Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not a woodworker but I don't know where else to turn. I have questions about ways to increase the height of some old second hand maple arm chairs that used to be rocking chairs, but someone cut the rockers off them. My mom loves these chairs, but at her age (92) she has a lot of trouble getting out of them because they are so low to the floor. I'm replacing the sagging webbing, gluing loose joints and making new cushions, but I wondered if there is anyway I can safely raise them another 2-3 inches? Because the rockers were cut off, the bottom of the back legs don't sit flat on the floor. Making the cushions much thicker would make the arms too low for her to get leverage. I first considered adding bun feet to the bottom of the legs but I don't think they would be strong enough. Would making a pair of flat rails with an angle to match the back legs be feasible? Like rockers but they are shorter and don't rock? I checked and these chairs are not worth much because of the alteration. I'm open to any suggestions. Thank you.
 

·
Super Moderator
Retired Craftsman
Joined
·
4,561 Posts
welcome to the forum, Matt.
can you share some photos of your project ?
and, what is the diameter (cross width) of the bottom legs ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The diameter where the legs are cut off is 1 7/16" on both front and back legs of the chair in pieces. The other chair has 1" dia front legs and 1 1/2" x 3/4" rectangular back legs. at the cut off. That back leg and back side piece are all one piece of wood. Both of these chairs are lower in the back which means the seat tilts back and makes them even harder to get out of. Don't have the other chair at the moment but it's different from these two though its still a wing back ex rocking chair.
423342
.
423341
423343
 

·
where's my table saw?
Joined
·
29,197 Posts
There's no good way to lengthen those round legs and have them strong enough to be safe. And the chairs are NOT the same construction either. One has round holes for the legs to be glued into, the other has the lags made into the frame support, much stronger. I would think about a "riser base" Maybe with a small drawer underneath? There is NOT going to be a solution that doesn't look a bit weird or "added on" in my opinion, so may as well just go with that look and make it more functional anyway.
So, you can ditch the legs entirely (I would) and just make a cabinet style base with a functional drawer or storage space under the seat frame. That would be the easiest and the safest, again, just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There's no good way to lengthen those round legs and have them strong enough to be safe. And the chairs are NOT the same construction either. One has round holes for the legs to be glued into, the other has the lags made into the frame support, much stronger. I would think about a "riser base" Maybe with a small drawer underneath? There is NOT going to be a solution that doesn't look a bit weird or "added on" in my opinion, so may as well just go with that look and make it more functional anyway.
So, you can ditch the legs entirely (I would) and just make a cabinet style base with a functional drawer or storage space under the seat frame. That would be the easiest and the safest, again, just my opinion.
That is actually a great idea. I'm more worried about safety and functionality then making it particularly pretty. And she would love the extra storage. I might steal a couple of details from the chair so it doesn't look too bad. Thanks.
 

·
where's my table saw?
Joined
·
29,197 Posts
I thought it was pretty good myself. LOL. Sometimes thinking outside the box is just the ticket ro a problem where the first ideas aren't going to work well. We want MOM safe more than all other requirements, just as you said. And extra storage is a plus in any room. Tell her she can keep her .45 in the drawer. o_O
 

·
Ancient Termite
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Short of buying new chairs, why not put the rockers back on BUT straight?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So many answers. Living on a very limited budget, which is why I'm doing all the work in the first place. Rockers that don't rock was my original idea. Mom loves the idea of putting storage under them so I think I'm going with boxes. She likes the bed I built her with the cubbies under it for her baskets. I have a fair amount of lumber and I inherited my dad's woodworking tools so i shall se what I can come up with.. In her case it would be the 12 gauge not a forty five. So we'll just keep that on the wall.
 

·
where's my table saw?
Joined
·
29,197 Posts
I thought it was pretty good myself. LOL. Sometimes thinking outside the box is just the ticket ro a problem where the first ideas aren't going to work well. We want MOM safe more than all other requirements, just as you said. And extra storage is a plus in any room. Tell her she can keep her .45 in the drawer. o_O
This got me to thinking about a secret compartment! There will be a 3" or so area above the box that's the height of the apron on the chair or it's frame, a perfect secret compartment.
If you hinge the chair on the box you can access the compartment by just tipping the chair backwards or forward. A latch would secure it or a pin from the sides. A metal pin could be pulled out with a magnet. A wood dowel would look normal. A spring loaded "push to open" pin would work also. Just something to consider and not much extra work to accomplish.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top