Plans

Free DIY Furniture Plans: How to Build a Morris Chair

03.19.14
You Can Build This! Easy DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential with Complete Instructions on How to Build a Morris Chair via @thedesconf

By special reader request, the very fabulous Morris Chair! To construct your own cushions using foam, the measurements would be 20″ x 24″ x 2″ for the back cushion and 20″ x 24″ x 4″ for the seat cusion. All I have is spring and the outdoors on my mind, so I envision this might make a nice outdoor chair as well as a classic indoor chair. The original designer just may be rolling over in his grave at the moment, now that I mentioned that, but I believe in using things to their fullest so to heck with it all, ha! Xx… Rayan

As with all of our plans, you are building at your own risk and you should have a firm understanding of building in general before you attempt many of our plans (some are easy as pie and perfect for beginners). With that, go forth, have fun, take lots of pictures and share them in a showcase on the site or on social media with the hashtag #builtTDCtuff and we will share our faves! Be sure to tag @thedesignconfidential on Instagram / FB and @thedesconf on Twitter / Pinterest. If you are a blogger and you post about your build, don’t forget to include a link to your post on your showcase here. Don’t forget… for all of our newer plans, clicking on the images will let them expand to enormous sizes with much greater clarity. The older plans may need updating so please let us know if you need one fixed!

$50-$75

You Can Build This! Easy DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential with Complete Instructions on How to Build a Morris Chair via @thedesconf

¾” Spade Bit or hole saw

  • 2 – ¾” dowel rods at 3’
  • 4 – caps to fit on the end of the dowels
  • 1 – 1×2 at 6’
  • 2 – 1×2 at 8’
  • 4 – 1×3 at 8’
  • 1 – 1×4 at 6’
  • 1 – 1×6 at 6’
  • 1 – 1×6 at 8’
  • 2 – 3×3 posts at 3’ (or make your own by laminating 2 – 2x4s together then squaring and ripping to size on the table saw)
  • 2 – 1×6 at 25-5/16” – Back Legs
  • 2 – 3×3 posts at 27-1/4” – Front Legs
  • 2 – 1×4 (ripped to 3-1/4” wide) at 20” – Upper Side Frame
  • 2 – 1×6 at 20” – Lower Side Frame
  • 6 – 1×2 at 7” – Side Frame Spindles
  • 1 – 1×6 at 24” – Front Stretcher
  • 1 – 1×2 at 24” – Seat Frame Back
  • 1 – 1×2 at 22-1/2” – Seat Frame Front
  • 2 – 1×2 at 20-3/16” – Seat Frame Sides
  • 1 – 1×2 at 19-5/16” – Seat Frame Support
  • 2 – 1×4 at 33-3/4” – Arm Rests
  • 6 – 1×3 at 24” – Seat Slats
  • 2 – 1×2 at 24-1/2” – Back Frame
  • 6 – 1×3 at 22-1/2” – Back Frame Slats
  • 2 – ¾” dowel rods at 28” – Seat Pivot & Back Adjustment

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

There are several pieces that will have angles cut in the ends or bevels cut on the edges. It may be easiest to mark all of the pieces as they are cut.

Cut the pieces for the back legs, the side frames, the side spindles, and the front legs. The top of the back legs and the front legs will have a 5° angle cut in the top edge. The top frame pieces will be 1x3s that are ripped to 3-1/4” wide, then tapered to 1-1/2” at one end. The taper can be cut using a jigsaw or by using a tapering jig on the table saw. When drilling pocket holes in these two pieces, they will be treated as a right and a left – mark the pieces accordingly.

Using the ¾” paddle bit or hole saw, drill a hole in the back legs as indicated in the drawing. There will be a right piece and a left piece!

Set the Kreg jig for ¾” material and drill pocket holes in each end of the upper frame pieces, the lower frame pieces, and the spindles. Assemble the frames as shown using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws. The inside of the frames will be flush with the inside face of the front 3×3 legs. Don’t forget – there will be a right frame and a left frame!

Cut the pieces for the front stretcher and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure to the end frames using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws. The inside face of the stretcher will be flush with the inside face of the front legs.

Cut the pieces for the seat frame. The entire seat will slant to the back by 5°. The front and back pieces will have a 5° bevel cut along one long edge while the side and support frame pieces will have a 5° angle cut in each end. Drill pocket holes in each end of the front frame piece and the center support, then drill pocket holes in the back end only of the side frame pieces. There will be a right and a left side frame piece!

Assemble the frame as shown using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws. Secure the frame to the lower side frame pieces and the front stretcher as shown – the front is located 2-1/4” down from the top of the front stretcher and 4” down from the top of the side stretcher. Secure in place using glue and countersunk 1-1/4” screws or brad nails.

Cut the pieces for the arm rests. Secure to the front legs, back legs, and upper frame piece using glue and countersunk 1-1/4” screws or brad nails.

Cut the pieces for the seat slats. Space them approximately 1” apart, then secure in place using glue and 1-1/4” countersunk screws or brad nails.

Cut the pieces for the back frame. Mark the radius in each end of the back frame pieces and cut using a jigsaw or a bandsaw. Mark the position for the holes, and cut them using a ¾” paddle bit or hole saw.

Cut the pieces for the back slats. Secure them to the back frame pieces using glue and 1-1/4” countersunk screws or brad nails. The upper hole (to adjust the position of the back) should fall in between slats.

Cut one of the ¾” dowel rods. Apply a coat of paste wax on the rod then thread through the hole in one back leg, through the lower holes in the back, and have it come out the hole in the opposite back leg. Glue a cap on each end of the rod so that it doesn’t slip or get pulled out.

Step 7

The holes in the back legs to adjust the position of the back will be drilled last. They are not shown in the drawing because they have to be positioned in an arc.

To mark the holes, the back should go no farther forward than the front edge of the back leg (basically straight up and down). Mark through the upper hole in the back side frame. For the lowest reclining position, the back edge of the frame should not go any farther back than the back edge of the leg. The center position will be located somewhere in between the forward and back position. Drill the holes using a ¾” paddle bit or hole saw.

Cut the remaining ¾” dowel rod. Apply a coat of paste wax on the rod then thread through the hole in one back leg, through the upper holes in the back frame, and have it come out the hole in the opposite back leg. Glue a cap on ONE end of the rod so that it doesn’t slip or get pulled out – the other end will need to remain free for reclining adjustment.

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

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