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Morris Chair

The Bow Arm Morris Chair is a classic woodworking project with a rich history dating back to 1866. The chair features a cushioned seat with a contoured reclining back. Our version of the chair is a play on the Mission style variation popularized by Gustav Stickley in 1904 and will feature bent laminated arms and back slats, tapered legs, and a complimentary footstool.

Instructor: Marc Spagnuolo

The project includes:

  • 19 step by step lessons
  • 278 minutes of video instruction

$100.00

What You’ll Receive:

  • All materials delivered digitally, available immediately upon purchase.
  • Detailed cut list and plans including a PDF and a SketchUp file (Metric and Imperial).
  • Hours of detailed video instruction showing every step of the build, from wood selection to finishing.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Mortise & Tenon Joinery
  • Through Mortise & Tenon Joinery
  • Jig & Fixture Construction
  • Bent lamination
  • Tapered Legs
  • Large leg construction
  • Rapid Cherry Aging
  • Lacquer finishing via HVLP
  • Basic Drop-in Cushion Construction

What You’ll Need:

  • Jointer, Planer, Tablesaw, Bandsaw
  • Miter Saw, Drill, Router, Router Table
  • Drum sander makes bent lamination easier but is optional.
  • 15 BF of 8/4 lumber
  • 22 BF of 5/4 lumber
  • Half sheet of 3/4″ plywood
  • As an alternative, purchase a kit for this project.

Materials

The provided cut list includes all of the information you'll need to order stock for your project. Project kits of stock are available if you would like to simplify the process.

19 Lessons Included

1.

Get Ready!

Your adventure into the Morris Chair begins here!

2.

Morris Chair Virtual Tour

A close look at the details that you'll need to know in order to build the Morris Chair.

19:13

3.

History & Design Justification

The origin of the Morris Chair and how it relates to our design.

5:46

4.

Wood Selection & Rough Milling

Tips on analyzing the cut list, developing a lumber purchase strategy, and selecting the right boards for your chair parts.

21:53

5.

The Legs Pt. 1 – Milling & Glueup

The beefy legs are made up from two pieces each and need to be glued together before milling to final dimension.

10:10

6.

The Legs Pt. 2 – Joinery

Cutting the mortises and tenons in the legs of the chair and stool.

18:58

7.

The Rails & Tenons

This project has a lot of tenons, and most of them are made on the rails.

21:25

8.

Arm Bending Form

A lot of plywood is required to make these forms, but your diligence will pay off!

22:53

9.

Arms – Resawing Laminates

Each arm is made up of six thin laminates, which are carefully cut at the bandsaw.

23:09

10.

Arms – Bent Lamination

There's a lot more to bent laminating than just slapping on the glue and applying a few clamps!

16:59

11.

Curved Shoulders & Top Rails

One of the more challenging parts of this project will test your hand tool skills.

14:04

12.

Arm Mortises

Making precise mortise in a complicated workpiece.

17:32

13.

Side Rails & Slats

A clever trick to make mortises in curved edges helps the sides of the chair come together.

13:57

14.

Back Stiles & Mortises

Cutting mortises in curved workpieces with no straight reference edge? No problem!

10:12

15.

Back Slats & Tenons

More bent lamination and how to make tenons on the end of a curved workpiece.

15:03

16.

Loose Ends

Tapers, pins corbels, reclining holes, and pillowing the legs are just a few of the tasks we still need to accomplish.

11:47

17.

Finish Prep & Assembly

The chair comes to life after some surface preparation.

9:26

18.

Finishing

A one-two punch finish that starts with varnish and ends with lacquer. And some natural coloring options for cherry.

7:29

19.

Upholstery

A little fabric, some foam, a few staples, and our chair frame becomes a chair!

18:11

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

  1. (verified owner)

    This build initially looked out of reach and way too difficult. Marc did an incredible job breaking everything down. Even if you don’t build the chair itself, you learn a ton including bent laminations and some cool mortise and tenon joinery.

  2. (verified owner)

    I have built a few of the guild projects. I have enjoyed them all. This one was my favorite so far. It took me a long time to get through. No major mishaps….just time and motivation issues. The bent lamination was a blast. I had to educate myself a lot about my bandsaw. Three blades, new tires, later….My bottom shelf Rigid band saw works like a champ!!!!! Thanks for a great set of videos etc…

  3. (verified owner)

    I have wanted a Morris chair for our NC mountain home for more than 10 years. This project was perfect. I brought NC QS white oak back to my shop in Florida and watched the video sessions over and over in an attempt to learn the many skills involved in this elegant project. As Marc says, it seems complex and a bit overwhelming at first, but, broken down into the many incremental steps and with the help of jigs, simple and complex, the project becomes doable and very satisfying. Now that I have all the bending forms and jigs, I can’t wait to make another and hope my kids will fight over who inherits the heirloom piece when I have returned to sawdust.

  4. (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed building this Morris chair. The instructions and detail Marc provides breaks the whole project down to a series of steps making a complex project much simpler to tackle. I learned a lot of new skills and techniques during this build, but never felt lost or unsure how to proceed. My wife and I love our new chair and can’t wait to start on the next project.

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