Chair. Saturday , January 06th , 2018 - 19:00:05 PM
Well, at least they were 19th century! Unfortunately, with steadily increasing labour and material costs the era of the bodger (or chair-maker) was close to an end before the end of the 19th century. The end of truly hand-made chairs: mortised and tenoned without the aid of machinery; with turned and carved legs, sometimes even with carved back rails depending on the particular skills of the craftsman making them. Very few examples of Australian chairs with the Trafalgar-style back have carving on the actual cresting rails; these chairs, even as individuals, are eagerly sought and highly prized.
Chairs seem to be one of the least likely types of furniture to survive, when you hear stories like, "one chair broke and granny threw it down the well years ago", or "when the leg broke we used it for fire wood". When it comes to restoring a chair, people object to the price, saying "it‘s too much", or "it‘s not worth it!" There must have been more chairs manufactured than any other item, as they were usually purchased in at least a set of four, yet few examples survive. Quite often, old chairs had very harsh repairs carried out on them: large screws for strengthening joints; steel straps nailed to the legs and side rails, often on the polished faces; large wood blocks glued in or large hunks of wood nailed on for extra strength; and the odd nail that often looks more like a railway spike - all of this plus a good slurp of glue just for luck. A lot of this type of damage, under many layers of upholstery, hides a surprise for the restorer. Trying to get a chair like this apart, repaired and re-glued is a nightmare. Very few chairs have escaped without some type of makeshift or bandaid repair. Full sets of chairs are scarce, and one must accept the concept of a harlequin set or a mixture of complementing chairs to fulfill one‘s chair requirements.
As we begin, please understand that if you need your new chairs quite quickly, you are going to be very limited in your church chair fabric choices. Several church chair manufacturers and importers have "church chair stocking programs" with "ready to ship" chairs (some more than others) in a few limited fabrics. Most of these fabrics are very basic in color and quality. But for churches with immediate chair needs, it is fortunate there are at least some solutions they can avail themselves of.
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