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Found 2 results

  1. A friend of mine called me up and asked me if I could repair one of his Windsor chairs, and if I could come over and take a look. So to my surprise, it was the same chair I have always gravitated too whenever I am in his home. His home is one of those homes, where everything is beautiful, in an old way. He has an old fireplace area with 18th century cooking implements around it, he has several hand tool chests full of 18th century tools that are all matched and numbered from the previous 18th century owner, and if he has any late era furnishings, they are all hand made, such as this chair by maker Steven Bunn. His home is one big 18th century fantasy land full of furnishings and tools and collectibles and all sorts of things, I love visiting him. To make things a tad confusing, the maker of this chair is Steven Thomas Bunn, ok, and my friends name is Steven Bunn as well! Small world right! The chair that I love the most in his home, is now in my shop, for repairs. It's been a long time since I did any real work in my lil ol shop space in my garage, and today is nice and cool, the heat is gone, and Fall is in the air, and I really enjoyed just being out there and tooling around, and dreaming of getting my shop back in order to start making "things" like this chair, I have always wanted to build Windsor's by hand, second best thing I guess is repairing them. Let me preface this with, my repair is not the proper way to repair these chairs. My repair is close, in the sense that I used a method of repair that was used in the 18th and 19th centuries to steady loose legs, but what is not correct is that I used this method on a Windsor, whereas the proper method would have been to disassemble the rung from the legs, and the legs from the seat, re-cut a wedge tenon at the top of the round tenons that are flush with the top of the seat, using natural hide glue for the re-seating of the legs, and drive a wedge into the top of the round tenon. But to do that, would mean refinishing a portion of the top of the chair, and I cannot do that, I am not skilled enough to match this finish. The original maker used traditional milk paints, and he layered colors, and stressed the paint to make the chair look as if it has been in use for 200 years. Perhaps our pro finisher @kmealy would have been able to match the existing colors, but not me. So I chose the less invasive method, drilling one hole through each legs round tenon up through the seat and driving a dowel up into the hole. The main issue was, when you sat in the chair, the seat would rest below the top of of the round tenon, causing the round tenon to protrude past the surface of the seat. There is one major issue at play here, the chair was made in Maine, it came out here to the very dry west inland desert area, and it did what wood does, some things shrunk, and the tenons got a tad smaller than they were. It's normal, it's the nature of hand made wooden things made the traditional way. You can see the top of the tenons here. When I took this picture I already fixed the front legs, so the tenons are flush with the seat surface. They used to protrude an 8th of an inch and they were loose. You can see the paint surface broke with the tenons rising up. My repair, drill a hole angled up through the tenon and into the bottom of the seat and glued. All four are done now, I'll cut the dowels back flush, and touch up with a little burnt umber paint, just a few little Q-tip dabs should do it. If you zoom in, you'll see the makers signature, I have seen his work on his website and he does some beautiful work, definitely work I'd love to aspire too. I'll come back with images of the final repair. For now though, you can Steven Thomas Bunn's work at:
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