OLD Rocker needs restoration and a new caned seat?

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Forum topic by Taigert posted 07-01-2011 06:10 AM 1298 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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593 posts in 3837 days

07-01-2011 06:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question shaker rustic refurbishing

I am used to building new stuff, I have always shy’d away from antiques for fear of ruining them. But a friend dropped this beautiful old Rocker by my shop today. It is about 80 years old, but has always been a comfortable Rocker. Due to age and I’m sure that the fact he leaves it on his deck has caused the cane seat to wear out. Also the varnish is really showing its age.
I guess my question is how to protect the finish without ruining the charecter of the chair. It has such a beautiful patina that has come from many years of use. The cane material would be the next thing where to find the reed that would match what was used in years past. The weaving of the reed should not present to mach of a problem seen as it is like a straight basket weave. Mothing complicated like a hearing bone patteren, which also happens to be on my bucket list of things I want to learn before leaving this earth.
I told my friend my concerns and he said he has enough faith in seeing my work to know that I wouldn’t do anything to hurt the chair?? I appreciate his trust.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

1 reply so far

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10381 posts in 3644 days

#1 posted 07-01-2011 06:35 AM

Paste wax is the easiest way I know to extent the life of furniture
finishes without messing up the patina.

Part of the present patina may be waxes and oils with dirt caught in
them, so try cleaning a hidden area with a q-tip and a mild solvent
like soap and warm water. Try rubbing alcohol too if you like, it
won’t raise grain as much in areas where the finish is worn through.

If you like the way it cleans up, work on exposed areas. If cleaning
doesn’t improve the appearance, surface dirt can be rubbed off
and wax applied leaving the grimy patina more or less intact but
removing heavy build-up in high usage areas.

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