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Forum topic by Drew Gregory posted 07-11-2018 02:35 PM 532 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Drew Gregory

22 posts in 1722 days


07-11-2018 02:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: antique restoration rocking chair refinish

I have been VERY slowly restoring this rocking chair but have not been able to find much info on it. Near as I can tell it originally had a stained finish on it then someone painted over it and replaced the seat cushion, which I believe originally was leather. Has anyone come across a chair like this one or done a restoration on an old spindled chair? I chemically stripped the paint and have been slowly hand sanding but the tight curves in the spindles are tough even with rope sanding sting.

Any advise or suggestions is appreciated!


8 replies so far

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helluvawreck

32087 posts in 3043 days


#1 posted 07-11-2018 05:05 PM

You have done a fine job on this rocker. Congratulations.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4384 posts in 3911 days


#2 posted 07-11-2018 05:54 PM

Yup, did one like yours, perhaps 20 years ago.

A middle-aged woman asked me if I could restore her rocker, which was of great sentimental value to her. It was delivered to me in a big plastic trash bag, in pieces.

It had been in her basement, when a pipe broke and flooded the whole celllar. “But I nursed my babies in this chair” was her reason for wanting it re-done.

I tried sanding the round spindle components on the lathe, to mixed results. Was great for a little re-cutting of the deep grooves for getting it down to bare wood with lathe tools instead of sandpaper. To get it right, pretty much everything was scraped down and sanded smooth. Most joints had to be re-cut to get them tight again, with new inserts, etc. The head board was pressed, spent hours digging out all the old finish in that detail. The leather seat was long gone, but amazingly Rockler had the correct round one at the time. I don’t see it listed now.

Though the stained surfaces look uneven in the photo, it is just iridescence. A few sanded coats of polyurethane and it went back into service to a very happy customer.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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poopiekat

4384 posts in 3911 days


#3 posted 07-11-2018 06:19 PM

Not an endorsement or anything, but here is a sample of what’s out there for replacement leather seating:
http://restorationsupplies.com/fbfldelisde.html

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View oldwood's profile

oldwood

155 posts in 1420 days


#4 posted 07-12-2018 02:49 AM

I seem to remember those chairs having a woven cane seat insert. But them again my rememberer is pretty weak some times.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4384 posts in 3911 days


#5 posted 07-12-2018 02:00 PM

oldwood,
My client provided me with the original leather “fibre” seat, which was moldy and cracked. Certainly there were chairs produced with cane seats in this era as well. The rabbet had nail holes from the escutcheon nails, not the drilled 3/16” holes for weaving cane, in this example.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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poopiekat

4384 posts in 3911 days


#6 posted 07-13-2018 01:32 PM

Well, hope the comments are of some value to the OP. How would we ever know?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Drew Gregory's profile

Drew Gregory

22 posts in 1722 days


#7 posted 07-13-2018 02:53 PM



Well, hope the comments are of some value to the OP. How would we ever know?

- poopiekat

Thanks for the feedback, and link. Shame you felt the need to get rude.

View Drew Gregory's profile

Drew Gregory

22 posts in 1722 days


#8 posted 07-13-2018 02:55 PM



Yup, did one like yours, perhaps 20 years ago.

A middle-aged woman asked me if I could restore her rocker, which was of great sentimental value to her. It was delivered to me in a big plastic trash bag, in pieces.

It had been in her basement, when a pipe broke and flooded the whole celllar. “But I nursed my babies in this chair” was her reason for wanting it re-done.

I tried sanding the round spindle components on the lathe, to mixed results. Was great for a little re-cutting of the deep grooves for getting it down to bare wood with lathe tools instead of sandpaper. To get it right, pretty much everything was scraped down and sanded smooth. Most joints had to be re-cut to get them tight again, with new inserts, etc. The head board was pressed, spent hours digging out all the old finish in that detail. The leather seat was long gone, but amazingly Rockler had the correct round one at the time. I don t see it listed now.

Though the stained surfaces look uneven in the photo, it is just iridescence. A few sanded coats of polyurethane and it went back into service to a very happy customer.

- poopiekat

Yours turned out awesome! I almost wish mine was not together to put the spindles on the lathe and clean up that way. Thanks for chiming in!

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