Author Topic: Restoring Chairs  (Read 3591 times)

Online Jo

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Restoring Chairs
« on: May 16, 2023, 04:47:48 PM »
In my dining room I have some rather smart Oak chairs which are now getting on for 20 years old. After about 15 years they became squeaky, the leather started cracking/fraying and subsequently the joints have started coming part  :Doh: The idea of having to find some replacement that I liked was not something I wanted to do so time to work in the brown stuff  and learn how to do upholstery  :facepalm2:



This is one of the 6 chairs:


Fist job is to pull it apart  :paranoia: Some joints have already broken the others will need the glue softened using some white vinegar or acetone. The seperating task was carried out by using two spreader clamps to pull the chair apart which required a special 30/60 degree cut away in a couple of pieces of plastic to provide a flat surface for spreading against the back legs and remembering to number the joints:



At this stage each joint has to have all the glue scraped off as glue does not stick to glue  :ShakeHead: And give the acetone or vinegar plenty of time to evaporate off.  In the meantime I ordered some new fangled wood glue only to find that the new stuff only has a 12 months shelf life  :o my old Bostik W has no such date but lets play safe use the new stuff  :ThumbsUp:

Clamping back together:


Wait 48 hours before taking the clamps off:


I am at this stage with two of the wobbly chairs and have just taken apart a third so time to look into the upholstery:



The seat is a soft leather it reminds me of an old leather jacket motorcycle jacket I once had so it could be shearling but its had it  :-\ I have purchased some good quality leatherette the sort that is used for Car upholstery. This of course came folded up so had to be hung in the sun or warmed with a hair dryer to remove the creases. I have ordered replacement Upholstery webbing  and some Corovin Lining material and am waiting for those to turn up...

In the meantime I can report pulling the staples out of the bottom of the seat is sooooo much fun  :ShakeHead:

That is where I am as of today in this restoration job  :)

Jo
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Online Kim

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2023, 05:38:20 PM »
Very interesting restoration job, Jo!   :ThumbsUp: :popcorn:

Kim

Offline Vixen

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2023, 05:43:57 PM »
Hello Jo,

Nice work on the dinning room chairs. But the fun will have worn off by the time you have done all 6.

In the past I have found an industrial quality upholstery stapler is essential for attaching the leather cover to the hard (oak ?) seat frames. Manual staplers don't seem have quite enough clout and they are tough on your wrists.

You may wish to consider something like a 'Clarke CSG1C Air Staple Gun - 3110375' from e-bay for about £40 and a box of 6 or 8mm long upholstery staples. Please note; I have no connection or business interests with e-bay, just an ordinary customer.

Cheers

Mike
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Online Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2023, 06:12:08 PM »
Thanks Kim and Mike,

I did consider an electric or air stapler but have been talked out of using one by a professional Upholsterer. Lesley advised me that they push the staples too far into the seat frame and you will never get them out again. Her advice was to use a hand stapler with the staples that end in a sharp point (ceiltile staples) and finish them with a pin hammer.  I've tried it and it works  :ThumbsUp:

Jo
Enjoyment is more important than achievement.

Offline crueby

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2023, 06:19:46 PM »
If you want  more practice  taking out staples, I have three more kitchen chairs that I  am in the middle of  replacing the  foam in... 12 trillion staples holding the cloth covers on...

Online Jasonb

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2023, 06:37:27 PM »
Upholstery tacks are another option if you don't want to do it with mechanical means, even easier with a proper hammer but small cross or ball pein will do.

I have done a few repairs using "chair doctor" which is a very liquid glue applied with a syringe that wicks into the joints and seems to hold OK, saves having to take them apart.

Offline Roger B

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2023, 06:46:24 PM »
Another fun project  :)  :)  :wine1:

I've done a few of those in the past  ::)
Best regards

Roger

Online Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2023, 07:11:15 PM »
I have done a few repairs using "chair doctor" which is a very liquid glue applied with a syringe that wicks into the joints and seems to hold OK, saves having to take them apart.

I have some Chair Doctor but was advised against using it as it is a one time repair glue and if these are chairs I want to keep it is better to do it properly and dismantle/re-glue the joints with standard PVA as it can be repeated again in another 20 years if they require it.

I might try using it on another table leg where the two semi-circular pieces of the wood the leg is made of seem to be parting company  :headscratch:

Jo
« Last Edit: May 16, 2023, 07:30:45 PM by Jo »
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Offline crueby

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2023, 07:18:54 PM »
I tried some of that stuff last year, it turned out (at least the brand I got) to simply be a thin superglue, soaked into the grain, stuck to fingers, smelly like superglue, did not swell it much at all (this was on Cherry).

Online Jasonb

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2023, 07:39:15 PM »
The one I have used is not like superglue, probably describe it as watered down PVA but it is not.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-gb/shop/tools/supplies/adhesives/glue/30261-chair-doctor-glue

Offline Admiral_dk

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2023, 10:03:56 PM »
We know that you don't like to play with the Brown stuff Jo  ;)

But at least it is a worthwhile Job – that will bring you satisfaction when completed  :cheers:

Per

Offline Don1966

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2023, 10:43:12 PM »
Nice job Jo you can learn to love the.brown if you do enough of it..


 :cheers:
Don

Offline Pete49

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2023, 04:19:25 AM »
I would never use fake leather to replace leather. I learnt that years ago when I had the front seats of my Jaguar 320G recovered with car vinyl (leatherette) and have regretted it to this day. For the chairs I would have used kangaroo leather, soft and in a variety of colours but I'm sure a wandering deer would supply a reasonable substitute.
Theres a tannery in Brisbane I get all my leather from and they ship to people OS.
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Online Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2023, 09:18:23 AM »
I considered using leather but I have Leather seats in Minx and have to make sure I keep conditioning them to make sure they won't go hard and crack. Woody has modern Leatherette, like my friend's 7 series BMW, and there is little to choose between it and leather other than I don't have to use anything more than a damp cloth in Woody.

Jo
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Offline Alan Haisley

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2023, 01:09:28 PM »
I did consider an electric or air stapler but have been talked out of using one by a professional Upholsterer. Lesley advised me that they push the staples too far into the seat frame and you will never get them out again. Her advice was to use a hand stapler with the staples that end in a sharp point (ceiltile staples) and finish them with a pin hammer.  I've tried it and it works  :ThumbsUp:

Jo
I have an electric stapler - maybe Swingline or Arrow. It has a force adjustment control. I could see using that with the force turned down and then finish with the hammer. I also have a hand stapler but if I did a set of chairs with it my hands would probably fall off.

 

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