Introduction: Vintage Metal Glider Refurbished
The purpose of this ible is to show how I refurbished a Vintage Metal Glider.
This could be a Part 2 to my Rejuvenate Vintage Metal Chairs Instructable. You can read there a little history on how I acquired this piece of Americana.
In this Instructable I will explain a different process compared to the Rejuvenate Vintage Metal Chairs Instructable. In the previous process where I did the chairs, it was more of a down and dirty and cheap approach of turning TRASH to TREASURE. While I did not get this project completed in time for the Trash to Treasure contest, I hope it is worthy of the METALS contest. If you feel it is, then please VOTE.
Here I will be working with METAL repair and fabrication.
- Repairing RUSTED SHEET METAL
- FABRICATING METAL PARTS
Since I have never really worked with metals or rust I was looking for the cheaper way out, meaning not paying anybody else to do any of the project.
The glider needed a bit more tender loving care than the chairs. As you will see from the pictures there was much more rust damage visible to the eye and probably more hidden under the paint.
After completion, will have a great place to relax OUTSIDE and enjoy the rest of the Summer and Autumn.
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
Disassembly of Glider
Whether you choose to have your glider blasted or not, it is a good idea to disassemble the unit. This unit came apart rather easily. Simply remove two bolts from each hanger. Remove the bottom bolts first so that you can rest the bench on the frame as you work around the glider. A couple of the bolts I was able to remove with wrenches, where as others need to be cut with a cutting wheel due to the rust corrosion. You will end up with frame, bench, and hangers. The frame can be disassembled further if you wish by removing a couple more bolts.
Google "sandblasting service" for your area to find a professional if you do not have the tools or facilities. Do to the size of the piece, take it to a professional if you are thinking of doing it yourself as a first timer. It is a messy process. Mine was done in the back lot where I had mine blasted.
Filling Rust Holes
- Bondo Metal Reinforced Filler- found mine at local auto parts store for $14 on sale. Used nearly the entire 11.2 oz. can.
- Masking tape for backside of metal to hold filler in holes while it cures.
- Non pourous tray to work with filler and hardener
- Squeegee to apply filler
- 80 grit sandpaper for sanding filler
- Electric Sander (optional)
NOTE: If I had access to a welding unit I may have attempted cutting out the bad steel and patching in new sections. Perhaps this could be a solution for my next glider if I find one. hint hint...
- 36 inch piece of aluminum 1.25 inch angle- used to make two 17 inch hangers
- Hack saw or cutting wheel to cut aluminum
- Drill or Drill Press and bits for drilling bolt mounting holes
- Grinding wheel and/or file to smooth and shape ends of aluminum hangers after cutting.
- Bolts- new bolts replaced old rusted bolts.
Take into consideration how quickly you get to the painting process. I my project all my blasted parts were exposed to high humidity for three days prior to getting to the priming of the bare metal. The metal started to rust and had to be treated to stop and remove the rust prior to priming.
- Jasco Prep and Primer: rust converter
- Paint brush to apply Jasco
- Container to hold Jasco.
- 4 cans of Krylon Rust Protector Rusty Metal Primer. I have used similar Rustoleum product with success on the chair project I did.
- Throw tarp to protect area.
- 4 inch roller
- 4 inch roller covers for oil base paints 3/8 inch nap
- paint brush for oil base paints
- paint pan
- paint thinner to clean brush and paint tools
- Nearly one full quart of All Surface Enamel. 2 coats
- 8 bolts and nuts to mount hangers ( I used 5/16 x 3/4 inch bolts)
- 2 wrenches to tighten bolts
Step 2: The Parts Getting Ready for Blasting
These pictures show the condition of the glider prior to sandblasting.
Due to this being a much more grand piece compared to the chairs I did previously, I wanted to go that extra step to make this piece just come out great. After assessing the amount of rust and broken glider hanger I felt investing in somebody to blast the paint off would be worth it. Since I did the chairs, I knew there was probably 5 layers of paint to deal with on the glider. I wanted to take this down to the bare metal rather than scrape and sand loose paint and rust.
Overall, a pretty simple piece to disassemble. Two bolts per glider hanger, and it was disassembled so that I could send it to the blaster.
Step 3: The Parts After Blasting
After a search online for a sandblasting service I remembered an old acquaintance from high school operated a welding business. I contacted him to ask if he could recommend somebody to blast this to bare metal. He said he could probably do it and invited me to his shop. So, I loaded the parts into my truck and I was off to AeroWave. Four hours of blasting cost me $100. Thank you AeroWave! Save me lots of time and frustration as well as revealed the major rust holes.
Images show parts after sandblasting.
As can be seen from the images there was significant rusts holes uncovered after the blasting process. Now I had to make a decision to really invest in the metal work. At this point the decision had to be made to replace metal or fill the holes.
Since I have no experience with metal fabrication or repair I decided to give a try at Metal Filler. Again, I am looking to make this bench nice for the yard but not break the bank. I chose the cheaper process of filler. Let's just make this good enough for another 10 years or so.
Would have loved to try to cut out the bottom front panel where there really was major rust and WELD in a new piece of metal. Perhaps that can happen with my next metal project? If only I had a welding unit. ;-)
Step 4: Filling Holes With Metal Filler
I went to the local auto parts store in search of something to fill the holes.
The infamous name brand Bondo is known for doing auto body repair. This is the path I followed.
Again, first time ever doing this so I learned two things very quickly.
- Filler falls right through rust holes.
- The Bondo brand name filler gives you about 5 minutes to work with it, so you better work fast before it hardens..
My first attempt of using the filler was somewhat of a failure. The filler was going right through the holes and my inexperience was way to slow for the quick hardening time of the filler once the hardener was added.
In order to keep the filler in place I applied some masking tape to the backside of the metal to keep the filler in place when filling holes. This appears to have done the trick to keep the filler where I wanted it, but not sure of the longevity of the repair. Perhaps somebody more experienced can explain what I might expect with time on these filled holes.
I also learned you need to work fast before the filler hardens. So I did this in stages with small sections in about 3 sessions.
The filler process is relatively straight forward.
- Mix filler and hardening agent on a non porous service by folding the two together. Not mixing.
- Squeegee the filler into the holes.
- Let it cure.
- Repeat for other holes.
- Sand the repairs.
Step 5: Sanding
After letting the filler cure, about 30 minutes, I then proceeded with sanding. To make life a little easier I used an 80 grit paper and electric orbital sander. This time by using the tape on the back of the metal the filler stayed where I wanted (in the holes, not on the floor) and was now sandable.
I stopped at the 80 grit level of sandpaper since the entire bench had somewhat of a rough service due to blasting process. I planned on using an enamel finish which should give the metal a smoother finish covering the rough texture of blasted metal and rough sanding.
Step 6: Pre Primer Preparation - Rust Converter
During the process of filling holes and sanding, the glider was exposed to very humid conditions for about 3 days. Another thing learned when working with bare steel. It is only a matter of time before the rusting process starts again.
Therefore, I applied a Jasco product to convert the rust to a iron phosphate, a primable service and stop rusting until I could get to the priming the next morning.
The purpose of this process is to neutralize the natural rusting process in order to create a paintable surface. It converts ferrous iron (rust) to iron phosphate. Once again, this is simply a guide to the process I followed. Be sure to follow the directions and guidelines of the manufacturer.
- Apply rust converter to all rusted areas with a brush.
- Let dry over night.
- Use damp cloth to remove any excess residue or converter.
- Rusted areas will change to a blackish color over night.
- Ready for primer coat.
Step 7: Primer
After letting the Jasco neutralize any flash rust overnight, I wiped away any residue with a damp cloth. Then let it air dry for about 30 minutes before applying primer coat. There is evidence of neutralized rust as seen by the black coloration of the metal.
Used a special formulated rusty metal primer for the undercoat. I figured this would be the final step to conquer any old or new forming rust.
After first coat of primer was applied and dried, noticed some areas where neutralized rust residue had not been wiped away. I simply hit those areas with a fine sandpaper and a touch up of primer.
Used about 4 cans of primer on the parts you see including a second touch up coat.
Step 8: Fabricate Metal Hangers
The glider action of the bench is enabled by 4 metal hanger straps. At each corner of the bench is a metal hanger hanger about 1.25 inches wide that connects bench to frame. These hangers also basically suspend the bench above the frame allowing an easy forward and backward motion. The original hangers are manufactured from sheet metal with ridges in the design to give stability and inhibit twisting.
When I acquired the bench one of the hangers had rusted through at a connection end rendering it useless. While I could have purchased a second-hand set of 4 hangers for $40 online, I decided to fabricate my own from some aluminum angle. This proved to be a fairly easy job which was definitely cost effective. Was able to fabricate a set of 2 hangers for only $5.00! These would be used for the front hangers so to have a matching set.
Original hangers were 16.75 inches in length. I decided to go with 17 inches. The important thing in the fabrication was to have the mounting holes at 16 inch on center.
- Purchase 36 inch length of 1.25 inch aluminum angle for about $5 from DIY store.
- Mark and cut two 17 inch lengths. I used my hand grinder with cutting wheel. ( just because I have one!) A hack saw would work as well rather easily as aluminum is rather soft and easy cutting.
- Grind or file off barbs and sharp edges after cutting.
- Mark holes to be drilled 16 inches apart center to center.
- Drill holes. My hole size was 5/16 inch for bolt and hole sizes on bench and frame.
- Test fit hangers and see how she glides!
- Disassemble bench.
- Back to grinder to take away sharp corners and barbs.
- You have two hangers for $5!
- Prime them and prepare for painting.
Step 9: Prepare for Painting
I liked the finish on the chairs I rejuvenated earlier, so chose to use the same color and oil base enamel.
- Throw a drop cloth down to save your floor from drips.
- Get all your parts in a comfortable area where you will not need to be moving parts around. Oil enable needs several hours to dry. So, you should plan your space so there is no need to be moving parts around as you finish one piece and move to another.
- Used 4 inch roller with 3/8 inch nap, paint brush for cutting into tight spots, and paint pan.
- After 8 hours, applied a second coat.
- 2 hours after second coat of enamel, assembled bench and let dry over night.
Step 10: Some Before and After Shots and Final Thoughts
Thought I would show before and after in easy viewing. Overall, I am very happy with the final result considering this sat in my yard useless for 3 years. I am certain it will be enjoyed as a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors by the entire family and friends.
Would I do this again? Certainly, if I am fortunate enough to get a great find like this.
Paying the $100 to have the piece blasted was well worth it. It saved me lots of time and frustration. I also believe the final finish would not have been as nice with the old finish and pitting from missing layers of paint. Again, thanks to Aerowave for their blasting services.
Would love to hear any pointers others might have that have used metal filler in a similar situation. Considering the all the rust holes I'm happy with the final product. Hoping the filler lasts for a couple years. Would love to hear of other filler products that are workable for a little longer before hardening. Tricks of the trade would be helpful.
If any of you have the opportunity to take on this task go for it. You will be restoring a piece of Americana, and have a great place to relax comfortably.
Anybody know how to date this piece of furniture? Would love to know it's age.
In closing, please VOTE if you think worthy.
Participated in the
Metal Contest 2016
Participated in the
Outside Contest 2016
Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016
Question 6 months ago on Step 10
Can anyone tell me the measurements of all the parts of the glider base? Basically everything under the bench itself. Mine is completely missing everything required to be a glider, and I’d love to restore it to its proper glory!
3 years ago
Pretty sure this piece is from 1938-42
Question 4 years ago on Step 8
Any reason why you chose aluminum angle and not straight aluminum? I need to replace all 4 hangers on my glider. Thanx!
Answer 4 years ago
Availability and the angle won't twist
6 years ago
I have this exact metal glider, and one of my hangers is broke as well! thank you for the DIY hanger idea, I've got mine sitting in my front yard and can't wait to fix it now!
Reply 6 years ago
metal tube that fits over the bolt flanges might work well also. good luck. just remember to measure distance between holes on old hangers for your new pieces.
6 years ago
Looks good. My Father-in law had one of these on his front porch in 1969 when my wife and I started dating. And it wasn't new. Wife said he got it from a lady down the street in @ 1956.
Reply 6 years ago
Thank you. I had estimated sometime near the close of WWII.