Bow Arm Morris Chairs

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Project by handplane posted 08-24-2008 04:26 PM 5774 views 11 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are a pair of Bow Arm Morris Chairs that are finally back from the upholsterer after a 2 year wait. My wife and I took a weeklong “vacation” (The hardest work I’ve ever done in the name of relaxation!) at the American Sycamore Woodworkers Retreat in Indiana. There we worked with Dale Barnard and Mike Van Pelt to create these beautiful chairs from solid quartersawn white oak, even steam bending the arms onsite. There isn’t a single nail or screw in the project except to attach the upholstery. This is entirely true mortise & tenon joinery and these things weigh a ton! The chairs have been safeguarded from our wood chewing puppy and we finally felt safe enough to get them upholstered. The crew at Ackermans did a beautiful job, using butter soft light chocolate colored leather to complete the job. I like the contrast to the natural colored QS white oak, which is finished with a tung oil wiping varnish instead of the traditionally darker finishes of most mission style furniture. If you want some for your home, I highly recommend taking a class at American Sycamore yourself:

If you are looking for expert upholstery work in the Chicagoland area, we were very happy with Ackermans:

-- - Scott "handplane"

26 comments so far

View James Early's profile

James Early

48 posts in 4256 days

#1 posted 08-24-2008 04:42 PM

Turned out great—the ottomans, too! Hope they bring you both years of enjoyment and relaxation. I considered going to the American Sycamore Woodworkers Retreat when I lived in West Lafaytette, IN. Just never made it. Looks like a productive vacation!

-- -- Jim E., Oswego, NY. Create, have fun, and work safely!

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4322 days

#2 posted 08-24-2008 04:45 PM

i just finished the love seat in the same style and it was really fun to build. your chairs look great, wish i could have used leather but with a 2 year old that didn’t happen. have fun.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4353 days

#3 posted 08-24-2008 04:48 PM

Very nice job on these chairs. In my opinion, they are the most comfortable chairs around. Thanks for the post.

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4686 days

#4 posted 08-24-2008 05:39 PM

very impressive!!! I have been watching a lot of morris chairs the past year and a half on LJ’s and would like to tackle a pair someday…I love the upholstery…and the ottomans finish them off very nicely!!!!! bummer that you had to wait so long to get them upholstered after building them—-must have been a tough wait for the pups to grow up!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 4240 days

#5 posted 08-24-2008 06:09 PM

They look really comfortable and the craftsmanship is superb -Job well done.

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View Sonny's profile


314 posts in 4461 days

#6 posted 08-24-2008 07:32 PM

very nice dude….............

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2824 posts in 4199 days

#7 posted 08-24-2008 09:18 PM

turned out very nice. good project

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4827 days

#8 posted 08-24-2008 11:04 PM

Wonderful craftsmanship!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4376 days

#9 posted 08-24-2008 11:31 PM

Truly awesome stuff. Great craftsmanship and choice of upholstery. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View jcees's profile


1078 posts in 4407 days

#10 posted 08-24-2008 11:51 PM

Gorgeous work! I love Arts & Crafts furniture.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4908 days

#11 posted 08-25-2008 12:51 AM

That’s some great craftsmanship.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Terry's profile


206 posts in 4242 days

#12 posted 08-25-2008 02:43 AM

Wonderful. This chair is on my “make for myself” list. Do the back adjust?

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 4272 days

#13 posted 08-25-2008 04:51 AM

Very nice those are some great looking chairs

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 4529 days

#14 posted 08-25-2008 07:26 AM

wow, these are beautiful! Incredible style….beautiful craftsmanship…gorgeous wood…it’s got it all.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4769 days

#15 posted 08-25-2008 02:46 PM

sweet! (but not the sweet that the puppy would want to eat ) haha oh I’m funny.

Beautiful chairs

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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