Repair Old Family Rockin Chair

Old 07-14-06, 07:43 PM
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Repair Old Family Rockin Chair

I have recieved the "Family Rocking Chair", that has been passed down for generations. My mother had it before me and didn't take very good care of it. My question is, on the feet of the rocking chair dogs have used it as a chew toy! I want to re-do the whole thing back to it's original shape. This rocking chair is solid wood, unsure of what kind of wood, sorry, It's about 90+ years old. I have printed instructions from the DIY website on how this is done, but it doesn't tell me how to fix the grooves from the dog chewing. If you or anybody can help me, I would be very greatful.

Thanks and I will take idea's from anybody who has delt with this kind of problem.

mom of 3
Old 07-17-06, 10:35 PM
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are the grooves on the leg part or on the rocker itself? you can take the grooves out by doing alot of sanding or trying to use putty to fill the grooves and then sand it all down. if you are going to stain make sure you get stainable putty. if it is the rockers that has the grooves and they are really bad you can get replacement rockers. i did this for a rocker that i bought a yard sale that had the rockers taken off. i got them at they sell restoration stuff for just about everything. you can request a catalog from the site or you can order online.the rockers come in oak or maple. with a varitey of sizes. if you search they are called "maple and oak rocking chair runners" hope this helps you out
Old 08-19-06, 04:40 AM
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Post Suggestions from my Husband the Carpenter

I have a rocking chair in similar shape and recently asked my husband, a carpenter, how to make it look like new. Here are his suggestions. I might mention that I also have a split in the wood on the seat, that goes through the post for the left arm.

"Well I would like to say that there is an easy way to make the repairs but the truth is you are going to have to get down and dirty.You can repair the chew marks with a wood filler that is stain receptive. Fill the holes and chink marks with the wood filler before you sand the chair, use as little filler as possible to fill the openings. When you fill the holes you want to leave a small excess of the filler over the opening,leaving it as though it looks like a slight bump.The reason being is that as the filler dries it will dehydrate and shrink up in the blemish being filled. Remember if you put a lot more on the blemish than is needed you will also be the one sanding off the excess material and even though it says it is stainable it never is as receptive as the wood you are working with.

The crack on the seat and wobbly arm are going to need a bit more work then the afore mentioned problem.You will need to determine the exstent of damage. Does the crack go completely through the seat of the chair and does it intersect the arm ballister (the post that holeds the arm of the chair up level with the back of the chair)? It sounds to me as though it does. You will need to take a drill bit the size of the shank of the screw that will necessarry to install to repair the crack and return stability to the wobbly arm.

Make sure that all pieces of the chair are lined up. WHY you ask? Because you will need to drill through the seat of the chair both in front of the ballister and behind the ballister.You will need two seperate bits for this process,as I said in the beginning Drill Bit #1 will need to be the size of the shank of the screw used for repair.Drill Bit #2 will need to be the size of the head of the screw mentioned.Depending on how far into the seat the crack runs,say maybe the crack intersect the post at 2inches this will tell you how long the screw needs to be.If it is 2 inches in you will probably need a 3 inch screw.

Again the process Use the bit that is the size of the screw shank to drill into virgin wood so that upon it's installation it will anchor in good fresh undamaged lumber.After you have drilled the anchoring holes you will need to drill for the head of the screw ,so that upon it's install as it tightens up it will draw the head of the screw into the seat of the chair.

When I told you to drill before and aft the post you will also need to drill into the intersecting crack in the seat through the post and into virgin lumber on the other side of the post.Now if you are still following me ,you will also need some wood glue for furniture if you can get glue into all of the moving areas then do so.That also means at the base of the ballister,keep a wet cloth handy for clean-up of excess.Before you install the screws into the predrilled holes put the chair on its side so that you can get as much glue as possible into the screw holes keep your rag handy before you install the screws dip the shank of each screw into the glue and then install the screw.

Before you embark on this venture you will want to lay down some newspaper to keep the mess undercontrol.As you tighten the screws the glue is going to come oozing out all over the place, that is exactly what you want to see.After the repair has been made set the chair back up and leave it alone. If the chair is stained and that is the way that you want to keep it , be esecially sure to continue to wipe of all of the glue.Cause if you let it dry on opened unfinished lumber you will never get the wood to stain up

After all has dried for about 48hrs proceed to fill the holes with the filler.When you sand off the excess filler use maybe a variety of grit counts for sanding. I am sure you know the rest.OR YOU COULD JUST SAY "screw it " and just try your luck with a lot of wood and furniture glue and a little luck.
I hope this helps.

I know this is a lot of information, but it is from a real pro, and you can just take what you need.
Old 08-19-06, 03:53 PM
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Um, give this a bit of thought.

This is a family treasure, and your mother's tenure is part of its history. If you really wanted a brand-new perfect chair, you could buy one.

When restoring antiques, you should do as little as is necessary to maintain the structure and function of the piece.

And don't be too hard on your mother. Some day a constant reminder of her may be a blessing.

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