What chairs are these? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 06-14-2012, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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What chairs are these?

I found these round back, Morris style or Mission style chairs at an antique dealer. The seller claimsa they were made in Detroit around 1910, however the joinery construction is double dowels... not mortise and tenon.
Any ideas as to the maker? There is a label which is partially destroyed. Murphy? and the number 858.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #2 of 34 Old 06-14-2012, 10:04 PM
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Nice find! I think you're right...Murphy Chair Co., Detroit (operating ca. 1907).

Link for the following information is here: http://www.stickleyera.info/AmericanMakersM-Q.htm


Murphy Chair Co.
  • Detroit, MI, ca. 1903 Ė ca. 1919, then Owensboro, KY
  • general line, chairs, footstools
Shop Marks: 1) variations of rectangular decal w/company name and model number, as shown (top refers to Detroit, next two refer to Owensboro), and 2) metal tags at bottom (date unknown, post 1919?):



  
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post #3 of 34 Old 06-14-2012, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Great response!

Thanks for the link, it was great.
I am sanding all the pieces down to bare wood after knocking them apart since all the joints were loose. It may destroy the antique value but so would having them collapse when someone sat on it and they failed to support the person.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #4 of 34 Old 06-14-2012, 10:46 PM
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I'm with you, Bill...restore them and called it "value added!" The chairs look like they weigh a ton, but I bet they're comfortable to sit it! Enjoy them.

- John

EDIT: Love the photos...the construction is amazing!

  
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Last edited by Boss O' The Shop; 06-14-2012 at 11:06 PM.
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post #5 of 34 Old 06-14-2012, 11:35 PM
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Cool find. I look forward to seeing them restored.
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post #6 of 34 Old 06-14-2012, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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My chair is no. 858

I wonder how many were made...

The other significant thing is that the backs are curved rather than straight. These were made in a factory, rather than hand crafted, so there was obviously a production set up utilized to make the curved rails and to mortise the slots. I'll have to look closely to see how the slats were mortised and if they were curved also.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-15-2012 at 12:00 AM.
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post #7 of 34 Old 06-15-2012, 05:11 AM
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Man, can't wait to see 'em done.
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post #8 of 34 Old 06-15-2012, 08:31 AM
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Those are sweet looking chairs. Beautiful QS wood. I too look forward to seeing them refinished.
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post #9 of 34 Old 06-15-2012, 10:44 AM
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Great Find

Great find and can't wait to see the finish also.
Lee
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post #10 of 34 Old 06-15-2012, 11:31 AM
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Nice find. I'm actually a little jealous. Would love to have some chairs like that. What are you going to do for cushions?
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post #11 of 34 Old 06-15-2012, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

They came with cushions...but one of them was blown out in the bottom and the other had a piece of hardboard/Masonite as the backer. I've got all 300 staples partially pulled ready to remove the vinyl. I'm pretty certain they were recovered at some point...vinyl wasn't invented yet in 1910. I may go with leather on the new covers.
They were $200.00 each as far as the "nice find", but that was reasonable in my opinion. I couldn't begin to make them for that if they were requested by a customer, friend or relative.

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Nice find. I'm actually a little jealous. Would love to have some chairs like that. What are you going to do for cushions?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #12 of 34 Old 06-15-2012, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Update

The corner braces were kinda iffy, so I decided to make new ones. Nothing was 90 degrees and the pieces were too short to rabbet safely....hmmmm.
I came up with a jig.
It holds the small pieces safely while I run them over the dado head at the correct height and from the sacrificial fence, roughly 1/4" X 1/4". It worked great.
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post #13 of 34 Old 06-15-2012, 04:14 PM
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Cool chairs bill.
Looks like you didn't waste any time tearing it up.
Atta boy.

When it's rustic......it's rustic

Last edited by Dominick; 06-15-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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post #14 of 34 Old 06-15-2012, 04:19 PM
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nice find

build it right or not at all
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post #15 of 34 Old 06-16-2012, 06:44 AM
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Howdy William

Nice find on the chairs Bill, i am guesing the oak those chairs were made with was actually virgin timber!! looking good so far, but i do have one question -- are the seats going to be upholstered? Keep at it chief, i have seen some pretty awsome stuff come out of that Michigan shop of yours.
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post #16 of 34 Old 06-16-2012, 09:57 AM
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Great find, Bill! Gorgeous wood.
What were the old cushions filled with?

Gene
The Patriot Woodworker

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post #17 of 34 Old 07-07-2012, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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cushions are not so old

They had been recovered in a very thin natural color leather leather. It may have been the original, it's hard to tell, but there were plenty of old staple holes.

One had the bottom blown out and previously had canvas straps across. The other had a Masonite bottom with air escape holes drilled in. There are about 500 small staples in each one. I can't use the blown out one so I'll take out the staples and see what I can do for a bottom The foam filler is obviously not f4rom the '20's either. They had been refinished one other time from the looks of the varnish drooled on the bottoms or rungs and armrests. It all came off...every last speck....almost.
here's some more progress, sanded and stained.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-06-2012 at 11:27 PM.
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post #18 of 34 Old 07-07-2012, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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more progress

I used Gorilla Wood Glue for the reassembly. It seems to have worked OK. The chairs are rigid as all get out now.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #19 of 34 Old 07-07-2012, 05:38 PM
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Looks great!

What Gorilla glue did you use?

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post #20 of 34 Old 07-07-2012, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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this one

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Looks great!

What Gorilla glue did you use?
wood............................... http://www.gorillatough.com/


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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