I did a bit of searching and came up with some plans sold by Wood Magazine. Although I felt their design was a good starting point, I definitely wanted a longer and deeper version of the couch (since couches are for naps, too, and I don't fit in a standard-sized couch) and I wanted to add a little of my own style - so I used their plans as a basic starting point and went from there. I ended up making the couch 1-1/2" deeper and 6" longer (notice these dimensions are multiples of 3/4"), abandoning some of their details, and adding a few of my own.
I won't be covering in-depth dimensions and details because I feel that wouldn't be fair to the folks at Wood Magazine who's plans I used as a foundation (so, buy those plans!), but I will be pointing out what I consider to be the weak areas in their design and the modifications I did to tailor the design more to my personal preferences. As always I'll include a few of the tricks, trials, and tribulations that go with a project like this.
Originally, I planned on making multiple pieces and selling some of them to pay for materials - buuuuut ...... I never got around to the selling part - lol. I ended up building two settles (couches), a loveseat, and a chair. The settles and chair are constructed from Quarter-sawn (QS) Red Oak, and the loveseat is Philippine Mahogany and Australian Lacewood. I'd also planned on using QS White Oak (the traditional material for these pieces) as I wanted to use the ammonia "fuming" process to create the final color, BUT finding Quarter-sawn White Oak in any appreciable quality/quantity has become a lot harder over the years - so I settled for QS Red Oak. Red Oak, BTW, does NOT turn a nice dark patina like White Oak does when fumed with ammonia - it turns a sickly green. Really weird.
Costs: Building quality furniture isn't exactly cheap - but then costs are relative. I spent about $4000 on materials alone for this entire project - BUT - I produced four pieces of heirloom quality furniture that will (barring an errant nuke or house fire) be around longer than I will. I didn't skimp on any of the materials - it's all top-shelf stuff - and unlike most modern furniture, these are completely rebuild-able. I would imagine that if you wanted to build something a little more budget-conscious, you could build a decent settle for around $650-$800 - but when you consider that these couches sell for upwards of $4000 - $7500 each, $4000 in materials for all of them (not counting labor) isn't all that bad.
Time: It's a bit difficult for me to estimate the time I spent because these were built over a period of around 8 months on and off. I started in the Fall and worked part way through Winter, and so I had to wait for decent weather to spray the final finish - so - a big part of that 8 months was spent with my living room filled with couch frames waiting for it to get above 70 Degrees F outside :) I think a reasonable estimate to build one of these would be roughly 60-80 hours for an intermediate woodworker.
Step 1: Stock Preparation
I ordered about 200 board-feet of skip-planed quarter-sawn (QS) Red Oak from a small, family-owned mill in southern Missouri and had it shipped to me. Surprisingly, it was significantly cheaper than buying it locally - so shopping around is worth your time. Of course, when you buy it this way, you lose the ability to pick and choose your boards - so be sure to tell the mill operators what you're going to be doing with it and let them know any minimum dimensions. I needed a number of rather wide boards for the main rails on the couches, so I was sure to let them know what I needed.
So, what does "quarter-sawn" mean? The term quarter-sawn refers to the section of the log from which the board was taken. QS lumber was cut from the center of the log, meaning that the growth rings are basically perpendicular to the board face. This generally yields a board of superior stability (they don't warp or "move" as much as rift-sawn or flat-sawn lumber) and grain character. Quarter-sawn boards are also the only boards where ray-flecking and other prominent grain features are almost guaranteed to show up - which is why they are highly prized (and priced) in woodworking. Most wood is flat-sawn (or plain-sawn) because it's just faster to produce - but even a flat-sawn log will have at least one quarter-sawn board come out of it. When picking out any kind of wood, I look for boards that have the growth rings oriented as perpendicular as possible to the faces of the board (but that's just me ;)
On a side note, I believe the Wikipedia page defining rift-sawn is *incorrect* - at least it goes against my years of experience of buying wood.