Skip to main content

Search form


cracked seat rail in Wishbone chair

- 06 Feb 2018 -
11 posts / 0 new

So i got this little surprise when I stripped one of a set of eight Wishbone chairs to redo. I had no idea it was there; the chair didn't feel wobbly at all, but I also didn't put any pressure on the paper cord seat. If I had, I probably would have noticed that sagged more than it should.

Anyway, I slathered it with Titebond and clamped the heck out of it and now it's nearly impossible to see where the crack was. My question: do I need to reinforce it any further? I don't think the glue bond will ever fail but I'm worried that it will crack again along the same grain line. The chairs are 40 years old (soap finish!) but the owner says they've never had daily use. Or maybe she meant they no longer have daily use. I just know I don't want there to be any risk of this happening again on this one.

cracked seat rail in Wishbone chair
1960 - 1969


- 06 Feb 2018

So you mean there's no chance of it splitting very close to where the crack is, given that it's the all the same grain direction with the same stress factors? I'll be very happy not to have to do anything else to it if I don't need to. I just don't want to take any chances since it's not my chair. (Or even if it was my chair, I guess.)

- 07 Feb 2018

If you got glue all the way into every cranny, the split was a tight fit (closed perfectly), and you didn't over-tighten the clamps (glue-starving the joint), Leif's right. It's good as new.

- 07 Feb 2018

Spanky is pretty amazing.

my, oh

Aunt Mark

- 07 Feb 2018

OK, that's good enough for me! Thanks, guys!

- 07 Feb 2018


You also take some mighty fine snappies!

Especially the one with the cord acting and smelling like whole wheat linguini..waiting to be boiled (al dante).

I've grown to love the Wishbone chair.

I've grown,

Aunt Mark

- 07 Feb 2018

thanks, auntie! I like taking pitchers.

That is the cord from four Wishbones. I should have bagged it one chair's worth at a time. A pile that big becomes very unwieldy.

I like to look at Wishbones. Not so fond of them for sitting; they cut into my back at the wrong place. Chairs are such an individual thing. But I LOVE the soaped finish. I think I've finally found the thing to do with my Mogensen chairs that I've had for four years. They have a weird clear lacquer that has not aged well---dull, chippy, dirty, just plain ugly. Now that I've made up my mind, I'm excited to get to them done. (they're also not my preferred chair for sitting but I don't actually sit in them much in my current place so it's ok.)

- 07 Feb 2018

I really like my wishbones for sitting. And I love a soap finish on white oak. My oak Mogensen chairs have a soap finish. Which Mogensen chairs do you have?

- 07 Feb 2018

I have four J39s that are pale oak with lacquer plus another one in dark old oak, maybe fumed. It has the original seat in great shape with a shellac or varnish finish. I bought that one from Roxy Antik in Copenhagen 20 years ago. The backrest broke off long ago and it has a bad repair which I should get fixed properly but it’s low on my list. It was cheap, at least. And it was my first Danish furniture purchase ever, so I’m kinda attached to it. Also, a dear Danish friend told me the design’s story when I got the chair and it made a big impression on me. Lots sentimental stuff going on there, that’s a big part of why I’m keeping the set of four, too.

- 07 Feb 2018

Nice. I would not be too surprised if the dark J39 were originally soap finished. Alkaline substances darken oak, and the soap does not provide any sort of vapor barrier to separate the oak from ambient darkening agents.

Or perhaps it was just smoked from the beginning.

Log in or register to post comments