Redwood Chair Restoration

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My family has owned this chair for more than twenty years. Now the leather & cloth on the seat and backrest is dirty and stiff. The decoration nails are rusted. All the joints of this chair are loose. It's time to restore this wobbly chair!

Step 1: Disassemble the Chair - Remove the Corner Brace

The chair has four corner braces. Each of these pine-wood braces uses two screws. Since the wood is not expensive redwood and the screws are so rusted which makes it impossible to remove the fastener, I decided to cut the braces with a saw and chisel.

Even with using pliers, the screw brake into two parts and left half inside the wood. I decided to leave it there temporary.

Step 2: Disassemble the Chair and Clean the Joints

I carefully disassemble the chair. Even though most of the joints are loose, there still some joints remained tight. Some parts are too tight to take apart which means the glue is still working there. I don't want to break the joints so I decided to not disassemble those parts.

Then I use a chisel to remove the residual glue. And prepare the joint surface with sand-paper. The remaining screws in the wood were trimmed flat with a Dremel.

Step 3: Reassemble the Chair

Now the joints are clean and ready for reassembling. After applying some wood glue, I reassembled the chair and clamped the parts. Then I use a damp cloth to clean the squeezed glue.

Step 4: Make New Corner Braces

The size of this scrap wood is big enough for making some new corner braces. And the color also matched the chair. I glued back the old corner braces and copied it with a pencil. Then I cut the part with the band saw. This scrap wood is very hard and dense. So I pre-drilled the holes for screws on both braces and the chair. Then I used two screws to fasten the corner braces.

Step 5: Remove the Seat Cover

I removed the seat cover with scissors. I used chisel and pliers to remove those round-head nails. Some of the nails were so rusted that it broke into two parts when I tried to remove. So I trimmed them flat with a Dremel.

Step 6: Prepare the Seat Surface

Using some sawdust and wood glue, I made this wood filler to fill all the nail holes on the seat.

The previous version of this chair uses round head nails to fasten the leather. I decided to use screws for this restoration just in case that I want to change a different leather in the future. And I also don't prefer to use nails on the hardwood.

To achieve an even distance for the decorative round-head screws, I marked out the location with a white pencil. I also predrilled the holes for the screws with a 3mm drill bit.

Step 7: Cutting the Leather and Infill Foam

I cut the leather and foam to the size. And fold the edge of the leather. To make sure the leather and every single screw would be in the right position, I poked a hole and ran the screw through.

Step 8: Seat Assembly

Once all the screws were in position, I could finally assemble the seat. I cut a 10mm thick plywood and used it for clamping. I made sure the seat, foam, leather were aligned and fasten all the screws.

Step 9: Screwing on the Decorative Cover

Then I screwed on the decorative cover. I finished the backrest the same way. Now it looks tide and clean. I put back the seat and backrest. With that, the restoration was done. I am delighted with how this turned out.

Thank you very much for watching.

Step 10:

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    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    2 months ago

    That looks great. You should seriously enter this into the Fix It contest that is currently running.