Shield Back Chair repaired and finished

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Project by Gshepherd posted 09-10-2012 10:25 PM 3041 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a lady friend who has a full set of these style of chairs that were given to her by her grandmother and she needed them to be reglued and finished. I have never done chairs before and thought I would tackle this for her and earn some brownie points. I did a search looking for some good info on how to rebuild these style of chairs and I had no luck at all except here and it was how to deal with the round tenon on the stringers. Which by the way was very helpfull. So anyone who is attempting this type of repair hopefully some of this will be of some use. This is the first 2 of the set of 7.

My guess is these were made in the 40’s or 50’s by the Stanley Furniture co.

I took 1 chair apart with a rubber mallet and it was a cake walk on that part cause they came apart easily. I did mark each piece on the ends just in case I forgot anything. I sanded them all down to the bare wood which I think is a mix between Mahogany and Gum wood. Some of the dowels were cracked or broken. After inspection of each piece I found that on one chair 3 of the seat skirts were cracked real bad and the Back Slat was broken in numerous places. 2nd chair 2 stringers were busted and 1 was missing and the back slat and rear rail was busted up real bad. I replaced all the skirts and the Slat.

The Slat was veneered Mahogany on a 3 ply plywood. I had some 1/4 baltic burch plywood and some nice figured Mahogany veneer so I remade the slat which turned out pretty darn well. The bottom stringers (if that is the correct name for them) are mahogany as well but have round tenons and they are angled as well…. I just took my time and cut each one close to length, first drilled a 1/4” pilot hole and stuck a small pin in it to verify if I was on the right angle since they were being drilled freehanded. Compared them and once satisfied finished off with a 1/2 drill and used some walnut dowels I had to make the tenon.

Same was done with the skirts. I took each measurement and transfered to the new piece and hoped for the best and it worked just fine. After I veneered the new Slat I traced the broken one and started by cutting out the inside with a jig saw, followed up by the OS sander and did some slight sanding and filing to blend everything in nicely. Once satisfied, dry fit the whole chair together and double checked everything and reglued it. Considering older furniture like this was Laquered I followed it with 6 coats of sprayed laquer. The stain I used was Transtint Brown Mahogany. Did a test piece and she wanted this color… taking no chances there…. I have several more of these chairs to do so I will get into more detail. Whew…. Hopefully I will get some good brownie points for these. Here I thought it would be just a easy glueup…....Boy was I wrong…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

2 comments so far

View Woodbridge's profile


3591 posts in 2615 days

#1 posted 09-10-2012 10:50 PM

Looks like you did a great job rebuilding these chairs. Good look with the rest of them.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Willardz's profile


59 posts in 2507 days

#2 posted 09-11-2012 01:31 AM

Chairs can be time consuming to repair, I had to fix one today, and I have 2 more in the shop to repair this week. Well worth brownie points though :)

-- I have Carrie, food, shelter, and wood to turn. What else do I need?

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