"My chair has a broken leg, can you fix it?" We hear this question or its cousin almost every day. Most of the time the person asking really wants to know if we can make a new leg. Yes, we can make a new leg or other broken part, but if the broken parts are still available, it makes a lot more sense to repair the break and that is almost always what we do.
You might be thinking, why does it make more sense to repair than replace broken parts? The best reason for most people is that is is usually less expensive, sometimes significantly less expensive. In addition to that, repaired items retain the same color and finish as the rest of the piece and the same evidences of age. Replacement parts are often not identical in either proportion or detail. For all of these reasons, replacement parts often stand out, repaired parts rarely do.
The final question that must be answered is, will the repaired part be strong enough to use confidently? We would not attempt a repair unless we were convinced the repaired part would be strong. We have never had a part we have repaired come back to be re-repaired.
" I have a _____ , and a little section fell off and is gone. Can you fix it?" It doesn't matter what goes in the blank, it is almost always the same problem. When manufactured, sections of wood had been glued together then shaped. The glue failed, a shaped part fell off and is now gone. Can we attach a new section of properly shaped wood? Yes we can and we will illustrate for you below some of our successes (out of many). Click here for more information about re-gluing.
"My dog chewed the (corner/foot/whatever) of my piece of furniture. Not my best friend right now. Can you fix it?" Poor you because of the dog; good for you that you found us, because yes, we can fix it. Sometimes this means replacing the chewed part, sometimes rebuilding and reshaping it. Either way, we can take care of it for you. We just hope you have a better experience than one customer. That unfortunate man brought in a cedar chest that had one corner of the lid chewed by his dog. We repaired it, he took it home and the dog promptly re-chewed that same corner. Understandably, he waited a couple years until the dog had chewed the other front corner of the lid before bringing it back to be repaired again.
This chair was brought to us after another shop had tried unsuccessfully to repair it. We used a spline to strengthen the broken arm post. After a bit of touch up, it looked great and was strong enough for daily use.
You can just see the old break line through the section of the leg we have cut out. We then glued in the spline, shaped it, colored it to blend, now it's good to go!
For the rocking chair on the left we made a new rocker. The original rocker, broken at the mounting hole for the back leg, sits to the right of the chair.
For the rocking chair on the right we repaired the broken rocker by gluing it together at the break and inserting a spline in the bottom of the rocker to give it lasting strength.
Above you can see the new oak spline protruding from the bottom of the old oak of the rocker. The top edge of the new oak, hidden inside the rocker, is straight, filling most of the thickness of the old rocker. Very Strong!
The sideboard to the left was attacked by a hungry dog. We made new feet and the sideboard was again standing without shame.
The column to the right lost its toe, we created a new toe for it.
TOP OF PAGE
Now that you've seen what we have done for others, what can we do for you? CONTACTING AND FINDING US
This Eames chair broke at the weak point where the seat and back connect. We had to come up with a creative idea for repairing this. We chiseled out enough wood to lay the steel mending plates across the break line, embedded them in epoxy, covered the mend with fiberglass and cloth. Done! Lest we boast too much, Eames chairs most often need to be returned to the factory for repair.These chairs employ some proprietary adhesives and techniques for attaching parts which they do not disclose to independent shops. This time we were able to take care of the problem, many others we have had to refer customers back to the manufacturer, Herman Miller.
The only visible repair we did to this beautiful little case was to replace the grillwork on one of the sliding panels. A very difficult job!
The trim at the bottom of the opening for the glass on the door to the right was missing when it came to us. Obviously it wasn't when it left us.
Pretty obvious problem on this mirror frame. We glued the piece back in place and filled and reshaped some of the carved section at the very top.
We wish we had a before picture to prove this, but the bottom front corner piece was missing when this little box came to us. We matched the detail and finish and attached the replacement piece.
The new, un-aged, white colored wood sections on this backboard were all replaced in our shop. Little Nell was born in 1899, not 1999, in case you wondered.
The toe section on the right foot of this desk pedestal had come unglued, fallen off an was lost. We glued on a new section of wood, and shaped it to match the other legs.
Two chairs in a set of dining chairs came in with a similar problem. They had both broken at this joint. The chair to the right had broken before and a previous repair attempt had been made--thus the upper dowel. It had not held and the chair broke again. We glued the joints together and supported them with a spline. The chairs were later touched up to hide the repair work.
Saint Benedict lost the crook of his staff. It is clear that even for a saint, one's outlook on life is brighter when all one's pieces are in place.
Here is a quote from Saint Benedict that makes sense to us: "Whenever you begin any good work, you should first of all make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection."
A good rule for craftsmen!