Morris Chair #6: A call to arms.

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Blog entry by Luddite posted 02-06-2015 05:26 AM 1710 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: The Bent Arm Conumdrum Part 6 of Morris Chair series Part 7: Still wrestling with the wood devils. »

4 Feb 2015

Thanks to comments and such I finally decided on my approach for making the chair arms.

I’d originally had planned on the Stickley method of laminate and cut so as to keep the arm looking bent. Well seems I hit a wall here as my band saw is not up to the job and I was certainly handsaw impaired to make such a cut.
I’d floated the idea of a cut and spline method and got some great feedback, thank lcwood.

I plan on cutting the board for the arm twice. First an angle of 4.75 degrees then flipping the long portion make the same cut as far from the end as needed. Flip the second cut and when the ends are joined you’ll have the desired 9.5 degree bent as well as keeping the wood grain matched.

I proceeded to prep the arm boards by marking each and deciding what side should be the top.

Once I had these prepared I used my adjustable tenon jig to cut a slot for the spline. I was able to adjust the angle to match my angles ends of the cut pieces. Once set I ran each piece then adjusting the sled worked my way up to the desired size.

Using the same tenon jig I prepared the splines from a piece of mesquite. These were 5.25 by 1.625. The fine adjustments on the tenon jig really helped in dialing in the right depth.

Arms were dry fitted and then marked to approximate the through through mortises requited. The mesquite splines were allowed to stand proud on each arm for added dimension to these chairs.

This was actually more fun then I thought. I marked out the positions of each post top and then transferred these to the top of the arms. The rear leg and arm are joined at an odd angle so detailing the correct location was imperative. I made sure Simon the cat checked all measurements.

Using the mortiser, I prepared each of the foreleg mortises and then joining the pieces verified the positioning for the rear leg mortise. To match the angle for the rear leg I used the cutoff from the upper arm rail to make a sloped sled similar to pintodeluxe in his blog. Worked great, the cuts matched the pitch perfectly.

Once the arms fitted the front and rear posts.
Prepared the underside dado to receive the upper side rail. This along with the front and rear mortises position the arms. Using the mortiser and drill press prepared the plug sites to cover the attachment points on the top of the arm, locking pin hold for the front posts and the depth setting points for the back frame. Trimmed to length, rounded and sanded to 220.

Great nephew Liam, my sanding apprentice…..........

......................................................... Next step…..

Disassemble, sand, oil & more oil. Re-assemble and join with back frame.

thanks for viewing.

-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense

3 comments so far

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

12000 posts in 4035 days

#1 posted 02-06-2015 01:05 PM

That is a really cool method. I like the proud mesquite tenons, too.
Your write up an photos are excellent.
Can’t wait to see it.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View AandCstyle's profile


3263 posts in 2863 days

#2 posted 02-07-2015 12:12 AM

Terry, that is a great solution for your band saw issue and the arms look great. Also, the mesquite accents are a nice touch.

-- Art

View Mean_Dean's profile


7017 posts in 3753 days

#3 posted 02-07-2015 01:36 AM

Wasn’t sure about the spline joinery when you first mentioned it, but seeing it now, it looks like it’ll hold up well.

Looking forward to the next installment!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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