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Mid-Century Dining Chairs - Recovering /Repairing Seat

Started by D3Gilmore, November 28, 2017, 05:30:54 am

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D3Gilmore

November 28, 2017, 05:30:54 am Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 05:32:54 am by D3Gilmore
Prospective client has asked to reupholster these teak mid-century dining chairs.  They have additional fabric (only 2 yards) to do 6 chairs.  They asked me to source the fabric to see if they can buy more (from 1999) through Robert Allen.  How do you handle doing the LEG WORK for the client?  Do you charge for that time, or do you do it as a service?

Also, one of the chair seats is cracked and a new one is necessary - not sure if someone could recommend specifically what kind of board material should be used for a classic table set like this?  It's pretty thin wood - as someone has come along in later years to reinforce it with another layer of particle board underneath on all 6 chairs.

Some of the staples are also pulling out very easily which makes me cautious of driving new staples in to old plywood....and blowing it out. 

Lastly, I cautioned client about using thick foam (wanted 2").  I told them these chairs never really were comfortable - because the style dictated that.  They agreed on 1" foam.....should it be even less because of the type of chair?  1" seems worthless and anything else, even worse.

Would appreciate your feedback on doing this as a relative "newbie." I can see a lot going wrong really quickly. LOL

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fhk7jJxT7YXJrg5YATrLs9tzC6rafgKs/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZEBzQigXrxl-zUWDTbkfWDnvqalBS0VV/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LBMI_9rIv-kPLw9pap8tILxgKcXZem--/view?usp=sharing

kodydog

Quote from: D3Gilmore on November 28, 2017, 05:30:54 am
  How do you handle doing the LEG WORK for the client?  Do you charge for that time, or do you do it as a service?



Rose learned a long time ago looking for difficult fabrics can take many hours and usually to no avail. She tells the client, If you can find the fabric we can upholster the chair.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html

SteveA

Does the fabric match other pieces because if it's not enough they should just order new fabric. It's only 4 chairs ?   If they have the original purchase invoice it will give the fabric number..... call and inquire if it's still available.  Can't charge for that - just a phone call -
I see the seats have a curve but I can't tell by the photos if the retro fit particle board is going to stand up to use.  Does the applied laminate look like it's not working ?
Try to take another photo of the underside of the seat but pull back a bit  -  not a tight in view.
SA

D3Gilmore

Fabric matches their large custom couch. I mentioned that one of their large throw pillows could be canibalized to cover their two remaining chairs  (they have a total of 6). I definitely am regretting taking this task on. They couldn't find the original invoice (removed from the sleeve of the fabric bolt). But there was a tag identifying it as a Robert Allen from 8/99.

The orginal seat material (wood laminate/plywood) is fairly thin but only one seat has cracked and has a bounce to it. I will try to take more pics.

65Buick

You're right about 2" foam being wrong. It was the design on the chair that made it comfortable, and less so the paddings.

kodydog

We upholstered these chairs last month. The customer wanted all the old padding removed. That was a shame because the old padding was latex. She said they smelled like mildew and she wanted them to be more firm. We let her test 1", 1-1/2" and 2". She chose the 1-1/2". Even though this made them 1/2" thicker they look fine and feel great.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/CRA4ab2B7bv0ZuXo1
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html

65Buick

That is cool looking Kody. Yes too bad about the latex. My wife and I recently got a latex mattress. It is very comfortable but does have a slight rubber smell to it.

D3Gilmore

Kodydog those look great. If I proceed on this project, I'll see if the 1-1/2" will still look good. These have zero padding left. What firmness did she go with? I have 2.7/50.

MinUph

If memory serves me I believe the only filling originally on this type seat was cotton.
Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website

D3Gilmore

I'm sorry I can't provide a better picture of the cracked chair seat, but essentially, it has a "bounce" to it.  It has lost some structural integrity and while it hasn't cracked fully, there is damage.  The seats also have a slight curve in them.  It looks like they have been shaped and screwed in, but I'm not sure if I can take a thin piece of laminate and force it into a slight curve or if there is more to this process that is WAY OVER my skill level. If I outsourced the repair of the seat, what could I expect to pay someone to repair that portion of the seat?

kodydog

Thinking outside the box here. What if you took webbing, two or three pieces, and glued them to the bottom of the seat. Elmers, Tightbond, whatever. You could even staple the ends for extra support. I truly believe this would strengthen the seat enough to last many, many years.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html

65Buick

Difficult to imagine the situation, but epoxy may be your friend. I have found pc-7 to be very strong stuff. And like Kody said, add webbing for reinforcement. There's also fiberglass cloth which is extremely strong.

MinUph

Bending plywood inst all that hard. You have the form in the frame. Take 2 or 3 layers of 1/4" cut them to fit inside the frame but a little over sizes where possible. Cover with glue and laminate them together. When the glue dries overnight the plywood will be the shape you need It will some clamps to make the plywood conform to the shape but it will work. After the layup is dry cut to finished size and your done. Use enough wood glue to see some ooze.
Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website

SteveA

December 01, 2017, 05:54:59 pm #13 Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 09:24:02 pm by SteveA
A repair for that seat should run around $ 150.00
SA

baileyuph

Regarding the wood repair issue:  The seat frame is formed only on the sitting side - and the bottom
side (where materials are stapled) is flat?

Then, one more question regarding wood breakage:  Which side of the seat board is breaking? 

The wood issue probably can be repaired.  How to go about it.........well it depends but good wood
glue and tools and repair wood will probably be used.

The Fabric Issue:  You seem to understand it well enough and as pretty as the set is, the customer
will have to select from current inventories. 

Your time is too valuable - pretty set, thanks for showing the pictures.