Morris chairs 6, finish…


For the stain I did a few samples and we settled on a 2 to 1 ratio of TransFast mission brown and light oak dyes. Most of this finish schedule is one I learned from Carter Rich, the guy who I apprenticed for and taught me 90% of what I know about woodworking (I’ve been doing this for 10 or 12 years and he’s got about 30 years of experience on me, I bet he’s forgotten more than I’ve learned at this point). It’s similar to Jeff Jewett’s but I personally think it’s a little better. I’ve changed Carter’s process slightly to lighten the flake a bit more and to accommodate the sprayer and water based top coats I now use.

One chair stained, one to go.


The rocker bottom after the staining steps and after linseed oil but before the top-coats…


Rocker bottom after final coat of Target Coatings EM6000 lacquer.

IMG_0666_optiAll that’s left are the cushions and upholstery.



Morris chairs 5, the rockers…

For the rockers I decided to use bent laminations. First I built a form out of scraps at a 42″ radius, then I machined strips of flat-sawn white oak to make up the rockers. Each rocker consists of six 1/8″  layers glued together with urea formaldehyde glue. I probably over-did the clamps but having never used this type of glue before I played it safe.

IMG_0610_opti IMG_0611_opti

For this pic I wiped the sanded rocker with water to highlight the different layers. Once finished the layers will be indistinguishable from one another.


Next I scribed the legs to the curve of the rocker, attached them and prepped for finishing.



Morris chairs 3, wedged tenons…

For the tenons to be wedged they need to have slots for the wedges to slide into, so I cut those with a narrow hand saw blade. The holes below the slots are to allow the tenon to spread wide easily. In this case the finished tenons will spread about 1/4″ total.


Here is the tenon through the mortise with the wedges set loosely in place.



Morris chairs 2, arm mortises…

In my design the legs are attached to the arms with wedged through-tenons which will be trimmed flush with the arm’s surface. First I cut the tenons on the top of the legs and then proceded to cut the mortises in the arms. The pic below is of the first mortise, started with a forstner bit and trimmed square with a sharp chisel. The beer is for safety.


This pic is of the through tenon (before being drilled and slotted for wedges) through the squared mortise. At this point the mortise is just a square hole, cut 90° to the to the top of the arm.


To allow a wedged tenon to spread open (and give the joint it’s strength) the mortise now needs to be bevelled. I used a block of hickory cut at 3° as a guide and pared away the top of the mortise on the two sides I will be spreading the tenon towards.

IMG_0592_optiNow to finish the tenons…