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Back in July, Chuck gifted me with a pile of used-up kids’ furniture he found in a trash heap. It was actually quite cool of him as he knows I dig that sort of thing. It’s been laying around my shop in various stages of completion since then. However, since my little one is able to walk and move around now, it’s about time to finish it. I started with the part I was least looking forward to –- the chipped and broken chair.

The top rail piece was in bad shape. When it comes to furniture, one kid year is equal to about fifteen adult years. However, given the obvious wear, the chairs for my lil’ tyke dinette set weren’t too bad off; one chair had a bad top rail and the other was missing a seat. I took the worst of both and decided to combine them.

As you might have seen in the Part 1 post, I chiseled the broken piece flat on two sides and made a wedge to fill it out.

Using the scroll saw and a disc sander, I removed the excess and shaped the piece to fit after gluing it in. I’m sure there are better ways to do it, but this works fine for our purposes.

Drilling a hole to match the 3/8” dowel pin was the final step in the top rail repair. Normally this chair would have been thrown away (of course that’s what the previous owner chose to do) or a new top piece would need to be constructed. To my way of thinking, it’s kid furniture; it’ll be back in the shop for repair anyway, so it just seemed wasteful to chuck the whole thing when a little fix would do.

Right before assembly I also removed the old glue in the spoke holes and laid in a little expanding furniture glue to hold them in place.

Next up was to cut the seat bottom from the glued-up form I made a while back on the scroll saw.

A little edge routing on top and bottom so little fingers don’t get hurt when hauling it around.

One coat of amber shellac and two coats of clear shellac were just the ticket — durable and easy to repair.

Okay, now let me state for the record: This is not adult furniture. The mint green color scheme is about as far from my taste as you can get; however my daughter smiles and claps with glee anytime she sees something this color. [Cough] so daddy paints everything like this. So in a way, I suppose it is my taste.

A few screws later, the seat was mated to the chair and ready once again for a long life of hard abuse and tea parties. It’s a double win — my little girl is happy at a cost of $3 in paint and about $6 in oak, and I saved what turns out to be good furniture from the scrap heap.

Next up in the project: the kids’ table.

Trash Heap Table Rescue – Part 1 [Toolmonger]


5 Responses to Project: Trash Heap Table Rescue, Part 2

  1. olderthanyou says:

    You’re just showing off. I’m only kidding, that is actually an enviable piece of craftmanship.

  2. Toolhearty says:

    Nice work! Kudos.

  3. Dave says:

    People waste so much. I do it. I try not to.

    I work with a fellow that says every year he and his wife throw away all there Christmas decorations (minus sentimental ones) and re-buy new ones the next year.

    What do you waste?

  4. Toolhearty says:

    Dave Says:
    What do you waste?

    Time mostly, but some say “space”, too.

  5. Scott R says:

    This project reminds me of the wooden playset I restored. New, the thing would have cost $1,500. I was able to get away with restoring it for under $150. Great work! And that chisel out the chipped piece just might work for my dog-chewed bay window ledge.

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