Equipping My Furniture Repair Workshop to Repair Dining Chairs

Hello antiques dealers and lovers!  For some reason, lately I've been obsessed with buying dining chairs for resale.  It's partially because I think people are going to be throwing lots of dinner parties as the world emerges from corn-in-teen... err I mean quarantine.  It's also because I feel like dining chairs are light and easy to wedge into corners in storage (schlepping heavy furniture gets tiring!). 

Sets of 4 or more dining chairs can be hard to come by, and therefore command vintage-dealer-friendly high prices.  And so, I've been trying to snap them up when I am able.  However, I've been realizing as I do that my knowledge and workshop are woefully inadequate when it comes to taking out wobble and other minor condition issues that may be fairly easy to fix with the right supplies and know-how. 

So, I've found the most useful YouTube channel (link coming soon) and am currently watching all the videos, and compiling my shopping list of tools and other supplies I'll need in order to have a fully functional bevy of chair-repair supplies on hand.

Here is what I do know about dining chairs.  They are almost always assembled with wood and glue in the joints.  Glue is a "bad joint" that will eventually fail, especially in dining chairs as the get a lot of daily usage and wear and tear.  If you know how to properly repair dining chairs, you can, for one, make a lot of money as a dealer.  Secondly, you can save a lot of amazing old furniture from a landfill.  And finally, you can make those vintage or antique dining chairs sturdy, steady, and stable again for two or three more decades to come.

This list will be a work in progress for awhile as I learn more about proper chair repair and what products are most trusted.  I am going to go ahead and publish this blog post though so that you can benefit from my research as I'm doing it.  

Supplies List:

clamps / stretchers (at least 6 per chair)
round file
flat file
spackling knife
dremel tool with cutting attachment
needles (for glue and white vinegar)
white vinegar
wood glue
painters tape
rags or shop towels
rubber mallet
rope (what material did he say again?)
dowels (size dependent on the repair)
wood putty (what brands are best?)
120 grit sandpaper
thing that is a clamp that also attaches to a workbench (what are words?  why can't I remember them when I want to?)

This list is not exhaustive (yet) of everything you may need to repair a dining chair or other simply constructed chair, and you may not need everything on this list in order to repair every chair you come across, but it is meant to be a helpful guide and shopping list for your if you're ready to start making (more) money flipping dining chairs.  Good luck, and happy refurbishing and selling!

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