Thursday, April 4, 2013

Finally finished the Thonet chairs but with some changes and another Pearsall redo or two!

If anyone has had the fun of trying to take a flat piece of plywood conform to a shape they'd like, you may appreciate this post. Leave a piece of plywood out in the weather and it will bow out of shape no problem. Attempting to make a piece of thin plywood conform to your desired shape, not so simple!

I needed the plywood inside the backs to reupholster these chair backs as they didn't come with the chairs. No problem! I would just cut some new pieces and flex them into shape...Well maybe not so easy...
After wetting just one side of the thin plywood and trying to pin down to the backs with some short screws and the original fasteners it turned out to be less than successful. The plywood was somewhat compliant, but no matter how many attempts I made I couldn't get the fabric around the inside curve around the hand hole. Status: Fail!
Back to the big box and found some ply underlayment that was just a bit thinner. Recut and soaked the entire pieces for a few hour sans the cutout for the hand hold. Same regiment for pinning it down but let it dry for 3 days before releasing these from their bondage. Much better results! And although not original to the pieces, they turned out pretty well!

Rehabbing vintage MCM furniture is always a constant learning curve and the frustration is just part of the fun! I would have preferred to put these back into original condition with the hand holes and upholstery just as originally intended but with my chosen fabric, this was just not going to happen! Here's how the set looks in the store and ready for a new owner! I think they can probably live with it in it's current condition!

I recently refinished the left over pieces of Pearsall I had come in and they turned out great. Much better in the original walnut frames than the black they had come to me in.
I will post some before and after soon, but the cocktail table found a new home the day after I refinished and I just put the 916-CC captains chair on the floor today and it may not be around too long either!
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