Ben Munford

Dog Bitten Chair Support Structure

Recommended Posts

Grandparents had Shetland sheepdog (Sheltie).  Nice dog but chewed up the center crossmembers of 3 of their Pennsylvania House fiddleback chairs.  Grandparents and Sheltie are passed.  Chairs remain damaged.  All furniture pictured is cherry stain.  Questions

Is there a way to use wood putty to repair this?  What wood putty would you use?

Is there a way to unglue the center cross members, have them reproduced, stain them, and glue the reproduced crossmembers into position?

Also looking for way to remove haze from table top in background? (Dog did not bite table, only horizontal chair crossmembers)

I am a novice, so simple explanations with plenty of details that everyone but me knows are appreciated.

Thanks for your help, Ben

 

20190825_162620.jpg

20190825_114613.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not attempt to repair the damaged rungs with filler or putty. The results are very unlikely to be satisfactory.

Moist heat can sometimes soften wood glue enough to allow disassembly. Or, the rungs might be cut off close to the joint, and the remainder of the round tenon drilled out of the hole. A decent turner should be able to replicate the pattern easily enough.

As for the table, a better photo would help. If you know anything about what sort of finish is on it, that information will help someone here provide better advice about correcting the haze.

Are these things valuable antiques, or just sentimental keepsakes because your grandparents owned them?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Chet said:

If these are antiques or if they are fairly old but not really in the antique category you might contact Thomas Johnson Furniture Restoration.  He might be willing to give you some hints as to how to approach this even if the best thing was to have professional do it.

https://www.thomasjohnsonrestoration.com

His YouTube videos are not only enjoyable to watch, but are a wealth of knowledge on all things related to furniture repair/restoration. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Chet said:

If these are antiques or if they are fairly old but not really in the antique category you might contact Thomas Johnson Furniture Restoration.  He might be willing to give you some hints as to how to approach this even if the best thing was to have professional do it.

https://www.thomasjohnsonrestoration.com

Love his youtube channel. He's a wealth of knowledge and skill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not antiques, probably made 1950 to 1970 range.  Cherry stain mentioned below

Pennsylvania House Furniture History

Many people are surprised to learn of the age of the company and the Pennsylvania House Furniture history.

In 1887, the company formed a small workshop-style factory in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Lewisburg is about 60 miles north of the capital of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA). Of course, Pennsylvania, as translated as “Penn’s woods” had many dense and old growth forests.

Thus, the early Pennsylvania House company took advantage of this natural resource. Nearly 90% of all their wood came from within 100 miles of their workshops. Indeed, Lewisburg has earned the nickname of the “Cherry Capital of the World.”

Pennsylvania House FurnitureThese old growth woods served as a huge asset to Pennsylvania House. Their case furniture, including bookcases, dressers, and dining room tables utilized these old growth cherry trees as their base. From the 1930’s through the 1970’s, their cherry furniture gained huge popularity from the middle and upper classes. Certainly, their maple wood furniture, walnut furniture and even pine furniture found homes across the country as well.

People recognized the quality and density of their lines and they admired the classic and traditional styles. However, Pennsylvania House offered many styles of furniture. Eventually, they expanded their offerings from the Classic Colonial styles to reproduction Victorian pieces, and even a line of streamlined “Modern” furniture in order to remain current in all parts of the country.

At this point in history, American workers and craftsman proudly made each piece domestically within the Lewisburg factories.

As one of their early Furniture Catalogs states,

“In a world committed to shortcuts, Pennsylvania House still takes the time.
Because we’ve got some very strong ideas about quality and value.
We’re old fashioned enough to believe that the things people make should be made to last.
And our things do.”  Certainly, this sums up the Pennsylvania House ethos.

Table: You can see coffee cup rings and a line of haze in the first picture. Has haze and water spots on end pieces and haze alone on center leaves.  Table rop has some kind of clear coat over top that is not present on table legs or any of the chairs.  Suppose I could go after the haze with 0000 steel wool and oil, but would it work on clear coat?

Sentimental value a not big deal.  Love the fiddleback chair design.  Not so crazy about the table.  Table looks good from about 6 feet away and then you get up on it and see all the haze, water spots, and coffee cup rings.  Ugh!

Chairs: how would you heat the cross member to remove?  With rear cross member in place, would the legs separate enough to install the new center cross member?

I'll check out the you-tube rec.

 

20190825_114640.jpg

20190825_114714.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If replacement is the goal, you don’t spread the chair. You cut the old stretcher out. You then size the new to slide into one side, then back to a central position. Softening the glue depends on the glue used. Heat and moisture are good bets, but they can mess with the finish on the chair. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it shows a lot of water rings, there is a good chance it is finished with shellac. Perhaps try rubbing a spot underneath with denatured alcohol, and see if the finish dissolves. If it does, you may be able to remove most of the old finish with just alcohol and a rag, then apply a clean coat.

Now for the chair. Without knowing its true age, it is hard to be sure what glue was used. I would lightly moisten the joint area with a hot, damp towel, the use a hair drier or paint stripper heat gun to warm it more. Once it is uncomfortable to grasp with your bare hand, use gloves to gently wiggle the joint and see if it works loose. The legs should flex enough to allow it to come free, with some effort.

And listen to what @Tpt life said as I was typing this. The method I described is better used if you need to salvage the original part.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/27/2019 at 7:50 PM, wtnhighlander said:

If it shows a lot of water rings, there is a good chance it is finished with shellac. Perhaps try rubbing a spot underneath with denatured alcohol, and see if the finish dissolves. If it does, you may be able to remove most of the old finish with just alcohol and a rag, then apply a clean coat.

Now for the chair. Without knowing its true age, it is hard to be sure what glue was used. I would lightly moisten the joint area with a hot, damp towel, the use a hair drier or paint stripper heat gun to warm it more. Once it is uncomfortable to grasp with your bare hand, use gloves to gently wiggle the joint and see if it works loose. The legs should flex enough to allow it to come free, with some effort.

And listen to what @Tpt life said as I was typing this. The method I described is better used if you need to salvage the original part.

 

On 8/27/2019 at 7:46 PM, Tpt life said:

If replacement is the goal, you don’t spread the chair. You cut the old stretcher out. You then size the new to slide into one side, then back to a central position. Softening the glue depends on the glue used. Heat and moisture are good bets, but they can mess with the finish on the chair. 

Chair: I guess I would not use any clamp, but would use Carpenter's glue on each tenon and leave it to dry?

Table: I'll try the denatured alcohol this weekend.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Ben Munford said:

 

Chair: I guess I would not use any clamp, but would use Carpenter's glue on each tenon and leave it to dry?

Table: I'll try the denatured alcohol this weekend.

 

I might use a 21 gauge micro pin just to secure the rung during glue cure. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like the legs are not tenoned through the top.  If not, I would take the whole leg assembly off, take it completely apart, and turn some more pieces to match the originals exactly.  Then reassemble.   Heat on the bottom of the seat should not transfer out to where it would matter.  The glue may be a simple PVA, which water will soften.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Tpt & Tom.  I was fixing the radio on my pickup and haven't gotten to the chair yet, although it is still on my agenda for this weekend.

How would I find a good turner.  Would I google turner in Richmond, VA?

After the new wood is stained, what clear finish should I use (or should I use clear finish)?  Will it be permeable to furniture oil?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There will definitely be 'wood turning clubs' in your area.  Search that term.  If you don't find anything contact the American Association of Woodturners and ask if they know of a club.  Then contact the club president and ask for help, or even stop by one of the meetings, maybe even bring the chair.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know there are turners in Richmond. You could swing by the Woodcraft and ask them if they know someone that might be interested. It’s on Broad between Gaskins and Pemberton. There’s also the Richmond Woodturners club like Tom mentioned.

I used to live in Richmond and often visit my family there. I’d offer to turn a replacement for you, but I only have a small lathe and it looks like that spindle would be too long for my lathe.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To expand, do you have extra stock that the spindle was made from? It would be good to do a test before applying it to the actual piece. If you don’t, I’d look for a piece of round maple stock at Woodcraft that has similar color and grain pattern. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.