Restore antique rocking chair with wicker reed and splint
View Larger Image
An antique rocking chair was located that needed lots of tender loving care and restoration. The wicker reed weave back and splint seat were missing, but gave evidence of what may have been there.
First Aid Kit
White Ring Remover
Paint & Varnish
Antique rocking chair with wicker reed and splint needs restoration.
Antique rocking chair needs splint and wicker reed weave
Can you help us? We are going to refinish, I hope, and give it to our son who's wife is exspecting their first child in several months.
If you can tell me what material was used on this chair, then do you have instructions or patterns, and the material to help us refinish this piece?
The chair will need a combination of splint and wicker reed weave.
Clean holes and start the round wicker reed weave
I would clean out the pairs of holes and glue round reed of that size into the hole on one side, then come up over the front horizontal rail and to the back horizontal rail. For strength I would make a wrap around the rear horizontal rail going over the top of the horizontal rail around and from the bottom of the rail go to the top rail and go from the front over and down the back to the rear horizontal rail, then go around the rear rail from the front and wrap around and come up over the top back of the rear rail, across the top of the front rail and down and into the other hole of the pair.
When you make the wrap around the rear rail make it so that the wrap is to the outside of the pairs, which means each of the two strands of the pair would have the wrap on opposite sides, so that the strands will be together.
It looks like there are seven pairs of holes making 14 holes, that would work ideal for the horizontal weave. Come over the top front outside of one of the vertical bent rails (leave six to eight inches of reed to work in underneath the seat for strength of the starting strand) and go under the first pair of vertical strands, then over the second pair and so on until you come to the other bent vertical rail, go over the top of that rail and around from the inside underneath go over the top of the first pair of strands, underneath the second and so on. Just keep on with the seat and continue up the back. You'll end up with a couple of inches at the top where the vertical strand pairs are separated by the front and back of the top horizontal rail. You can continue your weave up the back using just the one strand that comes down the front, then continue the weave on the single strand in the back.
Wicker reed catalog
It looks like the chair at the links is woven with a flat or flat oval wicker reed. You can find the reed you need at wicker catalog Measure the holes for the round reed pairs very carefully and get a size that will fit very snugly. Any woodworkers glue will work fine.
Soak the wicker reed
The reed is pretty easy to work with after it's soaked and makes the bends without breaking. You still have to use patience and care though. I'd recommend the Caners Handbook to get some detailed information about handling the reed. It may have a recommendation different from mine for the weaving too.
As always when you're giving directions you can picture each bend in the road in your mind. This all looks clear to me as I do each part in my mind as I'm typing it, but if I've left you at a fork in the road just let me know and I'll see if I can clarify a little more.
Email question, additional information:
That's a horizontal rail at the front of the seat, one at the back or bend of the seat and one at the top where the two bend rails are mortised into the top rail. There are no "pairs" of rungs or rails to which you can weave what you are referring to.
Then there are 14 pairs of round reed remnants still embedded in a rail 3" below the front horizontal seat rail.
There are 1/4" wide stains on the side rails of the bent rails that run from the seat to the top of the chair.
Email reply, additional information:
More antique chairs
Go to Google and put "antique rocker", without the quotes, in the search bar and click on images. You can find some very close cousins to your chair.
Then go to our wicker catalog for information and materials.
Splint chair seat
The weaving method is called splint. The old timey method used strips of wood about 1/2 inch wide. The wood splint can be pretty difficult to work with and the 1/2 inch flat reed shown is a very acceptable material and is a lot easier to use.
Caning handbook and video
There is a link to a book called the Caner's Handbook that explains splint weaving and there's a Chair Caning Video that explains hand weaving cane.
Wicker weaving is relaxing
It takes a while to do the weaving, but it's relaxing and really gives you a sense of accomplishment when you see the end result.
We're proud to be an affiliate of Blick Art Materials
Cabins, houses and additions plans
Childrens toys and furniture plans
Outdoor storage plans
Garden and patio plans
Furniture and decorative items plans
Shop jig and fixture plans
MORE EMAIL HELP RELATED PAGES
Antique Furniture Info Helpful
Antique rocking chair with splint seat
Birch bedroom furniture refinishing
CatScratches On Dresser Top
Cherry Veneer Scratches
Clean Greasy, Sticky Kitchen Cabinets
Clean Nicotine Stain
Dark Stains Around Hinges And Latch On Ice Box
Dried stripper residue causing problem.
Drip marks after stripping
Drop leaf dining room table and chairs need refinishing.
Flannel Stuck To The Table Top
Four Corner Framing Clamp
Glue, old, needs to be softened
How to paint wicker furniture.
Insides of old kitchen cupboards need attention
Kitchen Cabinet Painted Doors Are Sticking AndChipping
Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Keep Old Veneer
Kitty Piddle On Leather Seat Of CoblersBench.
Lead Paint Removal
Leather Chair Seats
Mahogany has whitish residue with paint incarving
Match pine door color to oak trim color.
Mildew stains on wicker, remove
Minimize the cracks in a red oak flitch.
Old painted kitchen cupboards, repaint
Paint Over A Clear Finish
Rattan, which to buy
Rust, How to Remove
Spar Varnish or Tung Oil
Staining Pine Hutch
Sticky Painted Desk
Strip Deep Carving
Test Cabinet Finish,Paint Type
Thanks For Tips
Tung Oil, Apply to wicker
Veneer repair. How to repair cracked, bubbled or curled veneer.
White bedroom furniture turned yellow
Whitewash cedar chest yellowed
Wicker, apply tung oil to
Window Sill Condensation
Yellowing of white painted furniture