$ A heirloom Rocker, back from the dustheap and ready for future generations
A customer brought in an old little child’s rocker which needed some attention.
The seat was cracked, it had a broken support, and was missing a few turnings.
It was also loose and needed a complete regluing.
The finish was caked on crackled varnish, turned a dark brown with age.
I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures of the “before” for this posting…. but I’ll let you see the work in progress and just imagine it.
For reference, here’s a picture of the final result so you know what you’re actually looking at as work progresses.
To get to this point we had to tear the chair apart, and make new parts.
The seat needed some special attention as it was cracked, and we did not wish to replace it entirely. We glued the two parts together, with dowels, and then reinforced it from the base. Routing out lines for strips of hard maple allowed us to reinforce it without having the reinfocements show on top of the seat. Yes, the seat was “gouged out” to provide a track for these reinforcements, then glued in. This went across the grain of the wood, so this seat will never break again. (well…. almost… time does have a way of making our human endeavours look small, eh? 🙂
When we were gluing it all back together we inserted our new turned supports, and ensured all was aligned up correctly. This was all done dry, before glue is applied. We ensured that each joint was tight on it’s own, without glue, and that the chair was stable before glue was applied. A common mistake done by handymen is they assume the glue holds the chair together. The truth is the glued only “helps” the joints stay tight from not moving. The joinery is what makes the chair stay together, and we ensured it was done right.
So… we tested, and checked, and made sure all is aligned.
ONce glued, we stripped down the chair . (NEVER strip before gluing as the wax and stripper get into the joints, and the glue will never again hold properly. Always repair your woodwork then deal with the finish, always. With a nice coat of shellac and wax, and appropriate stains, the finishe product was a joy to behold. The customer’s grandchildren will have a fine keepsake for their grandchildren too. Isn’t that what being GREEN is all about?