Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Was Fixed Hall of Fame: Chair Leg

Here is an entry for the Was Fixed Hall of Fame. This is a close up photo of the back leg join from a very hansom oak arm chair, circa 1890.

This leg join has three kinds of glue on it, dried stripper, Four split wood dowels, four 3" long nails and five 3" long brads.

Here is the probable story of this chair.

It was originally constructed using wood dowels and animal skin glue. Over time the glue started to let go, this caused the chair to squeak when someone sat in it. To "fix" the squeaking, someone squeezed more glue into the loose joins, this acted like a wedge that helped to spread the joins further apart. Then someone added a few 3" large nails, which they pounded directly into the solid wood. This split the wood and caused more glue joins to fail. Later someone submerged the chair into a strip tank. This removed the painted finish that someone had applied to the chair and also filled the all the joins with paint stripper. With all the joins now loose the person refinishing the chair shot every join with enough 3" long brads to kill the squeaking.

All this chair ever needed was to be simply dismantled, cleaned, and then reconstructed with animal skin glue. Basically, a day at the spa.

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