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Bentwood Chair restoration project

Hay
Junior Contributor

Bentwood Chair restoration project

Hi Community,

 

I would like to share my resoration project, its currently a work in progress.

 

I've collected 4 different styles of Bentwoods (Antique or Vintage?) off Gumtree. These will go around our dining table, in our dining "alcove".  Our apartment is small so I thought that Bentwoods would look good as they are small and neat, and you can see through them. I also love the style. 

 

 

They are of varied condition, some need a little attention, some need a lot. The most damaged one was posted for free on Gumtree, the owner said they were throwing it out the next day of nobody came to collect it. This one is also the most unusual, so I'm so glad I saved it from the bin.  

 

All 4 chairs are below, numbered 1-4, from left to right. 

 

4 chairs.JPG

1. This chair just needs a tighten, a sand and refinish

2. The freebie. It was split and needed to be soaked, glued, and then finished. (images below)

3. Amazing chair with pressed metal seat!  Just needs a tighten, sand and finish.

4. This one is also split, so I will soak and glue it too before finishing.

 

Chair 2:

The freebie owner told me to soak the split area and glue it.  I wasn't sure how to do this, but I came up with a good method.  I sprayed the area with water, and tied rags around it, then sprayed these with more water.  I tied the rags tight enough to give pressure, but not too tight to begin with. I just kept going with this.  Untying once dry and resoaking, adding pressure, until it came back to shape. The end result is a bit wonky, but aren't we all? Process pics below. 

 

Chair 2.jpg

Chair 2 with closeup showing the splits

 

Chair 2 soaking.JPG

Chair 2 Soaking...

 

Chair 2 soaked.JPG

Chair 2 Success!  Soaked and bent back into shape (almost)

 

Chair 2 glueing.JPG

Chair 2 Glueing. I squeezed/poked Aquadhere into the split, and used masking tape as my clamp.

 

I still need to work on some splits/cracks in the seat as they would catch on clothing.  I'm not quite qure what to use here so would love suggestions?  I needs to disguise well and blend with the wood. 

She needs a good sand as the glue got a bit messy, but I think it's going to be a success.

 

Chair 4:

Chair 4.jpg

Chair 4 showing closeup of split and the soaking process.  This is where I am up to.  When I get home tonight, it will have dried, so I will undo it, resoak and tie up with a bit more pressure.

 

I would love any advice on what kind of finish to use on these and any suggestions for repairing the seat cracks. 

 

The end goal is to have them all looking a similar colour. 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

redracer01
Trusted Contributor

Re: Bentwood Chair restoration project

Hello @Hay 

 

Rattan bending was something I learned with my grandfather. Using a steam bender would be good, but very time consuming. Making rattan wood do your bidding in the shortest possible time requires heat! Extreme heat from a blow torch and a frame to hold it in place. Using a piece of timber mdf or otherwise at a size of at least 600 x 660 square, drive in nails every 5 cm in a circular shape ( to the desired size of the circular support ). Disassemble the chair and place the circular support into the frame. Using the blow torch run it along the piece you wish to bend ( in a back and forth manner ) use steel multi grips to bend the rattan in to the frame. Do not let the flame stay in one place too long or you get a burn mark. A kerosene blow torch should be perfect for the job, you could pick this up for a few dollars at the local flea market. That is if the flea market ever comes back. I am impressed with your work, rattan chairs are not the easiest to work with and have a mind of their own. Good luck and stay safe.

 

Cheers,

Red

blowt.jpg


I am a Bunnings team member. Any opinions or recommendations shared here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Bunnings. Visit the Bunnings website for assistance from the customer service team.


Newqlder
Budding Contributor

Re: Bentwood Chair restoration project

Hi to you Hay. 

You have probably finished this project by now. How did it end up for you mate?  I have just beeen given two chairs to restore and it seems the major part is the ring that you have shown in chair 4. I wonder if anyone knows the timber that was originally used in these chairs?  I was thinking of using a piece of pipe full of water and boiling it with the end stuffed with a rag. That is a method that my father used many years ago when building a boat. Problem now is to get a suitable timber to use. Or go ahead with your method which seems like it works well enough. 

Newqlder
Budding Contributor

Re: Bentwood Chair restoration project

Hi Red

 

can you tell us where we can source rattan cane?

I have two bentwood chairs to do and one of the rings under the seat is pretty well beyond help. 

 

redracer01
Trusted Contributor

Re: Bentwood Chair restoration project

Hello @Newqlder 

 

I saw a mob online "Bayside Cane" perhaps worth a look to see if they will sell you the parts.  

 

Cheers, 

Red


I am a Bunnings team member. Any opinions or recommendations shared here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Bunnings. Visit the Bunnings website for assistance from the customer service team.


MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Bentwood Chair restoration project

Hi @Newqlder,

 

It's great to see you've received some helpful advice from @redracer01.

 

I just thought I would stop by to welcome you to the Bunnings Workshop community.

 

We look forward to hearing more about your project and would encourage you to let us know anytime you need assistance or have something to share with the community. I trust you'll find loads of inspiration for your projects around the home and garden as our amazing members are contributing their ideas here ever day.

 

Mitchell

 

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Newqlder
Budding Contributor

Re: Bentwood Chair restoration project

Thanks Mitchell. 

 

I am thankful to Red for his tip. I have called these people and found them very willing to help and they can supply materials that I will need. 

I will be posting some pics as I proceed but it will take a while as I get interrupted with other issues at our club. 

 

I have just completed a set a set of six old Silky Oak dining chairs and they came up pretty good. 

 

😎

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