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Dining Room Set Refurbish #3: First chair ready to assemble

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Blog entry by mtkate posted 01-15-2011 10:35 PM 3339 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Interesting challenges from past "fixes" to the chair Part 3 of Dining Room Set Refurbish series Part 4: First glue up - holding my breath »

Plenty of elbow grease went into this…. but my first chair is finally prepped and ready to assemble. I am going to let the pieces “rest” for the day. Only 5 more chairs, a table and a buffet to go (LOL).
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I learned that this set has a flaw in the design – nearly all of the leg posts that join onto the rails holding the seat area together are cracked. The mortise wall was simply too thin to the edge to sustain over the years. I am already starting the fixes on the second chair, and I had to rebuild one of the leg posts with wood putty because a chunk of wood was missing.
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I also learned a really valuable method. If you are a shellac lover, like I am…. definitely make yourself a sponge! It’s the best thing since sliced bread. It retains the shellac and makes application a dream. I rushed out and bought extra cheesecloth after seeing this video on FWW (unfortunately, you need an account to view it): http://www.finewoodworking.com/subscription/skillsandtechniques/skillsandtechniquesarticle.aspx?id=29537
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Here is mine, resting safe and sound in a mason jar:

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The finishing process I used took several steps, and I based in on what seems to have gotten approval from this community in other posts. I took a shot of all the products so you can get a glimpse. Starting from the left, I rebuilt wood pieces with a wood paste that I would make from powder. I should have included the Titebond Hide Glue in the photo – I used that to repair broken pieces. Then I applied an oil based gel (first time using it) – a basecoat of red mahogany then a layer or two of spanish oak which is dark. Pieces took the color differently so some got one coat and a refresh in spots (like the legs) and other got 2-3 coats (like the rails). Then I shellaced two layers (320 grit sandpaper rubbed lightly to get nibs). Then two coats of wipe-on poly which went on like a dream (600 grit sandpaper rubbed lightly to get nibs). Then a coat of wax wiped on with a 000 steel wool pad. After getting all the parts assembled, I will rub on at least another coat of wax.
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6 comments so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

13036 posts in 1989 days


#1 posted 01-15-2011 11:14 PM

Oh, oh Kate, your post just reminded me of my broken promise to take some photos of my MIL’s dining room set for you. She’s 90 and she has been doing time in the old folks home to rest up a bit. She hadn’t been sleeping well and that’s why she went there for a short stay. She is back home now and we will be visiting her soon and I WILL take those pics.

That’s a very nice job you did on those chair parts. If that is French polishing you are talking about, don’t they call that polishing cloth a pad? You’re right that it does work somewhat like a sponge though. I know, nobody likes a smart Alec.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View janice's profile

janice

1083 posts in 2079 days


#2 posted 01-16-2011 06:21 PM

I can’t wait to see what this looks like put together. You have your work cut out for you.

-- Janice

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 1980 days


#3 posted 01-16-2011 09:10 PM

You are correct, Stephang… it’s really a pad (for anyone who will look on the web for it… important to call it the right thing!).

Can’t wait to see her furniture!

I don’t think I will venture into the french polishing. Not for this set. But you never know – over the course of the few years it will take me to complete this I could change my mind!

I have the legs glued to the front rail now… and the bottom piece that goes between the legs to steady the chair (I should know the name of it… but I am drawing a blank…. the brace?) is glued up after an interesting adventure in getting the angles right for the glue-up. I’ll let those settle and dry out for at least 24 hours until I do anything else. That usually means until next weekend.

View jack1's profile

jack1

1924 posts in 2682 days


#4 posted 01-16-2011 09:11 PM

neat idea for the shellac sponge. Lots of work ahead… ;0)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View stefang's profile

stefang

13036 posts in 1989 days


#5 posted 01-16-2011 11:41 PM

The pieces between the legs are called stretchers. Sounds like a good title for specialist torturer don’t you think? Lol.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 1980 days


#6 posted 01-22-2011 03:32 PM

These particular stretchers were indeed torture!

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