My daughter asked if I could fix an old, broken chair. Naturally, I said I could.
I’d never tell my daughter there’s something I can’t do, of course, but in looking more closely at the chair I can see it’s not going to be a straightforward repair task.
The chair in question is from a cherry dining set passed down from our son-in-law’s family. The rest of the set is fine and they use it every day, but one chair cracked down the seat. Since this is also the home of my nine-year-old grandson, I didn’t bother to ask how it happened.
The main break occurred mostly along a joint, so that’s easy. But the rear corner around the backrest has shattered. Not only are there maybe five or six separate pieces, but a small chunk at the very back is missing. If it were just that main crack, some glue and a few clamps followed by sanding and refinishing would do the trick. But, oh, that back corner.
I think my best bet is to dismantle the chair and repair that back corner of the seat first – one piece at a time to assure alignment. That missing piece in the back? Well, that spot isn’t that visible, so I can probably cut a small fillet out of cherry and fit it into place.
Once that corner’s done, I can then just clamp up and glue the main break in the seat. Then I can sand, refinish (which will be easier to do with the seat separate), and reassemble the chair.
After thoroughly examining the chair and planning a repair strategy, I’ve assured my daughter I can fix it, but that some of the repair may be visible. She understands that due to the damage, and is fine with it. What’s most important to her is that she knows I’ll do a good job on it, and that family chair will once again take a place at the table.