Instructables

Restoration: 1878 Platform Glider Rocking Chair

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Picture of Restoration: 1878 Platform Glider Rocking Chair
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  Antiques are cool, especially when they become antiques over many years in your family's possession.  They're not just  possessions any more, every time you look at them they bring back countless memories from the good old days.  Along their journey from past to present many of these items are used so often that they begin to break down, and if not properly cared for, become a pile of unused clutter in the corner of your basement.  You can't use them any more, but you can't bring yourself to throw them away either.
  This is how I came to own this Glider Rocking Chair.  By the time it came to me, it had sat in ruins in my parents basement for many many years.  Apparently it was owned by my great grandparents in Ohio, more than a century ago.  Even in its present state, it's easy to tell that it was once a beautiful piece of furniture.  With a little love and tenderness, and a lot of work, it could again be a beautiful functioning piece of furniture.
  After doing a little research I determined that nothing I could do to this chair would in any way diminish its value; I mean, it  was broken in many places, the finish was in poor condition and the seat cushion was gone entirely.  I gather that the general consensus is, that restoration is still preferable to a broken down pile of.... antique.  Besides, I don't plan to try to sell it anyway, I want to be able to use it.
  My goal with this project is to fix and/or replace broken pieces, and make this chair usable again.  It's over 130 years old and a style not often seen these days.  I want to maintain the feeling of how old it is, so I will not be attempting to make it look brand new again.
  Being that this is  a pretty unique project, this instructable will be more of an account of how I brought this chair back to life, with a few of my thoughts thrown in here and there.
 
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triumphman1 year ago
Hey, I have the same type log home. The log joints look the same. But your logs look nice and shiny. What did you coat them with ?
Attmos (author)  triumphman1 year ago
As a matter of fact, I just remembered that I used Sikkens on this chair as well, the same product. There is a picture of it in this instructable in the staining step.
Attmos (author)  triumphman1 year ago
I use Sikkens. It's a 2-step finish. First step is color, second step is protection. After you do the first coat and have the color you want, you do the second step once every two or three years. The people at Sherwin Williams will help you find what you need.
I have an antique glider rocker that is missing one of the cast iron arms on the bottom of the rocker. The rest of the rocker is in good condition and ready to be refinished. I am having trouble finding a replacement casts iron arm for it. It looks like you already had both of them with your rocker but wondering if you have any ideas of where to find one? I've searched the internet and can't seem to find that part.
Attmos (author)  artzyyfartzyy1 year ago
Because I had all of the parts, broken or not, I didn't have to search for any. I don't know where to look for parts for this kind of thing, but I have another couple of things I'm going to restore. I will definitely do my best to find out where to locate antique parts and let you know of any findings. I do know that thereare many parts being sold on ebay if you haven't searched there yet. Good luck, I'll get back to you.
seamster1 year ago
Nice work! I'm glad you won an ipad for this. Very well deserved, congrats!
Attmos (author)  seamster1 year ago
now that I read my response, It looks like didn't come out quite right. I always enjoy seeing what you come up with next, so what I meant was that I really appreciate your congatulations. Lol, I hope you weren't offended in any way.
I was not offended in the least, but I chuckled at the unintentional appearance of sarcasm. I've re-read my own comments before and thought "oh crap, that sounds rude."

It's been nice chatting with you. Enjoy the ipad.
(That last line was supposed to be heavy with mock sarcasm, just so you know!)
Attmos (author)  seamster1 year ago
Lol.
Attmos (author)  seamster1 year ago
That means a lot coming from you. Thanks.
What's astounding and wonderful and great is that no one decided to throw it out or store it outsided or toss it in the wood stove.
No one gave up.
And that gave you a chance.
And you took it and hit the ball out of the park.
And that is your history and your legacy.
Congratulations.
I love what you've done.
Attmos (author)  Ricardo Furioso1 year ago
That is a very nice thing to say. Thank you very much.
Beautiful Job! I have a chair pretty similar. I did alot of research trying to figure out what it was as it is so unique with the platform. I cant tell if yours has springs or not and mine has casters on the front as well. I thought mine was a Hunzinger, but I can not find any labels either. Since you took your completely apart you probably would have found one, but then again you never know. They are pretty valuable. Yours look like it has a nice home on your porch:))
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Attmos (author)  yogagoddess081 year ago
Thanks. Yeah, I looked everywhere for some kind of lable but found nothing. It's ok though, I'm just happy I can enjoy it now. I noticed that you're new to Instructables. Welcome, have fun. It's addicting ;)
scruff1 year ago
You did a really nice job. There is nothing like taking something from the death pile and giving it new life! I hope you have someone to pass it on to. My only concern would be the levelers on the front of the chair. they might put undo stress on the base you just fixed.
Attmos (author)  scruff1 year ago
Thank you, very much. You're right, they are set way too high. I'll be sure to lower it a bunch. I really don't want to break the feet again.
always a shame to see furniture left to rot but what a gorgeous piece of furniture its become, you did a fantastic job with it,
Attmos (author)  Pixie Puddle1 year ago
Thank you. It was really fun to do. I'm almost glad it was left there for me, if you know what I mean.
Mrballeng1 year ago
This turned out perfect! Danish oil is great isn't it.
Attmos (author)  Mrballeng1 year ago
Just visited your shop. Thats really cool, looks like an awesome way to make a living.
Attmos (author)  Mrballeng1 year ago
Thanks, and yeah I'm really happy with the oil finish.
Brames1 year ago
The chair looks great. My sister recently had one just like it restored. Do you know what kind of chair it is?
Attmos (author)  Brames1 year ago
Thank you. You know, I tried to find that out myself. Other than the patent date, there was no information stamped into it. If it ever had any, it fell off or wore off long ago. Sorry. If you ever find any information on your sisters, I would love to hear about it.
seamster1 year ago
Nice work! Now it can be treasured (and used) for many more years. It's good to see stuff like this brought back to life.
Attmos (author)  seamster1 year ago
Thanks, I really appreciate it. It is nice to have this part of my family history alive again.