Monday, December 9, 2013

Fixing an upholstered rocker

A quick announcement first: I'm going back to my three day a week posting schedule. With school and trying to get the house ready to sell in the spring, plus general parenting, cooking, cleaning, bathing, sleeping, etc., I just don't feel like I can do five good posts a week.

I'm pretty sure I said that I was going to post about this two or three weeks ago. I should be more vague with dates. Anyway, here's where we started.

You can see there's a distinct lean. I tried looking up some stuff online about fixing these chairs before I dug into this, but it was all talk about untying springs and other intimidating-sounding things. I was a bit nervous about doing anything, but I figured I couldn't make it any more unusable than it already was.

First, I took off the skirt. This was just because I had wanted to take the skirt off but hadn't done it yet.

Next, I flipped the chair over and started disassembling. The legs of the chair were attached to a wooden frame and screwed to these springs, so I took that off first.

The piece of wood with the springs attached pretty much fell off, so that was a pretty easy diagnosis.

It was easy to see the problem at that point. See the big holes gouged in the wood?

That's where these screws, now bent in opposite directions, used to go.

I bought some beefy #14 2 1/2" screws. In hindsight that may have been a mistake; even with me predrilling holes these did not want to go into the wood. If I have to do this again, #12s will suffice.

To make sure the piece went back where it was supposed to, I turned the old screws so they lined up and stuck them back in the old holes, then screwed the new screws in. I first did just a few turns into the wood, enough to mark it, then took the piece out, drilled holes, and attached it permanently.

Here is where it becomes a two-person job. This was definitely the hardest part. In order for the base to be reattached, the springs had to be stretched a little bit. As you can imagine, the springs are under tension so they can be springy, so this is kind of difficult.

B stuck a pair of pliers next to the springs, between the top and bottom plates. He opened them enough that the old screw holes on the wood leg base matched up with the screw holes in the spring piece, then I stuck the screw in really fast and tightened it after his hand was out of the way. We repeated that three more times.

And...done!

I'll admit, it doesn't look as good without the skirt as things usually do. It looks a little top heavy, but oh well. It works and Baby Girl has her rocker back.

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