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Rocking Chair Restoration

chair1.JPG (23413 bytes)
This is what my wife pulled out of our neighbor's trash one night. It's what was left over from an 1874 rocking chair they bought in NYC at an antique store. My wife saw potential and I saw a challenging project, though at first I have to say I wasn't excited about making room in the basement for junk. The rest is history.....

chair2.JPG (19976 bytes)This second picture shows the sides of the rocker; it was a very nice piece in its day as you can tell.

chair3.JPG (22253 bytes)This third picture to the right was taken after I rebuilt the inner frame and spring seat. As the original inner frame was in such poor shape, it was necessary to reconstruct one so as to actually be able to use the chair. I did reuse the very top piece which was in good shape, as well as the panel that the original springs are attached to. On the bottom is written the date. I used some spare walnut for the replacement parts. It'll seat a very heavy linebacker without concern. I do regret not rounding the top edges of the armrests; perhaps I'll take care of that someday.

chair4.JPG (14004 bytes)This picture on the left shows the refinished chair, minus upholstery. I put on several coats of blonde shellac and also did some toning on the front piece for a better color blend. In addition, one of the sides' ornate projections had broken off some time ago, so I had to fabricate a replacement and do a near-invisible repair on one of the sides. There were also a couple of holes that I filled with some very small patches. Notice the very nice veneer in the front.

chair5.JPG (12985 bytes)This last picture shows the finished chair. The upholsterer was so excited about seeing what it would look like with upholstery, that he did the job in just a couple of days instead of the original quote of 4-6 weeks. It makes a nice addition to our living room.

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