Morris Chair

Marc Spagnuolo

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 complementary footstool.

  • 19 lessons
  • 278 min
  • $90.00

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.


It was a fun and challenging project. I used Cherry wood and finished with Waterlox. The hardest part, I found, was making an accurate mortise for the through tenon on top of the arms and creating the tenons on the curved back slats. The cushions I got at a local upholstery shop and cost me approx $300. Thanks Marc for the great instruction!!!

Guild Member

This was my first Guild build, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It far exceeded my expectations. The Sketchup models were very helpful to see how each component mated with the others. The videos, as always, were very helpful, too. I changed the design up to personalize it for my own Southwest flavor preferences. The chair is mesquite with a Native American weave pattern for the upholstery. I also modified the legs to be straight so that I could make the best use of a particularly nicely figured piece that I resawed and bookmatch veneered around all four legs. The customer (me) is very pleased with it!

Mick Simon
Guild Member

This was my most involved project yet. A lot of “firsts” for me as well, including the first real “fine furniture” build.
Marc did another exceptional job breaking down tasks and making them easier to tackle.
The chair is beautiful and I couldn’t be happier.

Guild Member
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About Your Instructor:

Marc is a podcaster, video producer, woodworking enthusiast, and author of Hybrid Woodworking and Essential Joinery. He has contributed articles and video content to, Popular Woodworking Magazine, WOOD Magazine, and Woodcraft Magazine. He is also the host of The Wood Whisperer, an instructional woodworking video series that’s been going strong since 2006. He is also one of the hosts of the Wood Talk podcast. He has taught classes at the William Ng School, Marc Adams School, Weekend with Wood, Fine Woodworking Live, as well as at various Rockler and Woodcraft stores. He also speaks periodically at woodworking events like AWFS and IWF.