Tony Leonard's Settee

Solid comfort on a joined poplar frame.

SHOP OWNER: Tony Leonard

    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




This is the place to share views of your shop, woodworking tips and methods,
mug shots, special tools or machines, finished work--you name it!
    We prefer digital images via e-mail, but prints or transparencies will do. Include your name, address, phone number and a paragraph or two explaining the photo(s).
    Not every entry will be used, we reserve the right to edit for length and clarity,
and we will not return photos.

P.O. Box 493
Springtown, PA 18081