Antique Yew Windsor Bow chair

The deeper you dig, the more you find..

Steve bought this chair in for me to repair after he had fallen over and landed on top of it, easily done. And at first glance there was a fair bit to do, but not too bad.

Here's the finished chair.

List of jobs to do.

  1. Crinoline stretcher broken joints both ends. One broke clean off at leg 'clean break', the other split from right hand end.
  2. One broken stub stretcher joint (needs doweling back into crinoline stretcher)
  3. One split stub stretcher at the crinoline joint (that had previously been restored) Needs a new piece of Yew scarfed in.
Here's the chair before I started working on it.

Yes, that's how it looked..

Top of the photo shows the stub stretcher with the previous fix,
bottom of the photo is the split crinoline end..

Top of this photo shows the broken tenon/spigot
bottom of the pic is the 'clean break'

So I started by fixing the scarf on the one end of the crinoline

Using an old piece of Yew I sorted out the scarf joint.
I planned to shape some of the old timber into the shape of the new,
this will help lose the perfectly straight joint line and blend the colours in.

This is the repair to the split stub stretcher with the old dowel.
That old dowel has been removed by planing the area flat to take the new piece of Yew.

The new parts have been fitted into place.
I've copied the whittled ends of the stretcher to ensure they look the same.

To get the crinoline and stub stretchers back into the sockets of the legs, I had to loosen the back legs. One of them came out quite easily, the other was a bit tighter, but what I found, was that the rear of the Elm saddled seat had lots of woodworm, the dust was just falling from the seat with each tap of the hammer.
After Setting the legs back in place, and using sash cramps to ensure the back of the seat was going to be structurally sound and included in the glue up of the rear legs, I treated the woodworm. With a quality woodworm killer, using a syringe, I injected the fluid into every hole and crevice in the chair.

I then noticed that the seat either side had a split in the edge, just a small step in the Elm

Here it is, just by the two holes.

And the other side, not too sure what the yellow patch is but I left it alone.
When the legs were out there was no evidence of a fixing screw so..

With no evidence of the split across the seat,
but you can just see a crack line between the spindles.

I then decided that the chair needed all the help that I could give it. So a week or so after the woodworm treatment was dry, I used another syringe to inject a very strong resin adhesive into the old flight holes. Over 80 holes were filled, with the glue occasionally coming out through some of the other holes.. I used at least three 30ml syringes full of adhesive.. 
that's a lot of glue going down 1.5 -2mm diametre holes.

After the adhesive was applied I then removed all drips and wiped out the adhesive from the flight holes, I was after a small dimple in each hole, that would then be a pocket for a small amount of dark wax. This would then give the appearance of very old holes that had been filled with waxing and polishing over a period of years.

It's worked really well, and the chair is now looking great.

After stain and polishing, then a few coats of wax polish the chair was done.

The chair has had a few more wax polishes since these photographs were taken, 
and looks even better.. I'll be sad to see it go, it's been a roller-coaster.

Till the next time



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