Repairing an Antique Rocking Chair - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By GeorgeC
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 Old 12-11-2018, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
RichardofGalveston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Nashville Tennessee
Posts: 2
View RichardofGalveston's Photo Album My Photos
Repairing an Antique Rocking Chair

Hello all

I have received an antique rocking chair for repair.

The owner of the chair has children that accidentally broke the of this chair while using it. She says that she used it as a child, her mother had it as a child and the grandmother before that. The grandmothers childhood was around 1910 or so.

The patina of the wood seems to me to suggest that is correct. She wants the chair to be repaired to full functionality. Functionality is more important than preserving maximum dollar value of the chair as an antique.

It is my intent to make the most aesthetically pleasing repair possible and to do justice to the original craftsmanship.

I have two questions about this chair:

1: What is the best way to repair this chair?

2: The way this chair is put together makes me curious and would like to learn more about it. The tongue is cut at a curve and the slot into which it was inserted is not only cut at a curve is much larger than the tongue. It looks to me like a modern biscuit cutter was used. Is that even possible? Any thoughts on why this slot would have been cut so much larger? Any other thoughts about the history or the crafting of this chair? I am eager student.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	chair_6s.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	458.2 KB
ID:	369123  

Click image for larger version

Name:	chair_5s.jpg
Views:	47
Size:	312.3 KB
ID:	369125  

Click image for larger version

Name:	chair_4s.jpg
Views:	48
Size:	462.4 KB
ID:	369127  

Click image for larger version

Name:	chair_3s.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	368.0 KB
ID:	369129  

Click image for larger version

Name:	chair_2s.jpg
Views:	52
Size:	397.6 KB
ID:	369131  

Click image for larger version

Name:	chair_1s.jpg
Views:	51
Size:	389.1 KB
ID:	369133  

Click image for larger version

Name:	chair_0sjpg.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	387.8 KB
ID:	369135  

RichardofGalveston is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 Old 12-11-2018, 04:45 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,744
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
It is difficult for me to tell from the pictures if there is wood actually broken or if the problem is that the back rest has come unglued from the top?


Other than that one place the chair seems in good condition. How tight are the other joints?


George
John Smith_inFL likes this.
GeorgeC is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 12-11-2018, 05:05 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,992
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
You could without taking the rocker apart put a straight edge on the back and use a router to remove the broken wood. Then cut a piece to fit in there and glue it in. Try to use white oak if possible for the repair.

The condition of the chair warrants refinishing it. That would solve the color problem trying to stain it back. If not I believe there is no stain. It just has a clear finish. You may though have to use a very light fruitwood stain and perhaps some orange shellac to match the color.

You might also put some cross bracing across the underside of the seat. It appears the glue joints are in the beginning stages of failing and the bracing would prevent someone from falling through.

The chair is factory made. The mortise in the rail was done with a spline cutter on either a shaper or router. This is the reason for the curve. The groove is much larger than the tongue on the back to make certain there is no problem with it fitting. It costs a lot of money if they cut a stack of parts for hundreds of chairs and then find out the tongue is slightly too big. There needs to be a little slack there anyway to allow for wood movement. If the back swells in width and the parts are cut very snug it could push the chair apart.
Steve Neul is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 6 Old 12-11-2018, 05:22 PM
Central Florida
 
John Smith_inFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 779
View John Smith_inFL's Photo Album My Photos
if you are planning on keeping the chair original
as possible, use extreme care in removing the screws
and put them back after the repair is made.
it is very easy to ruin the slot with an ill fitting screwdriver,
so take your time and use the correct tools.
good luck in your project !!

Edit: "The condition of the chair warrants refinishing it."
oh I totally disagree . . . . when you see the antique shows on TV
it often discusses how you can reduce the value of the item by 75%
or more by "refinishing" it. . . . I vote for keeping it "as is" - for ever.
[jus my Dos Centavos].
Attached Images
 

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 12-11-2018 at 05:27 PM.
John Smith_inFL is online now  
post #5 of 6 Old 12-11-2018, 05:39 PM
Central Florida
 
John Smith_inFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 779
View John Smith_inFL's Photo Album My Photos
looking closely at the joint, it appears there is a piece
of wood missing - it would be nice if you could fine that !!
I will go along with George - not enough glue and it has
just separated along with the splinter broken off.
carefully dig out the old glue and all loose wood.
laying the piece down, make a dam to close the joints
with masking tape, modeling clay, or whatever it takes
to make it liquid tight. and pour in 30 minute epoxy in
increments as not to work with too much liquid at once.
if you can't find the missing piece, there are epoxy putties
that will work for that part and use the colored pens to match
the grain if you want to go that route.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	chair_4s.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	155.3 KB
ID:	369141  


-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --
John Smith_inFL is online now  
post #6 of 6 Old 12-11-2018, 06:08 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,717
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
The trick to this repair is ...

There are 4 screws holding the top of the back on. If you can, remove them and then slip the top out of it's slots. Now you can examine the broken area and see if making a replacement part would be best. There is a possibility of just cleaning up that area, making a new mortise and just lowering the back in the slots. There's a few different ways to make it functional and still keep the original look. The back piece needs to come off regardless ......

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is online now  
Reply

Tags
antique chair, joinery

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rocking Chair Revamp Total Novice General Woodworking Discussion 2 07-05-2018 01:16 PM
First stripping project - antique oak chair Seijun Wood Finishing 9 04-12-2018 09:44 AM
Rocking Chair Repair Old Noob General Woodworking Discussion 10 10-19-2016 01:19 PM
Old rocking chair I'm trying to refinish, need help. Ampers4nd Wood Finishing 10 07-20-2016 06:57 AM
Newbie question: re-gluing antique chair Mike_M General Woodworking Discussion 5 03-29-2016 02:28 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome