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Repair of Wisconsin Rocking chair

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Forum topic by GerryB posted 12-30-2012 02:22 PM 890 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GerryB

69 posts in 2041 days


12-30-2012 02:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Our little theatre (www.SawdustTheatre.com) was given a rocker that is from the Wisconsin Chair Co. of Port Washington WI. (1893-1959).
It looks like someone stripped the original finish, and in the process the glue that holds the crest rail together has begun to let go. It is laid up of three layers plus veneer. I can see what appears to be hide glue, in between the layers. Heat softens this glue. The big question is “how can I get this to re-adhere” ? Can I heat it enough to press it all back together, or must I have it dipped to remove the rest of the glue and start over?
If heating it seems to be the way to go, how? I’m not sure LOML would appreciate hide glue in her oven. Just sayin . . . GerryB

-- The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time. Edwin Bliss


2 replies so far

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Dan Krager

3256 posts in 1693 days


#1 posted 01-01-2013 07:52 PM

Well, it sounds like good news that it is hide glue. I would create a form press as if I were going to make a replacement, carefully getting the original curve as close as possible. I would use a stack of glued MDF panels and cut the curve with a band saw. Remember that you should cut two curves the finished thickness of the crest apart because the front curve is different from the back curve. If the chair is not disassembled, you may have to limit the length of the form to the distance between the back legs at the crest. Then heat the piece until the glue is tacky. If the glue is sparse I would be inclined to add a bit where I could. You could use heat lamps, but oven would be the best. :) Wrap it in foil and it should be OK. Keep the temp low, maybe 200 or so. Then quickly put it in the form and clamp until cool.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com There are three types of people...those who are good at math and those who aren't.

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GerryB

69 posts in 2041 days


#2 posted 01-02-2013 03:44 AM

Thanks for your comments Dan. I am hoping to figure out a way to save the original, as building a new one is beyond my tooling capability and machine budget. The back is free from the rest of the chair, but I think it is still too big for the oven. I’m going to try a heat gun and hope. . .

-- The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time. Edwin Bliss

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