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Old wood Rocker

Started by baileyuph, September 15, 2017, 03:09:53 am

Previous topic - Next topic


This rocker had to be made, perhaps 70 + years ago.  Not real big, not real small,
for springs it has two bars with three springs each bar.

Not all the original considerations are there, hence my questions.

Back then, the coils, like I said 3 on each bar, therefore 6 total springs.  Tying
the coils what was done back then - three side to side jute ties and the same
from front to back?  No webbing.

Question #1;  So did these chairs not get the diagonal jute diagonal ties?

I know 8-way can be done on this, wondering what was original back then?

Anyway depending on your response, I will do the coil ties at a minimum 6 ties (3 front to back) and (3 side to side).

Then apply the burlap.  Probably some stitching to coils.

Question 2:  The frame, side to side at very front - did they usually do a small
roll edge there?  I don't find any evidence like old tack markings?  I could see
filling over the first top layer of burlap with rubber hair/then cotton, and then doing the muslin before applying the final fabric.

I didn't say, but the bottom is the only thing upholstered.  The backrest is vertical
wood slats in a comfortable curve fashion and there is no wood lathe work done
to this frame.

For now, I will wait for your input, I trust your knowledge to get this old chair pretty much back like original. 



September 15, 2017, 02:11:12 pm #1 Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 02:12:26 pm by gene
You probably have a cheap production rocking chair. The springs on the bars are dropped in and nailed. No need for jute webbing, no need for tying or clinch-it (ing) the bottom of the springs. They would use the least amount of top spring tying needed to keep the springs straight for at least a few years.

Also with these drop in springs sets you can use cheaper construction for the wood frame because you don't have the tension created by stretching the jute webbing.

Not using edge roll was a cost saver also. If there are no tack marks I would guess that they did not.

I read where the use of elastic bands and clips to hold seat cushions onto sofas and chairs was originally done to deal with the elimination of the front edge roll, which were eliminated to save costs. The idea was that the clips would hold the seat cushions onto the furniture. The problem was that too many clips were being ripped out. Continuing to use clips was more a "quality" selling point and not really functional at all.

When I get a chair like that I try to make it better than what it was within the limits of my pricing.




If the chair has a cushion then add the edge roll and build up the front of the seat.

If it is a tight seat it is your call. I think I would still add the edge roll to help give a nice rolled edge to the foam and to help cushion the edge of the wood.

Edge roll also helps to eliminate that hard line you see when pulling the fabric tight. If the rails can handle it consider 8-way tying the springs.

Like Gene I always try to build it better than original.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.<br />http://northfloridachair.com/index.html


The edge roll - is to keep shape at the front of the seat? Or, to cushion the back of the leg when one sits?


Quote from: 65Buick on September 15, 2017, 07:46:03 pm
The edge roll - is to keep shape at the front of the seat?

That is a good example for the use of edge roll. It is also used on the sides of an open arm seat and sometimes on the edge of an open back. It is most certantly used when building up a seat front to hold a cushion in place. It is also hand sewn into place on a spring edge type construction.

Most recently I reupholstered these two wing chairs with a type of glued together crushed foam for the front of the edge. Over the years it came loose and bulged out of the front of the seat. I ripped it out and replaced with 2" burlap type edge roll.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.<br />http://northfloridachair.com/index.html


Yes I've used/installed them before but wasn't 100 percent sure of their purpose. Functional purpose. I have noticed they make a nice form when used on open arm seat as you suggested.


Another good use of edge roll is to help build up the sides of a tight seat to make the seat look flatter. It also gives the edge firmness where its needed most. It also helps so you don't feel the hard wood through the padding while sitting. A crowned seat is good but over crowned looks odd. Edge roll with a couple strips of cotton all around the edge gives a really nice look.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.<br />http://northfloridachair.com/index.html


Great Feedback!

Gene - your right on target, in its day a strong, not classical chair.  But compared
to "China" - still has a lot of virtues.  No loose cushion (tight bottom design).  Regarding edge roll evidence, I don't see any #6 or greater evidence that large
tacks were used to hold edge roll.

BTW 65 - primary function of edge roll is shape (certainly improves appearance also).

Also on that line, there is no indication of edge roll used on the other three sides
either.  (open arm and back)

To add, I think small edge roll across the front edge would be additive in terms
of function, design, and support.

Regarding 8-way, depends on how much strength it would add?  I guess.
This was/is considered a lesser expensive chair but wood is very strong.  It is
just a chair that I felt needs to be brought back!  I guess - what does it hurt?

Looking ahead, perhaps I could slip in another question:  Back in those days what
was likely technique was used to finish off the edge of the upholster fabric (where
it is finished off at the lower front board, two sides boards, and rear side to side
board?  Gimp and some type of decorative tack?  Double cording wasn't used
- perhaps not at all back then.  (I expect some who have spent a life time on all
ages of furniture know the prevailing technique?)

This type of project brings smiles after working on the new stuff (furniture and auto seats - hordes of technology (air bags/seat heaters/coolers, finite leather
sewn details, belts & harness - as a mere starter).

Take care all,



  I would finish it with gimp. I don't like when people use DW on older pieces it just isnt called for if you want to keep it anything like original. Cheap or expensive doesn't matter. Just my opinion.
Minichillo's Upholstery


Gimp it will be - good idea.

Compatibility with the fabric will drive the gimp texture and color.

Paul, would you space the gimp decorative tacks about 2 inches?  I suppose the
tack should be in the antique style also?  Spaced some distance, up to 2 inches?

This is a fun project - already.



I generally like nails spaced a half a head. 2" looks cheap to me. Close nail seems to be all the rage now but 1/2 nail head is what I learned and saw most on older pieces.
Minichillo's Upholstery


Makes sense, chair needs some "flash" and some tack spacing will still
reveal the gimp.

Good point,




Customer picked up the old wood rocker and is having me do a two piece sectional
- instead of buying new foreign made stuff.  I had told the customer, after seeing their sectional, that the piece would be better than buying new (their piece was about 30 years old - decent quality).

Now, a couple of their friends/family have called and wish to have some of their older pieces redone. 

Referrals are one of the best sales people in most business.

They don't dwell on price!