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Thread: The Great Morris Chair project

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Windsor, ON
    Blog Entries

    Thumbs up The Great Morris Chair project

    Good Day to the Creek,
    Please allow me to lay out the who, what, where, why, when and how...

    This is an invitation to all Creekers:
    Gary Zimmel and Walt Caza cordially invite you to join us in a remote build of a classic furniture project.
    We are each going to build the same Morris chair together, just 1975 miles apart. Even farther if you decide to play along!

    We have selected an attractive project that includes bow arms, through tenons, corbels and a 3 position reclining back.

    The chairs will be built in our own workshops as we find time, and pics of progress and problems will be brought right here to this posting.
    The plans are readily available 3 different ways, from WOOD magazine.
    Details in the following post to this thread if you are interested.

    We are hoping for a fun, shared learning experience building this hallmark of the Arts & Crafts movement together.
    This is not a contest, nor a race. It is more about the journey, but the destination holds much promise too!
    It's a great chair.

    No time seemed ideal to start...
    many are not in their shops in winter, most are too busy in summer.
    We decided we will start within July. Plenty of time to get your plans,
    gather materials, sharpen your tools and sweep our shop floors.
    We are just weekend warriors with jobs, yard work, families, other projects, etc...
    so progress may be slow and steady.

    All it takes to join the Morris Chair project is modest skills, a desire to build a handsome and classic chair and the warm spirit of Sawmill Creek.
    The only thing that can make it 'Great', is your participation !!

    Further details in the following post...
    Hope you'll join us,
    Walt and Gary
    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Windsor, ON
    Blog Entries

    Post Morris Chair details

    After careful consideration and comparison of 11 different designs,
    we have decided to go with plans from WOOD magazine.

    The same plans are readily available 3 ways:
    The book,
    WOOD magazine Arts & Crafts furniture
    190 pages, contains history, joinery, finishing and 18 project plans
    ISBN-13: 978-1-4027-1174-9
    ISBN-10: 1-4027-1174-3
    Sterling Publishing
    The Morris Chair in play is on page 38
    link to this book on Amazon

    Two more options:
    Their website store offers paper plans and a PDF file download for sale. (link)

    You can see pics of the chair and the matching ottoman at that link.
    I would have liked to include a pic in this post, but am not sure if that is allowed? (copyright?)

    Some details about the selected chair project are:

    Wood magazine chair details: (18 points)
    lower side and front rails thru tenon
    under arm 6 narrow slats and one wide in center with cut-out
    bow arms laminated over form with clamps not steam
    side slats into groove with fillers not m&t
    same with backrest with vertical mounted slats not m&t
    and also seat frame has 7 wooden slats to support seat cushion not m&t

    2 and 1/4" legs are 3pcs of 3/4" stock glued up for 3 layers with 2 seams and 2 sides of plain sawn grain
    corbels under arms
    back slats are straight and mounted in straight line
    3 position back tilts by moving pegs
    front legs do not poke up thru arms (could fake tenon caps)
    upholstery instructions included for cushions, but pro recommended

    matching ottoman and coffee table plans readily available
    straight forward and strong chair construction
    shortcuts to build quicker and easier
    plans readily available 3 ways
    great looking Morris chair overall
    should be comfortable, with cushions, tilt back and bow arms

    Stay tuned for a future posting about how this chair got it's name...
    Last edited by Glenn Clabo; 06-06-2008 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Fixed link
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Independence, KY
    I will definitely be participating in this. Though I expect to be on the slow boat with Glenn and Gary.
    Last edited by Mike SoRelle; 06-06-2008 at 10:40 PM. Reason: changed from a maybe to a definitely

  4. #4
    What an awesome idea. Unfortunately, my queue is pretty backed up from prior commitments at the moment. However, if there is no time limit, I may eventually participate.

    I was thinking of maybe building a couple of the outdoor Morris Chairs from the old Popular Woodworking plan. Unlike yours, this one has straight arms, cheap, home-center lumber, and is not really attractive. But it should still be comfortable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Leesville, SC
    GREAT idea and I will enjoy watching the progress.....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    This is the plans that I want to use to build a reading chair, since the couch is not too comfy for reading. But I am in the middle of another project and don't like to have more than 1 big project at a time. So I decided to rush and cut some minor corners in order to get this project finished and move on to the Morris Chair. Well, i rushed too much and cut too many corners and had to start my other project over.

    I have yet again learned some lessons

    1. you cant same money buying cheap tools
    2. you cant save time by cutting corners
    3. Borg wood sucks
    4. the chair will get done when it gets done

    Good luck on the chair and I will be following the progress.

  7. #7
    This is a great idea. I have always wanted to build one of these chairs.

    Count me in!

    I need to order the book tonight.

    Thanks for hosting the group build.


  8. #8
    GREAT idea!!! I'm in...just ordered the book. But I may be competing for the last finished.
    Glenn Clabo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Stony Plain, Alberta

    The great Morris Chair Build

    Looks like we are going to have more than a couple of the Creekers involved with the chair project. It may take a little while to get us all finished, but watching everyones progress is going to be fun.

    I've got my plans and am starting to go over them to see if mine would have any minor changes to them. Have one or two in mind and as we get closer to the start of the build I will let the group know about my changes. If anyone has any extra ideas please let us all know, thats one of the things that will be neat about this project.

    I too may take a little while to get comleted as I always have a busy summer on our acreage. But as Walt said this is a journey....

    Glen, I may be in compititon with you for the slow award.

    As most will QSWO I am considering doing my chair and foot stool in cherry to get a little variety going. Phoned my wood guy and he has some nice cherry 6/4 that would make the legs a little faster to make.

    That will be my next step. Getting all the wood into the shop to sit for awhile so I can dream about the chairs we are going to start building.

    Thanks Walt for taking the liberty to get this community build off the ground...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Rochester, NY
    This should prove to be an awesome group project. I'll be really interesting to watch this evolve. Too bad I'm so swamped this summer.
    Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    East Virginia
    Great idea! I'd join in if it weren't tuna fishing season. (Actually, I'll probably just lurk and learn, wait to see where the roadside IEDs are hidden, and try one myself in the fall...)

    Looking forward to seeing the progress. Thanks for starting a neat group project.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Stanwood, WA
    Ahhh, what the heck... I am in!

    "Everything is better with Inlay or Marquetry!"

  13. #13
    Walt, I spend 8 hours a day in my shop to pay the bills, but by golly that does sound like fun. I'm in.
    Creation is a transfer of ideas to matter.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Cincinnati Ohio
    Sounds like a great idea. Problem is I built that chair some time ago. Still have it sitting in my shop. No room in the house.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Stony Plain, Alberta

    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....)

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