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Møller Chairs

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Repair
- 30 Oct 2017 -
12 posts / 0 new
#1

I found 2 chairs on a FB marketplace for $20 well I picked them up and they have the MØller mark on them so I am pretty pleased. The downside is there is some significant damage to one leg from a pet (I assume) one leg is cracked and the cording on one chair is broken in several places...


So do I sand down the damage or try to fill with some sort of wood putty?

Should I attempt cording myself or leave that to a pro?

How should I fix the crack?


Super new to this and would appreciate any input.


Thanks


Møller Chairs
Country
United States

Comments

- 30 Oct 2017

Detail photos of damage and of the entire chair might help.

- 30 Oct 2017

The damage was likely caused by an unruly child with a sharp tooth and a bb gun.

Best,

Aunt Mark

- 31 Oct 2017

As tktoo says, we need photos really. Good find though. Sometimes people don't know what they're selling.

- 31 Oct 2017

As for the seat, some people get the hang of it right off the bat. Others have a tougher time with the weaving. We now have three long threads on DA about weaving Danish paper cord seats. They aren't tutorials so much as general discussion about it but there are links to videos, websites, and books with actual instructions. I think if you're a methodical, meticulous type, you will be able to do a decent job of it.

This is the first thread:

http://www.designaddict.com/forum/Repair/Replacing-Cord-Danish-Side-Chairs

The other two are linked at the end.

- 31 Oct 2017

I have tried several times to post pictures, I just signed up here today maybe I am getting something wrong but I will try again?

- 31 Oct 2017

I have refinished a few dozen dining chairs at this point, most of which were Moller. From this experience, I can tell you the following....
... the dents and scratches on the legs are likely too deep to completely remove. They can be drastically minimized, though. Filling the damage is possible, but unless you are experienced preparing and color matching filler, it will look far worse than minimizing what you can and leaving it. You can sand them a number of ways, but I suggest doing it by hand (to maintain the curvature of the leg). 120, 180, 220 grit paper progression. Make sure you sand the front legs equally. The legs are solid teak, but are already quite thin and delicate; you will be tempted to sand all the damage off, but realize that removing that much material will make them uneven and more weak. You will need to sand the whole chair as well, so that the color and finish match on the whole chair.
.... I dont see the split you are talking about, so I cannot comment on that.
.... I would leave the seats as is, if you can stand it (I typically can't, but I am a perfectionist). The cord is really not too bad, and structurally, is likely fine. As spanky says, doing the seat is not difficult, but it requires a focused and meticulous method. Unless you are really set on re-cording, and have 6 hours (the first couple chairs always take longer) to give to the chairs, then I would say leave them. just lightly tack or glue the loose strands down.

WhIch model are these, as that will also affect whether you want to start sanding ?

- 31 Oct 2017

I just redid a chair with puppy teeth marks like that, maybe even a little rougher--and it was surprising how less noticeable the indentations were once the chewed-up fibers were sanded away. Those teeth marks are part of the chair's history and don't need to be erased completely. This isn't a rare chair at all, though it IS very nice, don't get me wrong about that! I just don't think it has to be restored to its pristine original state.

I would get the seat redone, either by yourself or a pro, though. But then that's what I do and I am kinda programmed at this point to put that as a high priority with chairs like this. If you do resort to gluing the cord, at least use a glue that is easily removed later. The rails have no finish on them and usually have shallow gouge marks that are meant to keep the cord from slipping around during weaving, and trust me--dried glue isn't fun to remove. Plus, a new seat just looks so damn handsome. Paper cord lasts for several decades of regular use so you'll be set to go! (They actually used it in making tires in WWII when rubber was in short supply. Tough stuff.)

If you pay someone to redo it, it'll cost somewhere between $100-ish to $350 (the low end is someone doing it more as a hobby than for a living, the high being what a restoration shop in greater NYC was charging a couple of years ago). If you redo it yourself, decent quality cord will run you around $35 per chair. There is cheaper cord than this on the market but in the past it has been poorer in quality (I actually snapped it in two when pulling it tight on a chair frame)--it may be better now, I don't know. You don't need any specialized tools, though if you own no tools at all you will need to invest in a few basic ones.

- 31 Oct 2017

Wow! This is all fantastic advice feeling much better about the teeth marks on the one leg and my ability to repair those think I’m going to give the cording ago since it’s a little bit more damage than appears in the pictures. Does anyone know if you can do simply the back to front cording or do I have to do the entire chair the left to right cording as an actually really good shape. And finally wear what I resource the cording

- 31 Oct 2017

You could conceivably replace just the front-to-back cords (the warp strands) but I think it would be very hard to work them in between the side-to-side strands (the weft) because it's not rigid stuff. Plus the new cord won't match and it'll be obvious. This is a beautiful chair and it deserves a beautiful seat.

Sources:
HHPerkins.com
Caning.com
CaneAndBasket.com
BasketMakersCatalog.com
FrankSupply.com
and probably a few others

The first four are all about the same for a 2 lb coil, but shipping may vary a lot depending on your location. Frank's is cheaper but I know for certain that their quality went downhill a few years ago. I had a long conversation with Mr. Frank and he said at that time that he was looking into another supplier; I don't know what came of that because I switched to HHPerkins in the meantime. Their cord is excellent and because i buy in volume and because I live much closer to them than to Frank's in CA, shipping is way less and way quicker. If you want to try Franks, get a sample first (the 1/8" cord) and unfurl each of the three strands of cord. You can actually measure the width of each paper strip of paper and compare it to one of the other brands (I can tell you Perkins' specs). Theirs also had a lighter weight paper last time I checked--but again, that was a few years ago. I don't know what they're selling now.

Don't be tempted to get "Fiber rush". Yes, it looks just like paper cord in the photos and yes it's lots cheaper, but it's not the same thing and doesn't work for the Danish style weave. It's too stiff. It's just one ply, not three.

Here's a nice photo essay on how to weave, by one of the regulars here:

http://www.thomaspenrose.com/diy_cord01.htm

I don't recommend the tools he uses for loosening the L nails because it's too easy to break the tops off the nails. I just use diagonal pliers--grip the shaft of the nail, ease up a bit using the chair frame as a fulcrum. But other than that, yeah, all the rest of it.

Read those three threads I linked to above, though. They cover pretty much everything, though you need to read them all because some sources and methods changed over time.

- 31 Oct 2017

Thank you so much! I have decided to go for it, learn something new and restore something beautiful. I am so grateful for all of the input and advice.

- 01 Nov 2017

You could treat the dents with hot steam before sanding. You can use a soldering iron and a wet cloth for that. At youtube you will find videos on how to do it. the effect will be that the fibres of the wood will rise again, the dents will become much shallower. If you sand it afterwards, most of the dents will disappear completely.

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