Antique Child's Rocking Chair

Restoring an Antique Child’s Rocking Chair

Restoring an Antique Child’s Rocking Chair

Antique Child's Rocking Chair

Bringing new life to an old friend

Restoring an Antique Child's Rocking Chair
A Very Sad and Broken Little Chair

This old chair looks pretty sad right now. The crest rail is broken off, there is a piece missing off the top, and the finish is so worn it rubs off with my hand. But it is a cute piece of furniture, full of memories, and it can be brought back with a little effort.
I enjoy this type of work because I get a peak into what another woodworker did many years ago.

Restoring an Antique Child's Rocking Chair
Repairing the broken wood

The first thing I want to do is prepare the broken wood of the chair to have the new wood glued on. I use a sharp hand plane to make the rough broken wood absolutely smooth and flat.
Fortunately when wood is broken along the grain like this is the repair will be very strong and almost invisible.

Restoring an Antique Child's Rocking Chair
Repairing the broken wood

This is careful work

Restoring an Antique Child's Rocking Chair
Flat and smooth

Some times old tools are the best tools. The handplane leaves the wood absolutely flat and smooth as glass.

Restoring an Antique Child's Rocking Chair
Making the missing part

After tracing the shape of the missing part from the other side of the chair I am cutting out the new piece on a band saw. It will be finish shaped after it is glued onto the chair.

Restoring an Antique Child's Rocking Chair
Placing and marking the new piece

The new piece is placed exactly how it will be positioned on the chair and I mark the cut that must be made to make it fit.

Restoring an Antique Child's Rocking Chair
Making a careful cut

I only get one try! There is no second chance if the cut is not right. I set the small piece  up carefully on a crosscut sled and make the cut.

Restoring an Antique Child's Rocking Chair
Gluing on the replacement tip

This is why they say you can never have too many clamps in your shop. This little piece requires 3 clamps and some tape to make a good joint.

Restoring an Antique Child's Rocking Chair
Gluing on the replacement tip

The clamps are set very carefully so that all forces are balanced and the wood does not slide out of position. They don't need to be very tight as the 2 pieces of wood fit together perfectly.

Antique Child's Rocking Chair
Antique Child's Rocking Chair

After the new part is sanded and shaped the entire chair is cleaned and lightly sanded to remove the old worn finish. A new coat of stain and 4 coats of lacquer bring the life back into the chair and it is now ready to bring happiness to a new generation.

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