Fixing the French Garden Chairs – Part One

I have had 10 9 French garden chairs for over thirty years.

These chairs stack easily.
These chairs stack easily.

I bought them at Pier One on sale for $10 each.

The chair slats break when they get rotten.
The chair slats break when they get rotten.

Over the years the slats of the chair seats have broken or become detached.

The mullion was the same size as my slat and the edges were rounded.
Primed pine mullion was the same size as my slat and the edges were rounded.

I assumed someone would be selling replacement slats because these chairs are so popular. Not being able to find the slats I looked for a synonym of “slat” and “lath” came up. It seemed primed pine mullion would work.  Although it is not curved like the slats on the original chairs the thickness and width were similar.

The rivets could not just be knocked off with a hammer.
The rivets could not just be knocked off with a hammer.

I worked the broken slat off a chair.  They were riveted on.  I knew the replacement would need to be fastened with nuts and bolts.

Dremel tips: don't push, let the tool do the work.
Dremel tips: don’t push, let the tool do the work.

Charlie used a cut off wheel on a Dremel tool to cut through the rivet.

A metal punch hit with a hammer drove the rivet out of the hole.
A metal punch hit with a hammer drove the rivet out of the hole.

He removed the portion that remained in the hole with a punch and hammer.

This chair is missing 4 slats.
This chair is missing 4 slats.

Some of the chairs had more broken slats than others.

I have a feeling putting these back together will have a learning curve.
I have a feeling putting these back together will have a learning curve.

Next tasks: cut the slats, drill holes, attach slats.

Happy Memorial Day!

Have you stumbled across a good bargain recently?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

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