Help with antique rockers

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Re: Help with antique rockers

Postby HappyInHartwood on Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:19 pm

The springs may not have enough support underneath to spring back at you when you sit. That's what the jute webbing that khwils mentioned is for.

Here are a couple of sites I found that show you what we're talking about:

This page has everything I think you'll ever need to know about tying springs.

http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/ln_uphols ... 25,00.html
This DIY lesson shows them reupholstering a chair. There's a fairly good paragraph and photograph of spring tying.

I'm usually in the habit of keeping whatever I can when I reupholster anything -- if only to save a bit of money on the job. I did one chair that's very similar to yours, and I pitched every bit of stuffing and filling -- it was real horse hair and it gave DH's and my allergies a fit.

Hope this helps,
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Re: Help with antique rockers

Postby sundine2 on Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:29 am

If the springs are shot then you can order them from Van Dykes Restorers along with other upholstery stuff.
I have a similar chair that was a rocker originally but was missing one of the rockers . I have been working on this chair for approx 6 yrs but actually bought it at a yard sale over 16 yrs ago. Now it is the basement waiting for me to finish retying the springs and then covering it.

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Re: Help with antique rockers

Postby Nancy W on Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:16 am

Please DO NOT replace the cushion with foam. The chair will never again "look right" or "feel right" when you sit in it. The rigid foam will look as out of place as vinyl windows on an old house. I have used and and looked at antiques before and after have been "foamed." I have added lots of extra cotton batting and even a thick layer of strong polyester batting. Polyester closest to the springs so that the springs don't shred the batting. It helps to put a heavy peice of fabric directily on the springs. before the other layers.

The under side of the chair also gets a cover of light weight black woven fabric, just to finish it off.
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Re: Help with antique rockers

Postby prairiebox on Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:24 am

No foam, it is! I was thinking just a thin layer, not a massive block, but you're right about the cotton batting having the right feel. I think it would actually be more comfortable, too, since the foam would just smush down. The black fabric is a good idea also. I'd be nervous about putting staples and tacks where there were none before, though...
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Re: Help with antique rockers

Postby S Melissa on Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:40 pm

Chances are that it did have the cover over the bottom - most all did - to hide the springs etc. Don't worry too much about this - it is a nice chair and you'll enjoy it, and it shouldn't be ruined with careless approaches to making it servicable again, but it isn't a fine antique - it is servicable furniture. Most likely came from the Sears catalog - most of that furniture did. Please don't think I'm denigrating your chair - I'm not. But I don't think you have to take a museum approach to returning it to work in your living room. You'll get the most use and enjoyment from it if it is comfortable and looks nice. Folks are right, stay away from the foam - not necessary. Nice cotton batting and a muslin cover over that is common, then your leather. If it can be reused, try it. If not, buy another hide for it. You may find that trying to work with leather is difficult to stretch taut and to tack down. It might not cost much to have it professionally re-done. Retying the springs might also be tough to do - it takes really strong hands to do this so they are taut and resilient.

I'd bet you're right - that someone slapped a quart of poly on this - probably after stripping it. It may have been darker originally. Some oak furniture from that era was done quite dark, then when lighter oak came into fashion some DIYer got after grandpa's rocker in the garage with a can of stripper! Happens everyday! You'll have to show us pictures when you're done!
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