This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
The style of frame illustrated in Fig. 688 is known as German. The main points to be observed in constructing a couch are (1) let the height of the scroll be a convenient one to give the head repose, (2) let the "roll over" be so arranged that a "break back" result is avoided, and (3) have the vacuum, that used to be occupied by the sofa pillow, filled up. As the head or shoulders frequently seek rest in the comer of the couch, let no obtrusive "show wood" work come in contact with them. Stuffing along the top of the back is the easiest way to secure comfort, but a moulded back may with care be equally successful. In the annexed illustrations the attempt is made to preserve the fashionable squareness without sacrificing the comfort of the "German cabriole" style. The manner of executing this design may be thus epitomized. Having selected suitable wood, and carefully made the moulds from the scale given, get out the long side rails, mortise the feet, and tenon the long rails; after laying moulding slips on same, glue and frame the feet on to the end of the long rails; then lay slips on end rails, cut off to length, and cross frame to 2 end rails. The slip for the elliptic end must next be laid, after which dowel the end to the 2 end feet.
This will complete the groundwork of the structure and pave the way for building up the scrolls and back. Use 2-in. stuff for the front and l 1/2-in. for the back scroll, and after laying glueing on the front scroll, place the scroll on the end of the seat, and fix them with loose dowels, then mark off for the cross rails of the scroll (the position of which is indicated in drawing), glue the scrolls on the cross rails, and then dowel and glue them on to the seat of the couch. The next portion is the back; the "stump," demanding first attention, can be dowelled or mortised into position at once; the length of top rail is thus definitely arrived at, and it simply remains to get out and fix it, as also the stuffing rail below. Iron or wooden battens should be fixed across the seat, and the couch frame is complete.