This section is from the book "Amateur Work Magazine Vol3". Also available from Amazon: Amateur Work.
John F. Adams.
The upholstered spring couch here described will be found very convenient, as the box base has ample capacity for the storage of bed clothes, and wash dresses and other clothing can be kept therein without folding, a feature greatly appreciated by ladies. It is easily made at small expense.
The frame work is made of pin poplar or chestnut. The sides a, of the box base are 6' long 9" wide and 7/8" thick, the ends and bottom inside edges being rabbeted to receive the end pieces B and sheathing for the bottom. The end pieces B are 29" long and also rabbited for the bottom. The bottom C is 1/2" matched sheathing. The joints of the frame are glued and firmly nailed with wire nails, a few screws adding to the strength. Circular blocks, 3" diameter and 1 1/2" thick are screwed to each corner for receiving castors. The frame of the top should be firmly made. The side piec'es D, are 6' long, 2 1/2" wide and 7/8" thick. The end pieces E are 28" long, 1 5/8" wide and 7/8•" thick, the upper edges of D and E being flush, the joints being glued and firmly screwed. The pieces F are 6' long, 2 1/2" wide and 7/8" thick, and are firmly nailed to the inside lower edges of D. Similar pieces F' 23" long, and 4" wide at the ends are nailed to the under edges of pieces E, and corner nailed to F, also glued at the ends to F, or a firmer joint secured by halving in which case these pieces are 28" long.
To hold the springs, 10 strips G, 28" long, 3" wide and 1/2" thick are glued and screwed to the pieces E, one at each end, and the others spaced
7 1/2" between centres. A piece of 3/16" steel wire H is bent to the shape of the frame with round corners, the ends being lapped about 3" and fastened by winding with wire after filing a few notches in the outer edges to prevent the ends from working apart. Four springs are fastened to each cross piece G making 40 springs in all, those on the ends being flush with the ends of pieces G, and the others spaced equally between them. The springs, which should be fairly heavy, a,re attached to pieces G with strong staples, and the tops laced with heavy manilla cord to hold them upright and prevent them from getting out of position or shape. The spring wire edge H is also firmly corded to the springs which it touches thus giving a firm yet flexible edge.
With the springs fastened as directed, a covering of heavy burlap or canvas is then put on, the springs being sewed to same with a few turns of upholstering twine. The edges are firmly tacked to the upper edges of the pieces D, not to the sides of same. A layer of hair, Florida moss, hemp or such other material as the maker may prefer, is evenly placed over the covering of the springs, using care to see that no bunches are left. The covering of corduroy or figured upholstering material as preferred, having been previously fitted and sewed, is then put on, the edges being tacked to the under edges of pieces D.
A corded edge adds to the appearance, this work being done on the sewing machine. The top width is about 31" and the sides and ends 8" allowing 1" for turning under and tacking.' The covering for the box base is 11" wide, 3/4" on each edge being turned and tacked to top and bottom edges of A and B. If striped material is used, the stripes on the sides and ends should run lengthwise. The top is tufted by sewing between each row of springs, buttons covered with the same material as covering being used. The under side of the top and the inside of the box are covered with figured cotton goods, tacked with small upholstering tacks, the top being previously attached to the base with three Thinges. A special spring fixture is used by manufacturers of such couches, which by means of strong springs enables the top to be easily raised or lowered, and if obtainable, are desirable to use instead of hinges. If the latter are used, supporting sticks for holding up the top should be attached to each end with thick screws, as the weight of the top is considerable.