Full Chisel Blog

November 10, 2008

Child’s Chair repair

Here are a series of photographs to show the nature of this small repair.  The birch Dutchman had been fit and glued into place and allowed to dry overnight.

Repair shaped

The next day with the clamp still in place I began to shape the wood down to match the original turnings.  I did the top first which was a problem as the handle of the chisel was too long and the seat of the chair interfered with some of the work.  I also used a small chip carving chisel to remove the excess.

Then I focused my attention to getting the bottom side of the bead shaped.  This was easier as I was able to get full use of the chisel.  But under the arm it was tricky and I used a combination of the chisel and the knife to get it to shape.

 It was useful to look down the length of the turning and see the protruding new wood as after I had it first shaped and looking good, by sighting down the turning I saw that my bead was too fat.  It also looks bigger when it is white and smaller after it is finished, it is an optical thing.

Repair smoothed and filled

I did some minor filling with hot shellac stick, then sanded and gave it a coat of liquid shellac.  I then started with the pigmented shellac to darken the color.

Repair first coat of umber

I started with burnt umber then followed with black iron oxide.  I then shot on a couple coats of shellac, followed by some vigorous brushing and it was done.  Well I thought, upon inspection I noticed two small holes that I must have missed when using the hot stick.  Instead of firing up the alcohol torch, I went to the grease pot and scraped out a bit of beeswax/tallow mix and pressed it in the holes.  A touch of black iron oxide, another shot of shellac and it was done.

Finished repair


P.S. the is my 200th post since starting my blog!


  1. Amazing, Stephen. Its invisible!

    Congratulations on the 200th post. I hope there are at least another 200 more in you.

    Comment by Mitchell — November 10, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  2. I like the use of the rope for clamping. I’ve been using ropes instead of clamps on chairs for years… yet I rarely if ever see this option in the modern woodworking texts. Personally, I’m a fan of the tourniquet. Give me a length of rope, a stick, and I’m set. And really good work on the mending.

    Comment by Gary Roberts — November 10, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

  3. Mitchell,

    If it passes the 6 foot rule, so it passes, this one looks good at two feet and I am happy with the chair as is my client. I am sure I have at least a couple hundred left, I just started in Feb and I am just getting warmed up.


    I use ropes for all kinds of clamping, with a proper purchase and leverage they can’t be beat. The reason they arn’t in modern texts is that tool manufacturers can’t sell you a rope and a stick, well maybe that is a marketing ploy, ‘The Universal Clamp’, only $19.95, wait don’t order yet…


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — November 10, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

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