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Table & Chair Repair

Table & Chair Repair

All sorts of chairs come in for repair, especially before Thanksgiving which begins the traditional holiday season. Visitors will be coming tables and chairs that need repaired, refinished, redesigned all find their way to my studio.  Table and chair repair are actually the mainstay of my business.  Here are some of the reasons homeowners bring them in:

Rocking chairs are usually vulnerable at the rocker joints.

Delicate, light chairs with curved elements are more decorous than useful as seating but the addition of these elements makes for good design.

Wobbly chair legs usually mean that an adult, sat tipping the chair back on two legs and this will stress & often breaks glue joints.

Chairs with slender back splats can break across the grain.

Rush and cane coverings deteriorate over time and replacing them restores the function and the design of the chair.

We’ve all seen chair and table legs where the hand feet have been chewed by puppies who couldn’t find bones!

Old period chairs are often riddled by wood worm.

Tables and chairs have finishes which have been ruined by exposure to sunlight and accidental spills.

A lot of tables and chairs come in that candles & cigarettes have not been kind to the arm rests.

Chairs with upholstered seats will fail and spring over time.

For all these reasons, chairs are a mainstay of my restoration business.

The chair’s style and its age determine the repairing procedure.

Process To Repair Period Chairs:

Period Chinese chairs are an intricate assembly of jigsaw puzzle like joints that use no glue and tighten with keyed wedges.

Period Windsor chairs rely partly on green turned tenons that mushroom in their sockets after drying.

Prior to 1930, chairs were glued up with hot hide glue. Joints are easily steamed open & reset. Modern chair joints can be opened with small drill holes to the joint & solvents delivered with a syringe. Clamping curved elements can be challenging. Single vise jigs from scrap wood provide safe clamping points. Twisted rope and winding stick called a windlass pulls leg parts together, along with bicycle tube strips & band clamps.

Chair Replication To Replace Missing Chairs:

Chairs missing from a set can be copied from an original, using templates to reproduce the parts. Carved elements are cut over size & reduced with gauges. Visible wood surfaces are smoothed and finished before upholstery