Morris chair restoration #5: Assembly: I might be considered square, but this chair certainly wasn’t.

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Blog entry by lightweightladylefty posted 11-11-2019 09:59 PM 1345 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: The seat cushion Part 5 of Morris chair restoration series no next part

Absolutely nothing was even close to square. The left side of the front rail was ¼” taller than the right side.

The legs (front and back) were not square to the frame.

You can see that the cushion frame is crooked as it attaches to the wooden framework.

The back horizontal piece was too twisted to retain so I replaced that part. The arms, spindles, and carved parts of the chair were oak, but the remainder is a conglomeration of other woods, although mostly maple.

The seat portion has dowels for aligning it with the legs but those parts are not glued together; it is bolted together as you can see in the photograph below. Eyebolts go into the side parts, held in place by nails, and tightened with wing nuts. I added lock washers in the hope that the framework would stay tight and sturdy.

The assembly of the lower section of the chair is complete with the seat cushion.

When I finally reinstalled the hardware to hold the adjustable seat bracket, I broke one. Not being able to find another that was suitable, I ground down the heads of construction screws and shortened them to the proper length to make two replacements. My husband then heated and bent them. (The torch scares me!)

Installing the hinges required more creative clamping since I needed to squeeze the cushion sufficiently to attach it correctly. I added a plywood panel on the bottom with pockethole screws in the hope that the chair won’t fall apart for another century. On the panel, I included a little information for the next generation.

I installed two small wooden pads to the chair back to keep the rod from damaging the fabric.

The final step was installing the new casters which ended up being another fiasco. The old casters (which not even my 102-year-old Dad remembers) were missing. The metal sockets had rusted and only the inside part was remaining on one. It wasn’t easy getting it out without damaging the hole. I had considered wedging the feet to make them level, but decided to take a chance on the casters instead since the chair sets very low and casters make it much easier to move it to get behind it to adjust the back.

I’m very pleased with the final outcome but I, absolutely, don’t ever want to repeat the process. If it falls apart in my lifetime, someone else will need to repair it if they don’t want it tossed out.

Check out my project listing to see the end result!

-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

4 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27012 posts in 4396 days

#1 posted 11-11-2019 11:16 PM

Beautiful save on that very detailed old chair. They don’t make them like that any more.

God Bless You for your fine work on that chair!!
Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View 489tad's profile


4085 posts in 4302 days

#2 posted 11-12-2019 12:40 AM

Wow you have done a ton of work to save a wonderful piece of family history. Well done.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3665 posts in 5003 days

#3 posted 11-12-2019 07:02 AM

Jim and Dan,
Thanks for your encouragement. It’s always a relief when a trying project is completed and at least someone appreciates it!

-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View janice's profile


1122 posts in 4716 days

#4 posted 11-21-2019 04:10 AM

Wow, the chair turned out very nice.

-- Janice

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