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: Can you tell what is done here by its looks?  ( 4289 )
Boxduh
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« : January 30, 2015, 09:55:56 PM »

I am a woodworker, not an upholsterer.  I want to explore making a settee that is sold by Ethan Allen, the "Baldwin."  I will make the frame and have the upholstery done by a local pro.

Take a look at these pics and see if you can answer some questions for me.

A perspective view:

 

End view:



From the front:



And the back:



And my first cut at a frame design, made very close to the 35h x 33d x 66w numbers Ethan Allen gives:



Questions:

1.  I was thinking of using 3/4" baltic birch plywood for much of the frame parts, and joining with loose tenons, glue, and screws.  Does this sound OK?

2.  Do you think they are using sinewy springs for the back?

3.  How about the seat?  Sinew springs or coils?  The frame seat box I drew is 4-7/8" deep.

4.  Would you suppose the cushions are made left and right, and are not reversible?  Note the side view and how the cushion is domed, the dome being forward and away from the back.

5.  Should my frame have a solid back?  A slatted back?

6.  Would spring units as shown in this pic, below, have been used anywhere?  In the seat cushions?  In the back?
In the seat frame?



So I can work on this some more, where can I get textbook advice on how frames for seats like this are best constructed?





byhammerandhand
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« #1 : January 30, 2015, 11:11:09 PM »

I can't answer many of your questions as I do repair work and not bones.   But I'm a woodworker.

Why are you leanding toward baltic birch?   Any reason why you would not just use solid wood?

They are called sinuous springs, AKA zig-zag.  Someone might be confused if you call them "sinew"

sin·u·ous
ˈsinyo͞oəs/
adjective
adjective: sinuous

    having many curves and turns.
    "the river follows a sinuous trail through the forest"
    synonyms:   winding, windy, serpentine, curving, twisting, meandering, snaking, zigzag, curling, coiling
    "a sinuous river"

From "sine" a trigonometric function, whose graph looks like this (I also have a BS and MS in theoretical math)
« : January 30, 2015, 11:14:01 PM byhammerandhand »

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
gene
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« #2 : January 31, 2015, 09:49:39 AM »

Good morning world.

My two scents:

First of all, I wish you well on your project. That looks like a lot of fun.

1. Not my area of expertise.
2. I would guess that they use zig zag ('S' springs) for the back. They could also be using jute webbing and then foam (possibly shaped foam) over that. Many moons ago they may have used springs on their top models but I can't imagine that anyone working at their factories today has even seen springs on the back of anything.
3. I think they use jute webbing for the seat. It's possible that they used zig zag ('S' springs) for the seat. With that big crown on both sides of the seat cushion I would think that you need a flat deck that is below the top edge of the seat frame. With Ethan Allen today I can't see them using springs on the deck, but it is possible.
4. No. The cushions are reversible in my humble opinion. I think they put a big crown on both sides and have a deep deck. I think they manipulated the cushion to look the way it does just for the photo.
5. I would not use a solid back nor a slotted back. Zig Zag ('S' springs) or jute webbing. I can't imagine them using wood for the back either.
6. Yes, but I doubt Ethan Allen uses them any more.

I've seen many web sites that show furniture frame construction from a google search. Someone else may have specific links for you.

gene

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
kodydog
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« #3 : January 31, 2015, 10:13:56 AM »

I'm looking at it from another perspective. Are you building this piece with the thought of beating Ethan Allen's price? My experience has been its hard to beat a high production manufacturers price. Sometimes its cheaper and easier to just buy the piece from the store and recover it with the customers custom fabric. I've done this many times.

If, on the other hand your customer wants the look of the Ethan Allen piece but higher quality than something that is mass-produced I would go with a solid wood frame (at least 1" thick, 1-1/4 is even better), sinuous springs in the back and eight way tied coil springs in the seat.

For the cushion you have 5 or 6 options. For a nice high quality seat use a  foam core wrapped with a down envelope.

You need to work closely with your upholsterer. He should be able to explain these terms. He should be able to help you design the frame in a way that it will be upholstery friendly. He will need to build up the seat front so the cushions don't slide out every time they are sat in. He should also let you or the customer try several types of foam for the seat and the back. Everybody has a different idea of comfort and this is going to be a custome piece.
« : January 31, 2015, 10:16:17 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
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sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #4 : January 31, 2015, 10:15:50 AM »

I will make the frame and have the upholstery done by a local pro.
What input does your "local pro" have regarding these questions? Ultimately, he's the one that has to make all this work.

Just sayin'. I've had a few people bring me ideas that were a compilation from other "pros". It's a lot easier to suggest a bunch of stuff when you're not the one actually doing any of it.

The Marshall unit springs pictured in question #6 are probably used in the loose seat cushions. And although rare, I have seen them used in the backs as well. The actual deck under the loose cushions is normally hand-tied springs on more expensive sofas. But like Gene says, you want a really flat deck with a raised edge to accommodate the domed cushions. The current 4-7/8" box frame might be enough clearance for hand-tied springs.

The seat cushions look like they have an "ear" in one back corner. So if you flip it over, you have to move it to the other end of the sofa. You can't just reverse it and keep it where it is.

But I would suggest that you rely heavily on the expertise of your local upholstery pro that is going to be implementing these ideas. After all, he's the one who is going to be handing you the bill for all this.

Keep us posted, and welcome to the forum.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
Boxduh
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« #5 : January 31, 2015, 11:51:54 AM »

Here is what got the ball rolling with us.  Ethan Allen's ad in the latest edition of Architectural Digest.   The poppy colored velvet and the nailhead trim is what we want to do.

Ethan Allen will sell this to us for about $3000 and we will wait ten weeks.



Here is a view of my reworked frame and the lines in blue denote where sinuous springs might attach.  That gets the deck recessed and for the back, the spring base aligns to the end frame shape and the back can get boosted with dacron puffery.



My furniture-building expertise is pretty good, but I have never done an upholstered piece.  I just completed a pair of bow-armed Morris chairs that match what can be seen in a Stickley showroom.  Quartersawn white oak, a dead-on color and texture match to their Onandaga finish, etc.  Before that, in cherry, I completed a copy of their Highlands dining table.  I am retired and like to do this, and for me, the cost of a piece is only what I spend in materials and outside services.

So I am thinking of the frame and construction as being sinuous springs in back and deck, the deck recessed, and the cushions done with Marshall unit interior springing.  Cushions eared at back corners to wrap the back as it recurves to the end frames of the back.
kodydog
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« #6 : January 31, 2015, 02:33:23 PM »

Another thing you and the upholsterer and the customer will have to consider is the height of the seat. Typically 17 or 18 inches from the floor to the top of the cushion. But if your customer is tall you may want to go an inch or two higher. The opposite is true if your customer is short. You don't want to deliver it and when she sits in it her legs stick straight out.

So if your cushion finishes at 4" the top of your front rail needs to finish at 13" to get a 17" seat.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Boxduh
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« #7 : January 31, 2015, 03:10:15 PM »

I am the customer.  I'll make this for our house.

At its present iteration, my 3D model has the frame top edge 14-1/4" off the floor.  I think I am close.

I priced out wood and it looks as if one sheet of 3/4 baltic birch ply at $68 will do for the frame, plus some small chunks of hardwood from my cutoffs bin for the legs.
MinUph
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« #8 : January 31, 2015, 06:12:43 PM »

Here is what got the ball rolling with us.  Ethan Allen's ad in the latest edition of Architectural Digest.   The poppy colored velvet and the nailhead trim is what we want to do.

Ethan Allen will sell this to us for about $3000 and we will wait ten weeks.



Here is a view of my reworked frame and the lines in blue denote where sinuous springs might attach.  That gets the deck recessed and for the back, the spring base aligns to the end frame shape and the back can get boosted with dacron puffery.



My furniture-building expertise is pretty good, but I have never done an upholstered piece.  I just completed a pair of bow-armed Morris chairs that match what can be seen in a Stickley showroom.  Quartersawn white oak, a dead-on color and texture match to their Onandaga finish, etc.  Before that, in cherry, I completed a copy of their Highlands dining table.  I am retired and like to do this, and for me, the cost of a piece is only what I spend in materials and outside services.

So I am thinking of the frame and construction as being sinuous springs in back and deck, the deck recessed, and the cushions done with Marshall unit interior springing.  Cushions eared at back corners to wrap the back as it recurves to the end frames of the back.

  In your lower picture kill the slats you don't need or want them. You also need a rail on the bottom of the back that is 2-3" above the seat frame for fabric to run through along with spring, or webbing. You can use either ziggers or webbing or rubber webbing for both the seat and back. If ziggers are used reinforce the seat front and back rails so they won't twist from the pressure. A double thickness of your plywood would be a good idea for the main seat frame. At least front and back seat rails. There are many more intricacies involved in all this but this frame is pretty simple. We can't explain this in a forum really. Look at the library for furniture frame building or Google it. Might find some help.
  As mentioned get you're upholsterer involved before you cut wood. That is if he or she has built frames. Even if not they might help with what they have seen.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
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Boxduh
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« #9 : January 31, 2015, 10:17:22 PM »

Thanks, Paul.

So, you are saying I do not need to slat the back, but that something needs to be there, up above that rear rail?

Take a look at my pic here.  I painted the slats red that might stay, and we can lose the others.  We can thin down the ones we leave, or not.



What exactly is its purpose, again?  It is not quite clear to me.
MinUph
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« #10 : February 01, 2015, 06:43:32 AM »

This might help
http://www.england-whatsinside.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/frame.jpg


Paul
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gene
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« #11 : February 01, 2015, 09:01:33 AM »

Another idea for you is to go to Goodwill or some other junk store and buy a similar type of furniture for $25 and take it apart and see how it was made.

We call this "Goodwill Hunting".  :)

gene
« : February 01, 2015, 09:02:17 AM gene »

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
sofadoc
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« #12 : February 01, 2015, 09:06:55 AM »

Thanks, Paul.

So, you are saying I do not need to slat the back, but that something needs to be there, up above that rear rail?

Take a look at my pic here.  I painted the slats red that might stay, and we can lose the others.  We can thin down the ones we leave, or not.



What exactly is its purpose, again?  It is not quite clear to me.
Take a look at this one. I pointed to the rail that Paul is talking about. It needs to be there as a border for material, webbing or springs, and padding.

I have drawn red lines to simulate webbing on the left, or sinuous springs on the right.

 

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
Darren Henry
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« #13 : February 01, 2015, 09:55:19 AM »

If you look at Dennis' picture, you'll notice that the spreaders (those boards running front to back of the seat to keep the springs from collapsing the  frame) are below the top of the deck. That way you don't feel them when the seat compresses.

I do mine a little differently; If my frame is 2X6 I'll cut my spreaders out of 2X6 and then cut away some wood off the top. I start roughly 1 1/2" from the front,swoop down 1 1/2-2" and proceed back to just in front of the bottom of the back and swoop back up to full dimension. I find the full thickness helps keep the springs from twisting the front and rear rails.

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
Boxduh
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« #14 : February 01, 2015, 09:54:15 PM »

I am learning a lot.  Thanks to all.  Here is my next iteration of the frame for this.  Additional members have been added to pick up end fix points for the zigzag sinuous springs I envision for the back and the seat deck of this 66" wide settee.

The yellow translucent things denote the ziggy springs.

Am I getting closer?  I can get 24mm baltic birch plywood for this, which is quite beefy, instead of the 18mm I show in the model.  That is 1 inch versus 3/4 inch for those imperialistas amongst us.





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