Author Topic: Restoring Chairs  (Read 3590 times)

Offline 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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Sometimes, it can be a long and winding road

Offline 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
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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...

Offline 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

Offline 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).

Offline 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.
I used to have a friend.....but the rope broke and he ran away :(....Good news everybody I have another friend...I used chain this time :)

Offline 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.

Offline Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2023, 04:18:44 PM »
I am planning to do no more than one chair seat at a time. It took hours to get half the existing staples out and I lost interest in doing it before getting to the end.
 ::)

I still fancy an electric stapler  :-X

Jo
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Offline Jasonb

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2023, 05:07:50 PM »
Air staplers are not that expensive and generally have a bit more power behind them and are more solidly built than the cheaper electric ones.

Good electric one will have some punch behind it but expect to pay about £300 not £30.

Offline Vixen

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2023, 05:20:07 PM »
Hello Jo

 :Director: Bump,  bump,   :Director:

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

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

Cheers

Mike
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Sometimes, it can be a long and winding road

Offline Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2023, 05:26:06 PM »
Hello Jo

 :Director: Bump,  bump,   :Director:

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

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

Cheers

Mike

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

The only reason I may consider buying an electric stapler is to avoid blisters :paranoia:

Edit: A friend is lending me an electric stapler in a couple of weeks  :cheers:

Jo
« Last Edit: May 17, 2023, 08:30:59 PM by Jo »
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Offline Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2023, 07:20:14 PM »
A friend has offered to lend me an electric stapler but that is not going to arrive for another 10 days   :Doh: but I decided to press onward.

The elastic has gone on the seat so it had to come off:



More staples to pull out. The corners of the seat frame were also loose so these have been stuck back together using epoxy resin (as it has a better gap filling property than white glue).

Then some new elastic can be added. Fixing on one end, pulling it to provide a bit of tension then stapling the other end. I noticed that the original ends were cut with a knife blade. My initial attempt to cut the elastic proved that I needed a better pair of scissors so my new razor sharp Fiskars came out and they cut the elastic like it was butter.



I was warned that the hand stapler might prove to be a bit hard on my hand and yes I am looking forward to the electric stapler turning up  :)

The bottom of the foam shows that while it is going a bit brown it is still usable:



The leather cover is a bit miss-shapened



and I believe I will need to flatten it to use it as the pattern for the seat cover but before I cut anything I will talk to the retired upholsterer on Friday at the sewing group   ;)  .

Jo

P.S. In the meantime I am also doing a major service on my Lawn tractor: I have repaired the front steering, today I de-rusted the mower blade guard. While at it I found the blades had seen better days and both drive belts need replacing. Good job I can't think of anything I need  because this service  is not cheap   :facepalm2:.
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Online Kim

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2023, 11:29:40 PM »
Good progress on the chairs, Jo!   :ThumbsUp: :popcorn:
And on the mower too!

Kim

Offline Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2023, 01:54:40 PM »
A couple of weeks later, electric stapler to hand...

I mentioned I had purchased some leatherette. My friendly upholster also mentioned about using a hairdryer to remove creases or to help the fabric stretch and do not trim the covering material until after it is fitted. So having put one central staple in each side to hold the fabric taught the tricky task of stretching the leatherette not leaving any creases on the sides:



Initially I found the electric stapler could not drive the staples into the wood and that the hand stapler gave me greater control. Then I replaced the staples in the electric stapler with the shorter ones and they started going in easier. Which is better  :thinking: The hand stapler provides better control and is getting the staples in nicely but I wouldn't want to do many by hand so I think there is a place for both  :)

The untidy messy underside is hidden under some lining material:



The lining material folds under and hides under a second ring of staples.



Then it is a case of lining up the pad with the chair and screwing it back in place and amazingly I found the screw holes first time  :cartwheel:



One done, 5 more to go  :facepalm: then I will get my workshop back.

Jo
« Last Edit: June 04, 2023, 07:10:02 PM by Jo »
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Offline Admiral_dk

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2023, 06:16:55 PM »
The result looks very good from here - hope you satisfiesd with the result too Jo  :ThumbsUp:  :ThumbsUp:

Per

Online Kim

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2023, 06:25:54 PM »
Beautiful job on the chair, Jo!  You should feel quite good about that result  :ThumbsUp: ;D

Only 5 to go, eh?  They'll go faster now that you've got the process down, right?  :Lol:

Kim

Offline Michael S.

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2023, 07:03:57 PM »
Good work,
so the chairs can live another 20 years and longer. When I often see good chairs being thrown away, repairing them is a good example.

Michael

Offline Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2023, 07:28:38 PM »
I am pleased with the first chair  :) . The Leatherette is proving to be a lot grippier than the leather when the chair is sat on.

They'll go faster now that you've got the process down, right?  :Lol:

True  ;) I managed to strip all the staples off of the next seat in about an hour. Once again all four corners of the seat frame needed regluing so another 24 hours for the glue to set  :-\

Jo
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Offline Bluechip

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2023, 08:38:29 AM »
......

 ;D

.......       :ThumbsUp:

Dave

Offline Brendon M

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2023, 02:20:49 PM »
Good job, although I reckon you could have used a mill to true up the seat surfaces before adding the --  :slap:

 ;D
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Offline Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2023, 07:31:36 PM »
Finished  :whoohoo:


Six seat pads covered and three out of six chair frames broken to bits and re-glued. The other three chairs can wait as one of the tenons broke and I had to learn how to repair a tenon (with success ;) )


Now I can get back to making some real swarf  8)

Jo
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Offline Roger B

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2023, 08:20:48 PM »
Splendid  :)  :) Can you come and work on ours (holiday in Switzerland  :) )
Best regards

Roger

Online Kim

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2023, 09:22:30 PM »
Great progress, Jo!   :ThumbsUp:

Kim

Offline Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2023, 06:06:22 AM »
Thanks Guys  :)

Splendid  :)  :) Can you come and work on ours (holiday in Switzerland  :) )

Sounds like a marvellous idea but I think my arm needs a rest before I do any more  :Lol:

The brown stuff has finally vacated the workshop and I have found some castings hiding on the bench :pinkelephant:

Jo
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Offline Zephyrin

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2023, 10:31:10 AM »
Quote
one of the tenons broke and I had to learn how to repair a tenon (with success ;) )

but first you have to learn how to cut a mortise to accommodate the new tenon - it look like a never-ending job...

Offline Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2023, 11:39:40 AM »
but first you have to learn how to cut a mortise to accommodate the new tenon - it look like a never-ending job...

I successfully cleaned out the existing mortise  ;D

Jo
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Offline Vixen

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2023, 07:00:12 PM »
Hello Jo

Well done for completing the full set of chairs. I bet you were grateful for the power assisted stapler.

Cheers

Mike
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Sometimes, it can be a long and winding road

Offline Jo

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2023, 07:23:01 PM »
Thank you Mike  :)

I bet you were grateful for the power assisted stapler.

Actually I used the hand stapler as it provided greater control and had sufficient power to fire the staples fully into the wooden frame.

Jo
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Offline bent

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Re: Restoring Chairs
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2023, 05:36:16 PM »
 :ThumbsUp:

 

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