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Thread: can this seat be saved?

  1. #1
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    can this seat be saved?

    Our kitchen breakfast table is a round antique oak table with four chairs. Recently, the chair I use started sagging. I found that it is virtually disintegrating. The wood is dry from age and simply crumbling. I would like to save the seat for it's antique value and reinforce it so we can continue using it. The seat is a plywood about 1/8" thick and glued around the edge to a small lip. The center is unsupported. I could add a thickness and sandwich the two together but that would make the seat thicker and not look right.
    I'm not sure adding something to the bottom would give the strength needed. The seat could be replaced but then we would lose the antique value.
    What say the jury?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails chair 1.jpg   chair 2.jpg   chair 3.jpg   chair 4.jpg  
    "Folks is funny critters."

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  2. #2
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    Frank,
    If a client asked me if I could save it I'd have to say no. If the chair has sentimental value to you and your thats one thing and it's a keepsake Then I replace the seat and call it done. JMHO.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Since there's no existing support members on the bottom to get in the way, I'd use a thicker seat. You could take a piece of 1/2" plywood and rabbet the edge so it fits on the lip. If you want to salvage the existing seat, you could laminate a piece of 1/4" plywood to the bottom for added strength.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  4. #4
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    Looks pretty much un-saveable to me, Frank. Maybe try making a new seat from 3mm baltic birch ply, and adding some bookmatched white oak veneer to get the original look?

    BTW - gained a little weight lately, Frank?
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
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    falcon heights, minnesota
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    "started" sagging?
    benedictione omnes bene

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    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  6. #6
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    It can definitely be saved... one layer of thicker plywood, rabbeted around the edge for the right seat height OR two-three layers with the lower layer(s) smaller diameter to fit down through the hole, either way. Use GOOD plywood for it, and you won't regret it. Don't buy the poor stuff (eg Chinese birch ply, which is shot full of voids). This wants NO voids anywhere.

    The rim will be under shear stress, while the body of the seat will be under tension/compression stress. Wood's shear strength far exceeds what you'll need for that seat unless you start piling anvils on top of it or something.

    I'm gonna' say that, since the existing seat is only 1/4" thick & it's lasted this long, then 3/8" to 1/2" total thickness will give you a very solid-feeling, rigid-feeling seat that'll outlast the chair's frame.
    -- Tim --

  7. #7
    The antique value is already left the building. (I also have four of those in my basement, their value is in the basement as well. ) When the seat gave way, what value there was, went with it. So, Replacing the seat to useable condition will enhance the value not distract.

    Replace the seat is my opinion.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hofstetter View Post
    It can definitely be saved... one layer of thicker plywood, rabbeted around the edge for the right seat height OR two-three layers with the lower layer(s) smaller diameter to fit down through the hole, either way. Use GOOD plywood for it, and you won't regret it. Don't buy the poor stuff (eg Chinese birch ply, which is shot full of voids). This wants NO voids anywhere.

    The rim will be under shear stress, while the body of the seat will be under tension/compression stress. Wood's shear strength far exceeds what you'll need for that seat unless you start piling anvils on top of it or something.

    I'm gonna' say that, since the existing seat is only 1/4" thick & it's lasted this long, then 3/8" to 1/2" total thickness will give you a very solid-feeling, rigid-feeling seat that'll outlast the chair's frame.
    Tim, existing is only 1/8" thick. And the wood is shot. I have to agree with the others that it is not salvageable. I think it would fail on the edges from shear stress.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    The antique value is already left the building. (I also have four of those in my basement, their value is in the basement as well. ) When the seat gave way, what value there was, went with it. So, Replacing the seat to useable condition will enhance the value not distract.

    Replace the seat is my opinion.
    Dissapointing to hear that. I recall we paid $125.00 each for these quite a few years ago. But, have to agree, when seat went so did most of value. I'm going to replace. I have a hunk of Luan flooring that might end up as a seat.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    ... I have a hunk of Luan flooring that might end up as a seat.
    A PROPER replacement might at least help maintain some of the value of the set. You luaun seat will relegate the chair straight to junk. Please consider doing it right, instead.

    3mm ply (actually sold as 1/8") and some veneer would take a bit longer, and cost a bit more, but it would at least restore the chair's appearance.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

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