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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Buckstaff Ladder Back Writing Chair (ca. 1920)

One of the pieces I am currently working on is a Maple Writing or Desk chair believed to be made by the Buckstaff Furniture Company in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I would put this piece anywhere from 1900 to 1930. the Buckstaff Furniture Company is still in business and you can view their website by following the link below:

http://www.buckstaff.com/official/buckstaff/site/



The entire chair is made from Maple. This chair has seen some use in it's life! When it arrived it had two coats of pealing paint, a crack in the seat and writing surface, and loose joinery as well. below is a photo of the chair as it came to me:
The writing surface had become loose at one of the joints.
The seat had also become unglued.
Here is a photo of the chair dismantled. the back was loose as well, but the rails were nailed to the legs and to try to dig them out would cause more damage than necessary. Instead I later shot glue into the joints using a syringe and clamped the back.
While removing the paint I luckily unearthed this label which was partially missing. By studying it I decided it said "The Buckstaff Co.- The Quality Line- Oshkosh, Wisconsin" The location I got from the website.
Here is a close up of the label. I was able to save the label.
After removing the paint the next thing to do was the repair work. The photo below shows the writing surface getting glued.
Here is the seat getting glued up.
The frame for the seat was screwed to the back legs and the screws had rusted into the legs. When I tried to remove them, three of the screws broke in place. The result was that I had to dig them out creating holes to large for the screws. Below is a photo of the damage.

The remedy was to drill the wholes out using a Forstner bit and plug them with maple plugs. after the plugs were glued in place the holes would be re-drilled to accommodate the new screws. below is a photo of the holes after they were drilled out.
The Maple plugs put in place.
The excess of the plugs was trimmed flush. this repair will not be seen, but will give strong support.
Here is a photo of the chair sanded and ready for gluing.
The chair being glued up.
I lightly stained the chair to help eliminate any color left from the paint. Once the finish is applied the chair will have an oxidized maple look. I will post photos of the completed chair when I finish.

1 comment:

  1. The Buckstaff Company went out of business in early 2011, putting almost 100 people out of work. A year later the excess inventory and equipment was auctioned off, but not the buildings, which can still be seen in downtown Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
    http://www.thenorthwestern.com/article/20120114/OSH0101/120113195/Buckstaff-auction-off-furniture-tools-today

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