Mama Murphy’s Chair

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kelly sikkema Pvse 0mSm6Y unsplash
kelly sikkema Pvse 0mSm6Y unsplash

Mama Murphy is finally getting the chair she has always wanted! It might not be the prettiest, but it will do the job. Follow this blog post to see how Mama Murphy’s Chair was made.

what kind of chair does mama murphy want ? I figured out that she wanted an adjustable reclining chair with a headrest (since her bingo game gets crazy). 

We went shopping and found some inexpensive ones on clearance at Target, Walmart, and Bed Bath & Beyond, but they all seemed really small or uncomfortable or had gimmicky features like massaging back lounges (which didn’t feel right). Plus they were expensive.

Follow along to see how Mama Murphy’s Chair was made.

1. What materials do I need?

Mama Murphy is not into wasting money. I had to figure out how much I could get for the materials that Mama Murphy wanted for this chair. 

You can’t just measure up to the chair at Target and go to your home improvement store and buy what you need. 

2. Measure up.

After I did some shopping, I knew approximately how much lumber and material I needed.

 I had wanted to build a real chair from scratch all by myself but didn’t know how to go about doing that, so I decided to use an old recliner that we had in the basement instead. 

You could also buy a cheap recliner from a thrift store or goodwill for this project.

I put the legs of the chair on some sawhorses and measured up from each leg to see where my seat would be. 

Then I drew a rectangle on some cardboard and copied it onto the board by drawing lines between my points so that I could outline it later with a knife or saw.

 I drew out a circle in a notebook and traced it in pencil around the chair’s seat. The chair was going in a corner, so I didn’t need the base of the chair to fit perfectly.

Then I measured out how long each side of the chair would be. 

3. Cut out cardboard pieces.

I used an inexpensive utility knife to cut out the cardboard pieces. I made sure that the marks I had drawn were very straight or else my chair would probably look funky or fall apart. 

Cutting the wood later would be much harder if the lines weren’t straight. 

I made sure to cut it so that it could fit in a medium sized cardboard box–the one the recliner came in was good for me to use also.

4. Make a cutting diagram on paper and start ripping wood to size; measure twice, cut once!

I used 1×6 boards for this project, since Mama Murphy’s chair is not very wide (about twenty inches).

 I used a pencil to draw out the pieces that I would need for the chair. I used a tape measure and a calculator to further help me figure out how much each piece of board should be.

 I made sure to double check my numbers in case there was a problem with my math. If anything was wrong, I wouldn’t have enough pieces for the chair.

5. Cut all of your pieces!

I took all of the boards over to my table saw and cut them into pieces that were approximately 1×6 inches in size by making shallow cuts into each piece, then flipping it over and repeating on the other side until all of my pieces were cut. 

You will need to be careful to make sure that your pieces are all the same size. 

When I put them all on the table saw, they were so close together and it was hard to tell which piece was which.

6. Cut out shapes for the seat and back frame.

I used a mat knife to cut out my seat and back frame shape. 

It made it really easy for me because there was only one cutting path because I just needed to cut across it as many times as necessary until I had all of my pieces shaped correctly.

7. Fold each shape in half at each end and transfer design onto cardboard.

I folded my shapes in half at either end to ensure that when I transferred the design onto my cardboard, it wouldn’t be crooked or something would be missing in the middle of the chair–as long as all of my pieces were cut right after I had cut out all of them so they were all exactly one-inch wide, everything would be fine.

8. Transfer design onto cardboard.

I left about an extra inch outside of my edge lines to make sure that I had enough room for parts of the chair to be screwed together.

9. Cut out pieces from the cardboard and put them on a table saw.

I used a pair of scissors to cut out all the pieces from the cardboard before putting them on a table saw. 

The table saw was very helpful because I could cut a bunch of pieces at once and make sure they were all exactly one-inch wide, which is the width of 1×6 boards.

10. Make sure all pieces are the same size.

After I had cut down all of my pieces, I put a piece on a flat surface and compared it to a piece of scrap wood that I had cut out already to make sure they were all the exact same size. 

If they weren’t, then I would have to adjust my cuts before going back over them with my table saw. 

Adjusting was easy because I could just tilt pieces one way or another to get them perfectly aligned again.

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