Tony Leonard's Settee

UPHOLSTERED SETTEE
Solid comfort on a joined poplar frame.

SHOP OWNER: Tony Leonard
LOCATION: Memphis, TN

    I built this settee because my wife and I found the fabric first, and we couldn't find a suitable frame. Most furniture companies try to sell you a muslin-covered frame for the same price as a finished piece. So, I set about building my own.
    I looked at lots of furniture, Norm Vandal's book, books on furniture dimensions, etc. We also have an antique wing-back that I used for reference.
Poplar Framework

    The entire frame is poplar, with no structural screws in it. I drew the plans in CAD to get all the angles and curves right. I printed parts of the plan out full size for templates. I built several MDF jigs for cutting tenons, and I shaped the arms with a spoke shave. I originally planned to make cabriole legs for the front, but never got around to it.
    We had a local upholstery shop cover it for us, with the fabric that started the whole project. They did a wonderful job and were very helpful in offering advice on building the frame; I got some good tips for next time.
    It was a very challenging project, but a lot of fun. It was really exciting to see it "stuffed."
    I'd like to try a chair next. A word of warning: you don't save any money this way! By the time you pay for fabric and pay the upholsterer, you could buy one. The wood was only $75 tops. I'm not sure how many hours I have in it, but it was a bunch! Thanks for looking.

...Tony Leonard


 

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