[read Part 1]
Here’s the second half of the chair restoration story. I took a lot of photos and I’m gonna use them.
Using dowel plugs to strengthen a join
The chair had originally been nailed at the two points where the long outer uprights of the chair back passed through the side rungs. The nails would have helped hold the uprights in position. I didn’t want to use nails again. Instead I used dowels. Dowels can easily be drilled out if the chair needs repairing at some time in the future. Removing nails just makes a mess. The person who built the chair should have got a rap over the knuckles.
This is what I did:
- drilled a hole right through each rung and upright
- glued in pieces of 4 mm dowel and then trimmed them
- filled the hollow on the inside of the rungs with melted wax, using a soldering iron, then scraped off the excess wax and rubbed it smooth
- sanded the dowel ends flush on the outside of the rungs
Applying the oil finish
First up I wiped down the chair with mineral turps. This gets rid of dust, dirt and greasy fingerprints. It’s also a handy way of showing you what the timber colour will be when the oil goes on.
I applied the oil by wiping it on with a rag and, after about 5 minutes, I wiped off the excess. It’s a really quick job but then you have to wait 8 hours before recoating. I did four coats all up, giving the chair a light sand before each one.
And that was it. Project done.
Before and after shots
Here’s a series of photos showing how the chair looked before and after restoring (you can click any photo to open the photo gallery). I like how the details of the turned wood are now so much sharper.