Chair Caning Forum--The Caner's Community Hub™ for Beginners, Hobbyists and Professionals, since 2004
Cutting a new groove
Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:38am

Joyce, thank you. What a lovely answer!
I again spent a half hour talking over the imperfections of the chair with the customer, and she said she trusted me to make the right decision. Having started my business less than six month's ago, you all know that I'm still learning how to handle items which belong to others. But I also have to keep in mind that I don't want to bust the customers budget. I had taken this chair to a furniture repair shop and got an estimate of $125 - $150 to only sand, stain, and varnish the seat without disassembling the chair. To cut the groove which I went to him to discuss, the charge was to be $200 or more. Either option would be at least 100% more than the "ballpark" estimate for repair (since I was not aware of the broken rail on first inspection.)
The customer and I discussed that the chair has a "splash" of dark stain on the headrest and several horizontal drips of that same color---in the intricately carved area. I lightly sanded it (only on the flat parts of the design) but that did little to "lighten" the splash. In calling her about it, she said to leave it go the way it is. It's been like that for this long..... it's OK.
We then discussed the groove and I relayed what others thought. She said I could check into the repair of the rail and that the dark tack holes would not bother her, the will add to the "character" of the chair. Last night I dreamt another option. I could "extend" the rectangular opening to the back and only groove out that area--maybe to the point of the tack marks, or at least into a solid area of wood to support a new groove and accept the replacement chair securely.
There is enough room for me to clamp a "guide" along the back to aid in making the groove straight (with my dremel and router attachment) and the only place I would free-hand it would be the corners. I did groove an upholstered child's chair into a rocker 3 months ago, and it turned out quite well. I used a cutting wheel on the router and then my chisel to fashion the groove. It was a chair I got from a junk pile and I was more fearless since I had nothing to lose.
I love this forum board and the chance to bounce back ideas and advice before jumping off the deep end.

Darlene Roehm
d/b/a DKR Cane-Seat Replacements
Manheim, PA

On Facebook:

  • Cutting a new groove Back Porch Caning - Joyce Curtis, Wed Feb 22 5:42am
    Regluing and screwing a rail that has split away is usually no big deal for me, but if the piece is missing or badly glued, I take the chair to a professional furniture repair person who loves his... more
    • Cutting a new groove DKR.SeatCaning, Wed Feb 22 8:38am
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