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How To Stop The Destruction Of Your Wooden chairs

Aug 17, 2007
Ever since Adam got tired working in the garden and decided to sit down and take a rest, chairs have been a really popular addition in people's homes. Chairs made of wood have been around for thousands and thousands of years, some still exist today that dates back that many years. So why is it that today that so many chairs are coming apart and breaking in just a few short years?

Even though there are wide varieties of quality when it comes to chairs, the care of a low budget chair and an outstanding chair have much in common. Pay attention these few easy to do tips your mom may have already told you about, and any chair will last a lot longer, and be more enjoyable to own than if you ignore their care.

1. When you take your seat, do it like a lady or a gentleman. I told you your Mom probably told you some of this, The reason it's so important to sit and not flop, has got to do with the basic laws of physics. Basically if a one hundred forty pound person hits the seat at three miles per hour, that is like the force of a four hundred pound person at the moment of contact. Even the most substantial seating doesn't like that very much.

2. Finally after you are in the seated position, do your best to lift the chair as you position yourself at the table.
Scooting is not good, especially on carpet. Maybe that's where the tradition of a man helping a lady into her chair came from. I don't think so but heck, it sure seems like a nice thing to do.

3. Okay, this one I have been known to be guilty of myself. I remember in school getting scolded for leaning back in my chair. I don't really think the teacher was so concerned about the care of the chair but still it was good advice. Don't tip, first of all it will make the chair loose, and then the back legs will break off where they attach to the seat.

4. Don't over load, this one is pretty tough, we've all been there, a friend or relative who is big, asks, can I sit here? Almost no one will say no, it's like gravity is somehow going to be suspended for the duration of the seating.
Do yourself and your large friends a favor, Buy a really sturdy chair and offer it instead of your dainty vanity chair, you'll feel better and if done tactfully your friend will appreciate it too.

5. Don't over look preventative maintenance. Your car gets a look see and an oil change every 3000 miles, you change the furnace filter every 3 months, and you get your teeth checked a couple of times a year. Chairs deserve as much, they take an enormous amount of stress, and you should check them out every couple of months or so. You will save a bunch of money if you stay on top of any looseness as it occurs. At our shop we see it all the time. People bring a chair with some really gnarly damage that is obviously from a cascade effect of joint failure. It's your choice, spend forty or fifty bucks once a year to keep the chair in good and serviceable condition or face an embarrassing and expensive total collapse when you least expect it.

6. When legs begin to come loose, don't try to re-glue it with a shot of hot melt glue, It is not really even glue, it's some molten plastic ooze that will make it really hard to achieve a good bond once you decide to ask a professional for help.

7. Finally maintain an even level of humidification in your home. Wood shrinks and expands as it goes through swings of humidity. Glue doesn't shrink and swell at the same rate, the result is a breaking of the bond that holds the chair together. All your furniture and even the people and pets that inhabit your home will be much happier if you can maintain humidity of between 35 and 50%.

That's it, do this and all chairs, the good the bad and even the ugly will live longer and feel better.
About the Author
John VerHines is a seasoned restorer and the president of Gramco. With over 40 years of experience in the craft of furniture restoration.
To learn more visit http://www.GramcoFurnitureRestoration.com
Copyright Gramco furniture restoration LLC.
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