One of the pieces I have recently completed is a pressed back rocking chair made around 1890. The reason I give for this date is that that is when the method of pressing designs (into wood using metal wheels with the design etched in) was first used in a commercial setting. The wheel was forced down on to the wood surface (probably powered by steam) and rolled across the surface of the wood creating the patterns and giving the overall impression of a carved back. The overall design of this chair also seems to be fitting with the turn of the last century.
The chair was very loose and had a severe break in the seat of the chair. One of the lower back posts had pierced through the seat and was lodged with the tenon poking through. This break happened quite sometime ago, because at one point someone tried to address it with nails and then covered over the seat with naugahyde. The seat subsequently cracked in half and was only held together by braces underneath. In addition, the chair was held together with nails in all of the joinery. In short, this rocking chair needed some help!
Below are photos of the chair from start to finish. You can see all of the repairs made and the final product. I will start with a photo of the chair as it arrived in my shop.
After the seat was glued, I noticed significant wood loos in the underside of the crack that ran the length of the seat. Glue alone would not hold the seat together! I made three butterfly patches that spanned the crack in three spots. Below is a photo of the patches before they were inserted into the seat. The following photo shows the patches in place and trimmed flush.
I glued the rocker up with the arms held in place by clamps alone so I knew that everything aligned properly. After the glue dried I removed the arms and spindles to make the staining of the seat a little easier. Here is a photo of the chair glued up followed by a photo of the chair with the arms removed and the seat stained.
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