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The seat of my rocking chair is a pain in my a$$

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Forum topic by mbs posted 531 days ago 682 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mbs

1421 posts in 1538 days


531 days ago

I thought I’d post this tonight to see if anyone has an idea or recommendation I hadn’t thought of.

I had a little bit of spalting in some walnut and I decided to take a risk and use it in my chair seat. The soft area got damaged pretty quickly when i was shaping the seat so I put a lot of minwax wood hardener in the punky area. It appeared to be pretty solid but it wasn’t. I tried filling the low spots with resin but it looked like crap.

I believe there are four options: 1) cut out the bad area make a solid patch. 2) cut 2.5” wide center of the seat out and replace it with new wood, 3) sand down the perimeter of the seat and replace it with another type of wood, or 4) start over (I’ve already got my front legs made to fit the joints so I don’t want to do that yet)

I figured I’d start with the least invasive way first and work my way up. I routed out and area and filled it with walnut. The fit is perfect but it looks like crap!

If I cut the center out of the seat and replace it with other wood it will lose some character.

In the mean time I started to prepare a .25” layer of quilted maple for the top. I resawed the maple to get some book matched faces. Unless you have other ideas it’s time to sand down the top. It needs to be nice and flat for a good joint so tomorrow I’ll take it to the local store and run it through their sander.

The depth of the problem is difficult to see but there are several grooves in the wood about 1/8” deep and 3/16 wide and a couple of inches long.

The ugly patch

The quilted maple for the perimeter of the top.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.


15 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7230 posts in 2246 days


#1 posted 531 days ago

I would probably rip it in half, cut out the
bad part and replace. If contrasting woods
are your thing, the center can be laminated
for color.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View mbs's profile

mbs

1421 posts in 1538 days


#2 posted 531 days ago

Loren, I’m curios what you had in mind for laminating the center pc.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7230 posts in 2246 days


#3 posted 531 days ago

Maple would be good ‘cause it stays pale even with
those oil finishes. Some exotic like purpleheart
or padouk might be cool but as you know the
color can change. From a design point of view
it would be good to work in the contrasting wood
elsewhere in the chair as well.

If you are going to fill the pores in the walnut,
then you can use a closed-pore wood to contrast
with it in a different way than if you left the
pores unfilled.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View mbs's profile

mbs

1421 posts in 1538 days


#4 posted 531 days ago

I was planning to use maple in the arms if I use it in the seat. There is some ash in the back slats lams and rockers lams which probably looks similar to maple. The headrest is already cut and it’s all walnut.

I’ve never filled pours before. Not sure how that would look on maple.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7230 posts in 2246 days


#5 posted 531 days ago

Maple doesn’t show pore-filler because the pores are
small. With large pored woods like oak, ash, and
walnut if you want a glassy finish you have to
fill pores somehow. With the maple, you can
just tape off the maple and then slather dark
pore filler on the walnut and then sand it flush
when dry. Do a couple of coats and then
the whole chair can be finished with textural
uniformity (smooth).

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View camps764's profile

camps764

771 posts in 958 days


#6 posted 530 days ago

That sucks! What a beautiful looking seat.

The bad…the patch does look pretty awful…beautifully executed though!

It also looks small enough that, once the spindles are in, probably won’t matter much.

With that being said, that quilted maple, contrasted with the walnut, looks bad ass! I think you could echo those colorations in your rocker laminations and the back slat laminations and it would look totally intentional.

-- Steve. Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/campbellwoodworking or check me out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/campbellwoodworkingne

View rejo55's profile

rejo55

175 posts in 840 days


#7 posted 530 days ago

Make the patch a design feature. Tell’em you planned it that way.

If anything I made ever got even close to how that looks that’s what I’d do.

Have a good’un

Joe

-- rejo55, East Texas

View mbs's profile

mbs

1421 posts in 1538 days


#8 posted 530 days ago

Well, after sleeping on the ideas I decided to take it to the intended recipient, my mom, and see what she prefers.

She didn’t mind the patch – in fact I had to point it out to her. But, I hate the patch and it would be the only thing I saw when I looked at the chair.

She liked the maple contrast but, but preferred the solid walnut since there wasn’t more maple designed into the chair. All the other parts are made except the arms and back legs.

So, I’ll replace the center section of the seat.

I appreciate the feedback and I’ll post the pics.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View mbs's profile

mbs

1421 posts in 1538 days


#9 posted 530 days ago

Here is the seat after I cut out the punky stuff and re shaped it. I like the original better but this version looks good too.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Gary's profile

Gary

6974 posts in 2031 days


#10 posted 530 days ago

dang, that fix looks great

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Loren's profile

Loren

7230 posts in 2246 days


#11 posted 530 days ago

Well, nobody is going to say it looks like you messed up,
and that’s what matters most (to me) in these sorts
of situations.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1081 posts in 553 days


#12 posted 530 days ago

That looks absolutely fantastic! I really like the fact that you can clearly see the contrast in grain direction. Well done!

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2286 days


#13 posted 530 days ago

Waiting to see it come to life once the finish gets applied : ) I think your original patch would have been cool once finished. It looked almost 3D in that picture. Is that pith in your new center piece?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View mbs's profile

mbs

1421 posts in 1538 days


#14 posted 530 days ago

Thanks for the nice comments, guys.

I only had one pc of wood that would work for the situation and it was 1/8” too narrow and about 2” longer than necessary. I feel pretty lucky that the pith was in the center of the pc I had to work with.

I believe it is the pith in the center but i’m not positive. It was a cut off from my first rocker.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2439 posts in 949 days


#15 posted 529 days ago

I think you did the right thing. Looking at the quality of your work I know you would never have been satisfied w/ the patch.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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