The 1×3 slats are added to the sides before the chair frame is assembled. Unlike a traditional Morris chair, this is dead-simple. The slats for each side are cut slightly oversize (I cut all eight the same length), and then marked in place and cut to final length with a 5-degree angle on the top edge to match the slope of the arms. I ensured even spacing by cutting a spacer from a piece of scrap as shown above. I simply started from one end, placed the spacer, and butted the slat up against it with the bottom edge just above the bottom of the lower stretcher. I then marked where it crossed the top edge, and trimmed this on the chop saw. Back in place, I secured it with two screws and repeated the process for all four slats on each side.
Once the two sides were done, the frame was completed by screwing two 1/4 stretchers into place, front and back. The front is higher in the back to define the slope of the seat – once again, 5 degrees. At this point, I realized i didn’t like the appearance of the tops of the side slats, and decided to make my second modification. As you can see above, the slats have a decidedly unfinished look from the inside of the chair, and I wanted to cover them. I made another pair of top stretchers to match the ones on the outside, and glued and screwed them in place to give a similar look there. You can see the improvement in the picture below.
The seat slats will be secured to a pair of tapered braces, one attached to either side and matching the overall 5 degree angle. Another stretcher is attached to the back of these braces, and provides an elevated area that will match the height of the slats. This will be used to attach the hinge for the back later.
1×3′s are used for the chair slats. If you decide to build this chair, be sure to rout a slight roundover on the top edges of each slat before installation. Your legs and behind will thank you. I made another spacer to align the slats properly, and the whole process went very quickly. It took more time to plug ththe screwholes than to install the slats.
NNext time, I’ll install the arms and make the back. Stay tuned!