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Grete Jalk Lounge Chair (France and Son) - Replacement Leg Fixings Needed

Product design
- 16 Feb 2017 -
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Product design

I have 2 Grete Jalk lounge chairs in parts and finally would like dust off and restore.

I need however 2 replacement joiners for the legs. (one is missing and another broken).

Can anyone offer any leads for where to find these parts?

I am in Sydney Australia, but happy for tips on potential suppliers world wide.

Grete Jalk Lounge Chair (France and Son) - Replacement Leg Fixings Needed
lounge & easy chairs
1960 - 1969


- 16 Feb 2017

Interesting: I've never seen that hardware before. I had the same sofa and it was assembled with a cap screw through the leg.

I think you might need to have new hardware custom fabricated. It also might make sense to convert the threaded end that screws into the leg from a wood thread to a machine thread so that the shank is thicker and distributes the strain into more of the wood. (You also have the question of how to remove the broken off bolt from in the leg).

- 16 Feb 2017

Thanks Leif
I expect you might be right. Custom fabrication might be the outcome, but I thought I'd see if this hardware is available.

I have a few of these chairs, some of them have the cap screw as you described and the others have this piece. For further clarity. The part has an M6 machine thread, which screws into an M6 brass wood insert in the leg, which distributes the load into the wood. another image attached, showing the insert.

I have removed the brass wood insert complete with the broken bolt, and I have sourced replacements for the brass wood insert. Just now need to find (or have made) the broken part.

- 16 Feb 2017

Nice. I thought I was seeing the ends of wood screw thread where it broke. Good to know I am wrong.

The M6 thread makes me think that maybe these are later? Like late 60s or early 70s. Cadovius era. What are the markings?

My current Jalk/France sofa has cap screws and I am reasonably confident it is from 1964 give or take a year.

- 16 Feb 2017

Including the ones in parts, I have a total of 7 Grete Jalk chairs of varying sorts.
6 of them (all Teak) have the France and Son medallion inlay. (all silver coloured, except for one chair that has both black and silver coloured medallions, inlayed in the rear rail)
The 7th is a rosewood 3 seater which has the CADO medallion.

2 of the 7 have the Cap screws fixing the leg to the front rail and these are both France and Son made chairs and includes the chair with 2 inlays: both the black and the silver coloured France and Son medallions. I imagine it could have been made at or around the time the the silver inlay was first introduced.

The remaining 5 including the CADO sofa all have the special concealed fixing hardware on the front leg.

So based on the very small sample at my place, I would guess the Cap screw to be the earlier design and the concealed fixing to have made an appearance sometime after the silver France and Son logo was adopted and continued into the Cadovius era?

- 16 Feb 2017

Well, we know that the Cado marked one is from the 70s, and it has this unique hardware, therefore, yes, this unique hardware is later. Interesting.

I like how it eliminates the visible cap screw.

- 11 Oct 2017

Hi, sorry to resurrect this post. DWS, do you maybe have pictures to show me how the springs are inserted into the wood frame of the seat of this chair? I cannot find anything online.

Thank you for your help!

- 12 Oct 2017

not sure if images below are helpful... but they show how the spring seat fits into the teak frame. The sprung seat is covered so I can see exactly what inside...Going by feel, there is a timber frame around the perimeter and the springs are anchored into that. Sketch of what seems to be going on attached.

- 12 Oct 2017

The springs do not wrap around the outside edges of the frame, but otherwise that sketch is accurate, and very impressive.

In one of the photos you can see the ridges in the fabric created by the eeeee springs underneath. I count at least 15, but there may be more....

- 12 Oct 2017

Hi ! Thank you for the sketch, and for the pictures, I really appreciate. I am confused because I have seen other pictures online where the position of the eeee springs can be also guessed from the shape of the cover, and I always count 6 springs, and not 15. Also, in a Ole Wansher chair also made by France and Sons, I also count 6 (see picture).

I will try to dismount the frame I have at home tonight, and see how many holes there are, but I sure the number will be around 6, as I could feel them while going inside the frame with my finger. Unless the frame is not original, but at this point it would be good to know why these holes are there if anyway they have used jute to make the seat.

Thank you for your patience and support!

- 12 Oct 2017

That senator chair definitely shows fewer springs.

It is possible that there are different versions of the seat frame. There are actually at least 3 major versions of this design. The earliest was model 118 and it had an experspring backrest. Then there was a version with a narrow wood slatted backrest. Then they renamed it model 128 and gave it a wide slat backrest, and changed a few other minor things. I would not be terribly surprised if some version of 118 has an experspring seat frame. 128 definitely has eeeee spring. Also the number of springs may have changed over time.

If you pull the staples on the fabric coverlet and remove the jute, it will be obvious which kind of spring and how many.

- 12 Oct 2017

I think that senator chair has experspring. That looks like the right spacing for loops of experspring.

- 12 Oct 2017

Were expersprings ever attached to the top of a seat frame, though? I've only ever seen them set into a routed groove in the frame so that they were flush with the surface of the frame. On that chair they bump up higher than the surface.

- 12 Oct 2017

You mean on the Senator picture above in this thread?

I believe the the fabric has just sagged around them in that photo, especially since it gets stretched from the sitter's weight. You don't see them through the fabric where they are routed into the frame since there is no space for the fabric to sag into.

- 12 Oct 2017

OK, i see--i think there's also maybe a bit of that lighting thing going on where one can see it both going in or out, depending on how convinced one is of one or the other.

- 12 Oct 2017

Hi guys, thank you for your comments. After an hour of work and pain in my hands, I was able to remove all the staples of the top white cover.

As you can see from the pictures, the nails that have been used to fix the jute have created some cracks into the wood. The frame looks still very solid to me, but it's just a pity.

In respect to where the original spring were: as you can see from the second picture, two little holes are visible close to my finger. There are 6 on one side, and six on the other side. My guess is that this is where the hook for the eeee springs were fixed. What do you think?

At this point I wish I could proceed with the removal of the jute, but:

May I use the hooks and the eeee springs that spanky indicated, as those for this chair I would not know how to find them? Even if the hooks that spanky indicated have only one hole?

Thank you for your help!!


- 13 Oct 2017

I do not believe the original used hooks. The springs were attached directly to the frame. I see no reason why you could not use the eeee spring and hooks that Spanky found. However, I don't think you actually need the hooks and it would be more authentic without.

Once you take off the jute webbing everything will be visible. I see no reason why you would want to leave the jute on there. It is uncomfortable, inappropriate, and the nails are cracking the frame.

- 13 Oct 2017

Hi Leif, I think you are right. I will proceed with the removal of the jute. Could you explain me how to fix the eeeee springs directly to the frame? I imagine that the part of the eeee spring that goes on the wood, where the staple fixes it, will be more exposed to touch the pillow than the rest of the eeee spring. Or how do you envision it?

Could you also describe how the eeee spring needs to be fixed with the staple? I could not find any picture on the internet.

Thank you for your help!

- 13 Oct 2017

I think there is a recess along the edge, so nothing sticks up, but I don't remember. It has been a while. Your drawing is pretty accurate to my memory.

- 14 Oct 2017

Hi ! I removed all the jute (what a job!) and indeed the remaining traces of where the original springs were fixed are visible: 6 on each side.

I am now planning to close the small cracks and numerous holes left from the nails, using epoxic glue, and then sand it. I think it will be difficult to inject epoxi in the small holes and cracks, and probably not even needed from a pure structural point of view. But I find sad what they did with this frame.

As you can see from the pictures, I think that two staples, very close to each other, were used to fix the spring. As I understand now by looking at how the spring looks like, it totally makes sense because the spring is "flat". How do you think I can calculate how long the spring has? I will order it today.
Do you have any comment also on the kind of staples that I should use? These are inserted with an hammer, right?

Thank you and best regards,

- 14 Oct 2017

Yes, pounded in with a hammer. I would guess the staples should be about as thick as the spring wire.

Interesting that there are only 6. This must Ben something they changed.

Since there are fewer springs I think I would try to get them tight. All the sitters weight will be on them.

Use eye protection when you attach them!

- 14 Oct 2017

Hi Leif! Just ordered now a few meters of spring from the German site spanky indicated. Do you think it makes sense to put more than six?

I'll keep you posted.

All the best

- 15 Oct 2017

I generally always try to follow the original. And I try to avoid the temptation to improve the original as I go. It is nearly always the case that when I have done something stupid in a restoration it is because I thought I understood everything already and knew better than the maker.

Sometimes I learn a lot by following this formula. Sometimes I don’t learn anything. It is hard to know in those cases whether I am the dumb one who failed to learn, or not.

I certainly prefer makers who teach a lot.

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