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.
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
Unfortunately, I don't have a shop or a garage. So a lot of what I do takes place in a spare bedroom (you can probably see how hard I've been on the carpet), and on my rear deck. Anyway, without a shop or garage to store larger tools like a scroll saw or a lathe, I make do with smaller hand held tools.
Here is a list of the tools I used in this project:
- Drill and a variety of bits
- Dremel and various sanding, cutting, and sculpting bits
- Clamps ranging from 2 inches to 3 feet
- Oil paint brush (I prefer white china bristle for stain)
- Mouse corner sander with very fine grit paper
- Regular and Phillips head screw drivers
- Upolstry stapler
And the supplies I used:
- Sand paper 100, 150 and 220 grit.
- Wood glue
- Sikkens stain
- Danish Oil
- Minwax cherry stain
- 3/4 inch oak
- 5/8 inch dowel rods
- A few finish nails
-1/2 inch pine
- Pillow stuffing
- 4 square feet of material