joints.

    We now have the ability to add albums here at the Creek so I will start one. As one posts the progress here in this thread we can also update our albums. To see the albums go into ones public profile.

    This community build is going to be great.....
    Last edited by gary Zimmel; 06-10-2008 at 3:09 PM.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Windsor, ON
    Posts
    654
    Blog Entries
    3

    Red face quiet as we prepare...

    Good Day,
    I have my book, and wait for the mailman to bring the paper plans.
    My books end up dusty if I bring them into the shop...

    I am putting together a lumber order to place tomorrow, and expect to
    receive shipment in the following week. QSW oak

    I know my lumber posts were verbose, sorry...I had hoped our builders
    could buy lumber before getting their plans. A head start to let the wood
    acclimate to our shops was all I intended.
    Sorry if I was ahead of myself...

    As Gary Z. posted, the construction of the chair is pretty straightforward.
    Basically a pair of slatted leg frames, with slatted seat and back frames.
    The tricky parts I foresee will be the bow arm glue-ups and mounting.

    Eager to hear when our builders get their plans and lumber.
    Gary's idea to add albums to our Creek profiles is terrific.
    I too feel this is going to be great!
    Walt
    There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going! WCC

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr. Seuss

    Crohn's takes guts. WCC

  12. #27

    Another source

    Interesting site...
    http://www.evenfallstudios.com/woodw...a_morris_chair

    p.s...Hey Walt...did they name your home town after this guy?
    Glenn Clabo
    Michigan

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Stanwood, WA
    Posts
    3,059
    WOW Glenn...
    Some old but simplified plans you posted. Kind of made me feel like a kid again digging through my Granddad’s collection. Thanks.
    Dewey
    Dewey

    "Everything is better with Inlay or Marquetry!"


  14. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Laguna Beach , Ca.
    Posts
    7,201
    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Caza View Post
    The other main variable in buying lumber for our chair project,
    is which way we choose to build the 2 1/4" square legs.

    #2. options for building up 2 ¼” square chair legs

    If we build up our legs by following the original plans, each leg is 3 pieces of net ¾” stock glued together.
    This should prove a stable assembly with long grain to long grain lamination lasting many seasons to come.
    The solid core will serve our through mortises very well. The trade-off for this simple leg construction will by a pair of glued seems on 2 sides of each leg.
    Also, if we use the traditional QSW oak, we will end up with 2 sides of ray fleck, and 2 other sides only a mother could love,
    each with a pair of glued seams and plain sawn grain. (cathedrals in sharp contrast against our straight grain with flake)

    Going with the original plan approach would require:
    >7 bf of 3/4” thick for leg blank laminations

    There are many other ways to build the legs, each with it's own pros, cons and appearance.
    The ultimate choice, by my humble opinion, would be a 5 piece leg with invisible seams and quarter sawn straight grain with
    attractive ray fleck on all 4 sides. If the front legs on our chosen design had poked up thru the arms, this could have been real tricky.
    We could still make fake tenon caps, in that classic pyramid shape, to simulate the effect with less difficulty.

    I have played with the simplest of 5pc legs previously. (not simple at all, by the way!) As linked here...
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=86109

    Other approaches to the quadrilinear leg include:
    -Leopold Stickley's original 4pc shaper profile. Who could argue against the man that invented it? (me, with no shaper?)
    (while Gustav, the most famous of the 5 Stickley brothers, was using veneer caps)
    [can anyone post a picture of this gem?)

    -similar to Leo's leg, is the lock miter router bit, although ww's seem to love'em or hate'em...
    Both of these options leave a hollow leg, ok for our design choice this time due to no visible leg tops.
    Also the hollow offers less support for our through mortises.

    -dab hand and pro, fellow Creeker Mark Singer once posted a 3pc leg, with a core ripped with bevels and infilled
    (can someone find that inspired post and include it here for our chair builders?) I failed to locate it...

    -please post any additional methods you have ever heard of, used, or are curious to try.....

    Obviously, our leg approach will require an adjustment (in the spendy direction) of our lumber purchase for this chair

    stay tuned for a future post on required tools
    thanks,
    Walt






    more to come...
    http://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.p...t=wenge+dining
    "All great work starts with love .... then it is no longer work"

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Beavercreek, Ohio
    Posts
    40
    Gary and Walt,
    What a great idea! I only wish you had started this about four months ago! My cherry morris chair is in the varnish stage right now and I sure could have used your help and guidance. If I procrastinate long enough, I can follow all the comments on the cushions...
    Based on some good advice from friends, I started with the ottoman, then did the chair.
    I'm really looking forward to following the posts on this one.
    I went with the plans from Woodsmith magazine that use bent arms, not steamed curved ones - I didn't feel ready to take that on. I also skipped the pinned tenons. Don't forget to expose that cherry wood to the sun - it really does turn a nice color!
    Good Luck,
    Bill

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