Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: A prototype Morris-inspired Outdoor Chair and Stool

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    2,332

    A prototype Morris-inspired Outdoor Chair and Stool

    (post 1 of 5)

    I built a prototype of a Morris-inspired outdoor chair this during the last week. The chair wasn't supposed to be a prototype but I made a major goof on the chair, so I am keeping it for us. I decided on a week ago to make two of these All-Weather Morris chairs for our daughter Kristel for Christmas:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 02 -Cutting plan and Picture in book -small.JPG 
Views:	71 
Size:	92.1 KB 
ID:	39309

    The plan and the article about making the chair are by David Theil in the book 'Arts and Crafts Furniture Projects' as published by Popular Woodworking. Beside the picture, you see my parts cutting plan.

    There is a striking similarity between this chair and a "real" Morris chair with photos and plans in the same book:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Real Morris Chair -small.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	81.6 KB 
ID:	39308

    Some day, I hope to tackle making the real chair.

    The plan called for construction out of 3/4 inch thick pine. But, I decided to use 1 inch thick (5/4 dressed) western red cedar instead. When I picked up Margaret from physical therapy Monday at noon, she was very surprised to see a load of 16 foot long 5.5 inch wide, 1 inch thick cedar on the roof rack of the car. I drove very slowly and carefully. Here enough of the wood for two chairs and two stools is sitting just outside my woodworking shed:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 01 -Five Quarter by 6 inch 16 foot long dressed Western Red Cedar -small.JPG 
Views:	51 
Size:	90.7 KB 
ID:	39315


    The plans call for 71 parts in a chair and stool after cutting all these parts (as well as 10 more that I found I needed (but more on that later)) most of the edges were rounded over on my router table using a with a 1/4 inch roundover bit then sanded with 80 and finally with 120 grit paper. Here one part is about to be sanded:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 03 -All the 71 parts rounded over on router table then sanded with 80 and 1.JPG 
Views:	50 
Size:	82.1 KB 
ID:	39310

    The four legs were made as Ts using screws glue and simple butt joints. In fact, all the joints in the chair and stool are butt joints. David Theil only glued and screwed a few of the joints in his chair and used a brad nailer on the rest. I glued and screwed all the joints.

    The top of the back legs were cut at a 5 degree angle, started on the table saw then the cuts were finished by hand:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 04 -5 degree cut on top of back leg -small.JPG 
Views:	43 
Size:	115.1 KB 
ID:	39311 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 05 -Finishing the cut with hand saw -small.JPG 
Views:	39 
Size:	76.7 KB 
ID:	39312

    The top edge of the stretchers had to be cut at an angle and my guided circular saw made this an easy task:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 06 -Marking piece to cut off a top side stretcher -small.JPG 
Views:	42 
Size:	89.8 KB 
ID:	39313 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 07 -Cutting piece off top side stretcher -small.JPG 
Views:	37 
Size:	76.2 KB 
ID:	39314
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 11-29-2009 at 12:23 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    2,332
    (post 2 of 5)

    Now I realized that I had goofed! The bottom side stretchers were supposed to be installed with the top edge 8 inches off the floor. I installed them with the bottom edge 8 inches off the floor. I decided to add another set of side stretchers lower down, so that the bottom of the extra stretchers will be in the proper position:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 08 -Extra lower side rails had to be installed because I had attached the o.JPG 
Views:	17 
Size:	95.0 KB 
ID:	39316

    Next, the side slats were installed:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 09 -Spacing the side slats -small.JPG 
Views:	17 
Size:	100.8 KB 
ID:	39317

    It turned out that 15mm thick plywood was exactly correct to use as spacers.

    Now I realized that in correcting the above goof the way I did, I had compounded the problem. The front and back rails were supposed to rest of the side stretchers 8 inches off the ground and there was no way to make this happen. What I should have done when I realized that I had installed the stretchers in the wrong place was to remove them in spite of the glue. At this point, I declared this chair to be a prototype that I would keep rather than give away. The only solution that I could think of was the install the two sides inside out, that is with the slats on the outside rather than the inside of the chair. I proceeded to do this. Cleats were installed to support the front and rear rails:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 10 -I realize that the problem compensted for in 08 is even worse -small.JPG 
Views:	17 
Size:	100.2 KB 
ID:	39318

    Things went from bad to worse. I dropped the assembly and split the board used as the front of one of the front legs:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 11 -Things get worse -I drop the  assembly and split a front leg board -sma.JPG 
Views:	18 
Size:	75.5 KB 
ID:	39319

    This I managed to fix with lots of glue:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 04 -5 degree cut on top of back leg -small.JPG 
Views:	16 
Size:	115.1 KB 
ID:	39320 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 13 -The repair has worked -small.JPG 
Views:	20 
Size:	74.5 KB 
ID:	39321

    From distances greater than a metre, I could not see the crack in the repaired leg at all. It is about time something went right.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 11-18-2009 at 06:50 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    2,332
    (post 3 of 5)

    Now to the arms. Tapers needed to be cut on the back of each arm. I couldn't bother getting out a rail and plunge saw to do the job for such a short cut; rather I just cut the taper freehand with my table saw. It was surprisingly easy to do and the cuts were perfect.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 14 -Cutting a taper on the back of an arm freehand on table saw -small.JPG 
Views:	15 
Size:	78.9 KB 
ID:	39322

    A piece was cut at an angle at the front of each arm then glued together in order to create a bent arm:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 15 -A piece was cut at an angle at the front of each arm then glued togethe.JPG 
Views:	15 
Size:	76.2 KB 
ID:	39323

    The front part of each arm was strengthened with two Miller dowels:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 16 -The front part of each bent arm was strengthened with 2 Miller dowels -.JPG 
Views:	16 
Size:	94.7 KB 
ID:	39324 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 17 -The front part of each bent arm was strengthened with 2 Miller dowels -.JPG 
Views:	15 
Size:	87.6 KB 
ID:	39325

    Beveled cleats were attached to the inside of the front and rear rails:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 18 -A bevelled seat cleat is attached to the front rail -small.JPG 
Views:	19 
Size:	102.1 KB 
ID:	39326

    Next, I stained most of the parts then installed the seat slats:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 19 -Seat slats being installed making use of a spacer -small.JPG 
Views:	24 
Size:	103.1 KB 
ID:	39327

    I built the frame for the chair back and tested it for size and position:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 20 -Testing the back for size and position -small.JPG 
Views:	40 
Size:	121.5 KB 
ID:	39328

    The back is to be attached to the chair with a continuous hinge (stainless steel, of course) . A bevel had to be cut on the bottom of the back stiles. I set up my Incra sled to do the job but thought better of it. That setup seemed awkward and, in the end, I simply sawed the bevels by hand:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 21 -I thought about using this sled to cut a bevel on the bottom of back st.JPG 
Views:	25 
Size:	87.6 KB 
ID:	39329 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 22 -But, I decided that it was easier to cut the bevels by hand -small.JPG 
Views:	20 
Size:	80.4 KB 
ID:	39330
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 11-18-2009 at 06:57 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    2,332
    (post 4 of 5)

    The seat back was temporarily installed:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 23 -Temporariy installing the seat back with a piano hinge -small.JPG 
Views:	15 
Size:	82.8 KB 
ID:	39331

    It's a good thing that I tested the back, because I realized that if the back were allowed to descend all the way forward it would put undo pressure on the hinges and, eventually, pull out the screws that were holding the hinge. This seems to be a design flaw not noticed by David Theil. A way to prevent this was to place some sort of blocks on the sides of the back that would be stopped by the arms. Margaret suggested that a make these with a angle matching the angle of the tapers on the back of the arms so that the blocks blend in to the design. I did this, and we both think that they do blend in well ?and they do a good job. Here is a picture with the seat back folded forward as far as it has been allowed to go:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 26 -Chair back stops when folded forward -small.JPG 
Views:	31 
Size:	114.7 KB 
ID:	39332

    The back can assume one of three angles the use of a simple back support with embedded dowels that fits into a pair of holes drilled in the back porting of the arms. I secured each of the the dowels in the support with glue and with a Miller dowel drilled through the support at a 90 degree angle and into the dowel:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 24 Securing a dowel in the back support with a small Miller dowel -small.JPG 
Views:	19 
Size:	81.3 KB 
ID:	39333

    I love those Miller dowels - they come in so handy so often!

    Here the back support is about to be inserted into a pair of holes in the chair arms:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 25 -Back support -small.JPG 
Views:	22 
Size:	93.4 KB 
ID:	39334

    David Thiele's stool also has a pad, but I am leery of placing pads on furniture that people are likely to be resting dirty shoes upon. So, my stools will not have pads. Since there will be no pad, I had to change the stool design a little bit. The other thing that I didn`t like was that the stool is rather plain. I wanted it to have at least some hint of being Arts and Crafts inspired. But I also wanted to stick to the butt-joints only restriction so not introduce something like through tenons.

    What to do? The aspect of Arts and Crafts that appeals most to me is the exposure and featuring of the joints. There is a somewhat interesting joint formed by the L seen at the tops and bottoms of the legs and I decided to feature those joints in the stool top.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 27 -A detail to make the footstool look a bit Arts and Crafts -small.JPG 
Views:	18 
Size:	71.3 KB 
ID:	39335 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 28-Cutting the notches for the detail with a jig saw -small.JPG 
Views:	17 
Size:	91.3 KB 
ID:	39336 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 29 -Top of completed stool -small.JPG 
Views:	21 
Size:	105.9 KB 
ID:	39337
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 11-18-2009 at 07:04 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    2,332
    (post 5 of 5)

    Here is photo of the completed chair and stool:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Outdoor Morris Chair 30 -Finished chair and stool -small.JPG 
Views:	87 
Size:	120.1 KB 
ID:	39338

    They are both finished with one coat of Sikens Cetol 1 078 Natural stain. I will store them inside during the winter and add a second coat in the spring.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 11-18-2009 at 07:05 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
    Posts
    4,632
    Gee Frank! So not everything has been writing this months uh?

    Both pieces look great to me, thanks for posting the whole process.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,323
    What kind of cushions are you going to use on the chair?

    The chair ought to be even more comfortable than the Adirondacks I made last Summer - and they're very comfortable!

    I gotta comment on the 'wings' on the back, though. Even though you explained their purpose, the look out of place to me. I'm thinking that if the back was 'fan shaped' it'd both serve the purpose and look better. When tilted forward, the wider-at-the-top back panel would contact the inside edges of the arms before the hinge got stressed.

    But that's just my opinion... I could be wrong.

    Oh yeah, BTW, welcome back!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    2,332
    Hi Jim and I thank you both for the welcome and for your honest opinion about the 'wings'.

    The cushions are going to be 4" thick with a seam and ties at the location where the seat and back intersect. They will be covered with waterproof striped material with oranges, greeens, and browns in it.

    I would appreciate anyone else's opinion about the wings. Do they look out of place or do they blend in?

    Also, does the stool look somewhat Arts and Crafts like?
    Cheers, Frank

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    falcon heights, minnesota
    Posts
    5,610
    frank, having built a couple of morris chairs, after looking at all the types and and permutations that they have been made, this is the first i've seen with "wings" like that. personally, i wouldn't put them there, but if you're happy with them, that's all that matters.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,099
    Holy cow Frank, building a comfy chair to write the sequel to your book???
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

Similar Threads

  1. This will be the slowest Morris Chair build ever!
    By Jim Mattheiss in forum Flatwork Project Showcase
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 03-17-2010, 04:00 AM
  2. Morris Chair
    By Tom Hoffman in forum Designs, Plans and Sketches
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-26-2009, 06:30 AM
  3. Asian-Inspired Stool
    By Ron Fritz in forum Designs, Plans and Sketches
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-27-2009, 01:07 AM
  4. morris chair
    By John Daugherty in forum Flatwork Project Showcase
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-28-2007, 11:32 AM
  5. Morris Chair
    By Ralph Mckenzie in forum Flatwork Project Showcase
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-27-2007, 10:47 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •