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Repair hitchcock chair and weave rush seat

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Project by Scott posted 12-02-2017 06:51 PM 1616 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The rush seat on this chair was about to fall through as you can see in the last picture, so I needed to fix that but when I disassembled it there were loose joints and cracking rails that needed repair too. You can find some good videos that show how to reweave the rush seat. It is slow but not too difficult.

On a hitchcock chair there are 4 decorative seat edge pieces that need to be removed. The side and back pieces are easily pried off. The front piece is screwed on, so I drilled the plugs out and unscrewed it, but it was also glued on so it still took some prying. Then I found that the dowel joints holding the seat rails to the legs were loose, and the curved oak seat rails had cracks. The second photo shows the glue up. I also realized that the seat rails had sharp square edges which eventually just cuts through the rush seat like a knife, so I rounded over all the edges.

I used a spool of 6/32 rush to re-rush it. Then I used two coats of 50% thinned shellac to protect the seat. You can see the color difference between the fourth and fifth picture. Finally I screwed and doweled the front seat edge, then nailed the other seat edges.

Now I only have 5 more to do!

-- Scott in North Carolina





6 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 792 days


#1 posted 12-02-2017 07:05 PM

Nice repair, Scott. Great job with salvaging the sides and front. That is no easy feat. Are these family heirlooms you are repairing? I have two antique ladder-backs in my shop in need of re-rushing (for the last 25 years), perhaps one day I’ll get a round to it. Again, great work!

View Scott 's profile

Scott

253 posts in 2411 days


#2 posted 12-02-2017 07:23 PM

Hi Ron, these chairs came from craigslist, and were very cheap, $20 each. So it wasn’t a real risk trying to fix them. I don’t know why they glue on the edge pieces at all, it makes it more difficult to fix the rush. There is a label on the bottom that says they were made in Siler City NC, but it doesn’t list the age. Although a Google search shows that the company started in 1901 and they aren’t there anymore. So the chairs could be old, the label certainly looks very yellowed and has the font style of the old chairs.

-- Scott in North Carolina

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 792 days


#3 posted 12-02-2017 09:08 PM



Hi Ron, these chairs came from craigslist, and were very cheap, $20 each. So it wasn t a real risk trying to fix them. I don t know why they glue on the edge pieces at all, it makes it more difficult to fix the rush. There is a label on the bottom that says they were made in Siler City NC, but it doesn t list the age. Although a Google search shows that the company started in 1901 and they aren t there anymore. So the chairs could be old, the label certainly looks very yellowed and has the font style of the old chairs.

- Scott

WOW … what a deal. You are definitely making the original craftsman proud. Keep it up!

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

511 posts in 3102 days


#4 posted 12-03-2017 06:42 AM

Well done. Hitchcock, IMO, made furniture of excellent quality.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32083 posts in 3011 days


#5 posted 12-03-2017 01:20 PM

You did a wonderful job on restoring this chair.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

5111 posts in 2410 days


#6 posted 12-03-2017 08:17 PM

Very nice work and well worth the effort.

Also preservation of old things is more appreciated by us extended middle age people than by the video game crowd!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

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