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Posts Tagged ‘chair’

It’s taken me 5 years to get around to restoring this chair. It’s the third of four pieces of furniture I bought in Tarrington, near Hamilton, in June 2011. (The others are a wooden chest , a kitchen chair and a three-legged side table that’s still on my to-do list.)

chair backrest detail finished


Cleaning up the chair

The chair was described by the shop owner as being oak. I could tell it wasn’t but it was solid and I liked the proportions and the carving on the backrest, though not so much the upholstery job.
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[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

drilling hole for dowel

testing that dowel fits new hole

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unrestored chairI found this old chair in the same second-hand shop as the wooden chest I wrote about a few months ago. The chair was sitting on the nature strip, propping up the ‘now open’ sign. It was exactly what I’d been on the lookout for in every antique place on the road from Melbourne to Port Fairy.

The paint work was a mess and there was a serious break in one of the front legs, but the chair was otherwise in good condition. How old is it? Just guessing, maybe 1930s, maybe older.
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