Watch the restoration of this antique rocking chair with a broken rocker. It is restored to preserve it character and history for the owner. This unique rocking chair was built by John C. Mundell & Co. in Elora, Ontario, Canada. The woodworking business ran from 1848 to 1930. The label on the bottom of the seat has a space where the rocking chair would have been numbered, but the number isn’t visible. The age of this chair is at least 90 years old, but it could be over 150 years old. There are several indications that show hand tools were used to build this unique rocking chair.
The reason this rocking chair was brought to us was because it has a broken rocker – the bottom curved part that allows the chair to rock. As it turns out, the joints were very loose, so they needed some attention too. This chair has seen generations of use, so there’s no surprise that the glue had let go.
The finish on this piece was amazing. It was worn on the arms for use by generations of people. Where the finish wasn’t worn, it was crackled with age. This is something to value and protect, which is why this was a restoration project versus a refinishing project.
The disassembly of the rocking chair was fairly easy except for the broken screw where the rocker broke. To extract the broken screw, I used a plug cutter to cut a ring around the screw and then broke off the wood around the metal with a screwdriver. This let me get some pliers around the broken screws and extract it.
To repair the broken rocker, I glued the two parts together. Once the glue dried, I clamped it into a jig on the table saw so I could cut a dado across the broken portion of the rocker. I then cut and glued in a new piece of Oak with epoxy to create a strong rocker that would last for generations to come.
The last challenge was connecting the repaired rocker to the rocking chair. Instead of using a screw through the rocker, which would weaken it again, I used a dowel. This dowel needed to be parallel to the tenon used on the other end, so after some complex alignment and drilling, the dowel was in place and it fit well.
I hope you enjoy the details and history in this restoration project. Please leave us a comment to share your thoughts – we’d love to hear from you! Scott Bennett
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See the tools we use in our workshop and the tools we recommend: https://www.amazon.com/shop/homeimprovementwoodworking
🇨🇦 Canadian link – https://www.amazon.ca/shop/homeimprovementwoodworking
This video is hosted by Scott Bennett, Owner of Wooden It Be Nice – Furniture Repair in Brooklin, Ontario, Canada. www.WoodenItBeNice.ca
#RockingChair #Restoration #Antique
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