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Restoration of a treasured keepsake

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Project by Don "Dances with Wood" Butler posted 03-04-2009 11:02 PM 1230 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This strange and unusual chair was brought to me with one bottom side stretcher broken off cleanly right where it joined the back leg.
At first I was a little leery about doing anything to it for fear it was a valuable antique. After conferring with two antique dealers I was convinced it was alright to restore it. The client, by the way, was impressed over the fact that I did so much research on her behalf.
Now to the problem: I couldn’t just drill out the end of the stretcher because the pear shaped finial tapered right out to the tenon. It just wouldn’t be enough ‘meat’, even if I was so clever as to hit the stretcher dead in the center. So I copied the finial up to the next feature and left tenons on both ends of the copy. Then, not realizing I was holding my breath, I cut the original final off the stretcher and drilled it out for the new one.
The second photo shows how it came out.
By the way, take notice of the unusual features of this chair. It appears to be all original and doesn’t seem to have been much used except for the broken stretcher. A chair with such fancy carving on the back splat and crest wouldn’t ordinarily be made with a caned seat. but this looks to be original. The back legs are of unusual design, too.
I was almost as happy with it as the client.

d

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.





7 comments so far

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

420 posts in 2237 days


#1 posted 03-05-2009 12:13 AM

Great repair job! I’ve often wondered about chairs that are obviously old but show little signs of wear if that was because they were not that comfortable to sit on.

-- jstegall

#2 posted 03-05-2009 12:27 AM

I suspect this was a chair reserved for some ritual use.
d

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View kiwi1969's profile

kiwi1969

609 posts in 2162 days


#3 posted 03-05-2009 02:14 AM

Nice resto donbee. Did the crooks, sorry, I mean antique dealers, give any clues on the age? I would guess some kind of early victorian revival going by the shallow carving in the back and the mismatched styling cues and the fact that the crooks, sorry, antique dealers, weren,t throwing money at you to get it. They make replica,s like that here in the Philippines and yes John they become excruciatingly uncomfortable after a short period. My kingdom for a windsor!

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1168 posts in 2134 days


#4 posted 03-05-2009 03:29 PM

Nice job Don, now that chair has a chance to be enjoyed by the next generation of owners, hopefully they’ll take good care of it.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Hacksaw007's profile

Hacksaw007

596 posts in 1910 days


#5 posted 10-12-2009 09:58 PM

Nice job. I repair furniture also. Worked for Pennsylvania House Furniture for 26 years. Nothing like creating something that has to match. My hardest part is trying to figure out want to charge for the work. And the risk of messing it up always haunts fellow repair people. But nice job. You did your homework well. A+

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112503 posts in 2298 days


#6 posted 10-14-2009 04:59 AM

looks super

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

597 posts in 369 days


#7 posted 11-24-2013 06:55 PM

Great story, you are a very clever man. The job you did on this is really fantastic.

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

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