09-05-2014 Journal Entry – Another Chair Project!   Leave a comment

With Fall in full swing I’ve started putting together possible projects to help get me through the Winter.  I have a few minor construction projects already in the works which will certainly help but I need more than that.  I made a rather large purchase of books at the last church fair we attended but unfortunately at the rate that I’ve been  reading they may only last a month or so.

We were pleasantly surprised recently when my better-half’s daughter announced she was once again pregnant with a due date of sometime in March.  A new grandchild in the family is always good news and will give the grandson a younger brother or sister to deal with.  That makes me smile just a little. 

A few days ago we received a telephone call from the daughter letting us know she and her husband were enroute with another surprise for us.  They arrived in short order and brought with them a treasure they discovered at a yard sale.  It was an old wooden high chair that had definitely seen better days.  It appeared well used but still had a solid enough frame and possibilities for future use.  They wanted me to work a little of my magic on it, restore and refinish it, and keep it here for the use of the grandchildren when they come to visit. We love having them sitting at the table with us when we’re eating or playing cards because it seems to make bonding with them much easier when they’re included in as many things as possible.

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Just before the daughters first pregnancy in 2012 my better-half requested my help in restoring an old rocking chair she’d once used to rock her kids to sleep. One of her life fantasies was to have that chair restored so she could rock her grandchildren in it.  It took some doing but the end result was everything I could have wished for.  I hope this highchair project has similar results.

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This newly acquired high chair will be my immediate focus in the short term because it needs to be completed as quickly as possible. I’d really like the grandson to have an opportunity to use it a few times but at  the rate he’s growing I’d better hurry this along.  

The poor condition of the hardware on this chair will make the job a little more interesting since because it’s badly corroded and appears to have been made specifically for this style of chair.  Another challenge to be addressed.

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This old highchair is a Grayco Combination chair manufactured between 1955 and 1962. It’s something of a transformer because with a little effort it can be turned into a small chair with a table attached for the kids to play on. It takes only a second or two to turn it back into a high chair.  I learned while researching it that there are very few of these chairs surviving and little or no chance to find replacement parts.  Even Grayco was no help because of the age of the unit. I guess it’s back to the drawing boards for me.

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‘This Photo Found on the Net’

The next thing I did was to dismantle the chair while taking as many photographs as possible.  It should help me later when I’m trying to put this thing back together.  Any safety devices like strapping have long since been lost and the old style shellac finish must be removed before I can restain it.

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Jump ahead three days and I’m in the final stages of the sanding.  I’ve invested three solid hours of sanding and the shellac finish has been 90% removed.  All of the stainless screws were badly corroded and usable and unattractive.  A quick trip to Lowe’s resolved that issue and with the help of my better-half we also picked out a stain which will make this chair look gorgeous.

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Another visit to Amazon supplied me with a new set of safety straps that hopefully can be modified for this chair.  We shall see.

Future postings of my progress will follow.

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