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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Late Classical- American Empire Side chair (Ca. 1840)

One of my current projects that I just completed was a Late Classical- American Empire side chair. The chair was made primarily of Poplar but had nice Crotch Mahogany veneer on the Crest Rail and the Back Splat. The use of these veneers is characteristic of this style and the use of Poplar means it was probably made in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The chair dates to around 1840.

The chair was in pretty bad shape when I received it. the Back Splat and Crest Rail were separated and the finish could not be restored. The one part that was in good shape was the seat, which was caned. I left the seat alone and restored the rest of the chair. Below are some photos with description of the restoration process.

The chair as it came to me.
This photo shows the chair with the finish removed.
The Back Splat was severly warped, so I cut some kerfs into the back side of it and clamped it flat. While it was flat I inserted Poplar wedges into the kerfs with glue to keep it from moving back to its original shape. Onec the glue had dried the wedges were pared down flush with the wood. Below is a photo of the wedges in place.
This photo shows the loose veneer of the Crest Rail being glued in place. I also attached several patches where veneer was missing.
this photo shows the same process for the front side of the Back Splat.
Here is a photo of the chair with the Crest Rail and Back Splat attached and the Poplar stained to match the Mahogany veneers.
The rest of the photos show the chair after it had been French Polished. The first is inside and is without Paste Wax the following photos show the chair completed.


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