A set of six antique chairs; 75 – 100 years old; three generations in the family… in poor shape from a previous repair. A non-flexible, epoxy-type glue used some years ago wouldn’t allow the flex and give that these old, poplar chairs need. The old glue had broken and in some places, actually cracked the wood worse than it would have been without it.
The job? To very carefully pull apart every joint possible, clean all the old glue, re-glue and clamp the chairs. As sentimental as the client is, they aren’t going to re-upholster the seats if the chairs are beyond repair.
In some cases this was gluing and clamping three or four joints; in a couple it was essentially rebuilding the chair. A couple were missing the diagonal supports which meant cutting a new blank and then hand-carving it to fit the odd size tongue and groove side boards.
This is not a job to be sloppy or careless with; it’s old wood and each chair is pretty fragile. But once glued with the proper glue (high strength but flexible – NOT “superglue” type), these chairs are ready for the next generation in the family.
Average labor – depending on how many glue joints must be repaired and whether new braces have to be fabricated: Approx. 1.5 – 2.5 hours per chair. (And this job gets done with only two chairs at one time; not enough room in the shop for all of them and they are too valuable to take a chance of stumbling over and breaking one!)
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