Exactly one year ago this month, some of you may recall I asked about
repairing an older chair which belonged to my mother-in-law. It may not be
easily evident as I had a different user name during an identity crisis.
Regardless, I was unable to get started on the chair until the holidays
which allowed me 2 1/2 weeks off. The suggestions, as always, were helpful
but I must add....one person thought I was in over my head and questioned my
ability because I was seeking suggestions in this group, he knows who he is
I indicated I would post photos after the repairs were complete. I took
photos of the project along the way and posted to my Flickr account for
those interested in seeing. The project isn't fully complete yet because I
need to paint the final leg supports.
The original link to the chair in it's broken condition is here
The first step was trying to determine the original wood of the chair. After
taking it to two local woodworkers, the conclusion was thought to be Poplar,
therefore, nothing fancy.
I tackled the arched back support first. The smaller vertical supports were
fine except for rear angled supports which you can view laying on the chair
The end was broken and I simply drilled the center, inserted a dowel,
repaired and cleaned the hole, then fit the doweled end for insertion.
The arched support had the end insert completely gone and was held my a
screw, which didn't really work.
The tricky part was to drill that one straight for a new dowel. Therefore, I
took a 2x6 board, grooved it the width of the support, clamped it to the
drill press table and clamped the support to the board, then drilled 1 1/2"
deep using a forstner bit.
I couldn't have asked for a better end result.
The dowel fit perfectly.
I cleaned up the other side and beefed up the doweled end. After cleaning up
the holes on the seat where the back support inserts, I made a trial fit and
was happy with the result.
The top half of the chair was complete and it was just a matter of gluing it
all back together.
The bottom half was the fun part. The supports were broken and I thought
there were simply two option or three if I wanted to have someone make the
same support or try to find one. I assumed I could either repair or make
anew. I decided to gain experience and make anew.
In order to make anew with my limited lathe experience, I decided to make a
half ass looking, but workable duplicator.
I brad nailed the broken end of the support on to the remaining body and
used it as a template.
I made and set up supports to hold the broken piece in the center of my
lathe under the new wood piece and allowed the guide to follow the original
while the cutter cut the new. Though, with a few spots requiring wood
filling, the end results are once again something I'm happy wit. Since it'll
be painted, I'm not concerned about the spots with wood putty.
Overall, after drilling the required holes, I assembled the bottom supports
for a dry fit and pleased with the results.
Those supports are the ones I inquired about with the thread of dowel hole
I'm currently experimenting with paint options, such as to use primer, paint
and lacquer, just paint and lacquer, paint and shellac, etc. The chair, even
though it's old and has nicks and worn spots, it contained a gloss finish,
which I guess to be an oil base paint. I had a color match, which was near
perfect, but couldn't get it in oil base and instead, is flat.. Therefore,
to gain the gloss, I am trying the lacquer and/or shellac on experimented
supports I made prior to the finished ones.
Once again, the help from many of you is always appreciated, even from those
who don't think some of us can do because we asked. : )