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Mission Furniture How to Make It, Part I

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A mission chair suitable for the dining room can be made from any one of the furniture woods to match the other articles of furniture. The materials can be secured from the planing mill dressed and sandpapered ready to cut the tenons and mortises. The material list can be made up from the dimensions given in the detail drawing. The front legs or posts, as well as the back ones, are made from 1-3/4-in. square stock, the back ones having a slope of 2 in. from the seat to the top. All the slats are made from 7/8-in. material and of such widths as are shown in the detail. The three upright slats in the back are 3/4-in. material. The detail drawing shows the side and back, the front being the same as the back from the seat down. All joints are mortised in the posts, as shown. The joints, however, can be made with dowels if desired. If making dowel joints they must be clamped very tight when glued and put together. The seat can be made from one piece of 7/8-in. material, fitted with notches around the posts. This is then upholstered with leather without using springs. Leather must be selected as to color to suit the kind of wood used in making the chair. The seat can also be made with an open center for a cane bottom by making a square of four pieces of 7/8-in. material about 4 in. wide. These pieces are fitted neatly to the proper size and dowelled firmly together. After the cane is put in the opening the cane is covered over and upholstered with leather in the same manner as with a solid bottom.


A library light stand of pleasing design and easy construction is made as follows: Square up a piece of white oak so that it shall have a width and thickness of 1-3/4 in. with a length of 13 in. Square up two pieces of the same kind of material to the same width and thickness, but with a length of 12 in. each. Square up two pieces to a width and length of 3 in. each with a thickness of 1-1/8 in.

If a planing mill is near, time and patience will be saved by ordering one piece 1-3/4 in. square and 40 in. long, two pieces 1-1/8 in. thick and 3 in. square, all planed and sandpapered on all surfaces. The long piece can then be cut at home to the lengths specified above.

The 13-in. piece is for the upright and should have a 1/2-in. hole bored the full length through the center. If the bit is not long enough to reach entirely through, bore from each end, then use a red-hot iron to finish. This hole is for the electric wire or gas pipe if gas is used.

The two pieces for the base are alike except the groove of one is cut from the top and of the other from the under side, as shown. Shape the under sides first. This can best be done by placing the two pieces in a vise, under sides together, and boring two holes with a 1-in. bit. The center of each hole will be 2-1/2 in. from either end and in the crack between the pieces. The pieces can then be taken out, lines gauged on each side of each, and the wood between the holes removed with turning saw and scraper steel.

The Completed Lamp

The width of the grooves must be determined by laying one piece upon the other; a try-square should be used to square the lines across the pieces; however, gauge for depth, gauging both pieces from their top surfaces. Chisel out the grooves and round off the corners as shown in the sketch, using a 3/4-in. radius.

These parts may be put together and fastened to the upright by means of two long screws from the under side, placed to either side of the 1/2-in. hole. This hole must be continued through the pieces forming the base.

The braces are easiest made by taking the two pieces which were planed to 1-1/8 in. thick and 3 in. square and drawing a diagonal on each. Find the middle of this diagonal by drawing the central portion of the other diagonal; at this point place the spur of the bit and bore a 1-in. hole in each block.

Saw the two blocks apart, sawing along a diagonal of each. Plane the surfaces on the saw cut smooth and sandpaper the curve made by the bit. Fasten the braces in place by means of roundhead blued screws.

To make a shade such as is shown in the illustration is rather difficult. The shade is made of wood glued up and has art glass fitted in rabbets cut on the inner edges. Such shades can be purchased ready to attach. The sketch shows one method of attaching. Four small pieces of strap iron are bent to the shape shown and fastened to the four sides of the upright. Electric globes—two, three or four may be attached as shown.