Fixing the French Garden Chairs – Part Two

Yesterday’s post described the deconstruction necessary before making the repairs to the French Garden chairs.

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

Using primed pine mullions I scribed the length onto the onto the new piece matching the slats on the original chairs.

Newly cut slat.
Newly cut slat.

I cut the slats to length with a power miter saw and also trimmed the corners by adjusting the saw to 45 degrees.

In the end I held the sander stationery and rotated the end of the slat against the rotating disc.
In the end I held the sander stationery and rotated the end of the slat against the rotating disc.

I sanded the sharp edges off the corners with a radial hand sander.  (I tried using a Dremel tool which was both inefficient and spotty.)

Instead of re-riveting the slats, we used nuts and bolts.
Instead of re-riveting the slats, we used nuts and bolts.

Using one of the broken slats as a guide I marked the screw holes and drilled them so the bolt would be a tight fit. Charlie screwed in the bolts (from our supply) and secured them with nuts on the underside.

The chairs feel very secure.
The chairs feel very secure.

We fixed 6 entire chairs. In order to finish the final 3 we need a trip to Home Depot for more lumber supplies.

Any difference in material should be equalized with paint.
Any difference in material should be equalized with paint.

When all the chairs are repaired I’m planning to give them a fresh coat of paint with our pneumatic paint sprayer.

Did you have a productive weekend?

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?

More Craigslisting

I got rid of some large construction clutter  yesterday by listing it on Craigslist.

These partial pieces of drywall will easily fit in almost any vehicle.
These partial pieces of drywall will easily fit in almost any vehicle.

We were left with partial sheets of wallboard which I described in a separate ad.

When the bit of drywall are gone from against the front wall of the Cottage it will be easier to get things in and out.
When the bits of drywall are gone from against the front wall of the Cottage it will be easier to move things in and out.

We received a number of responses which will effectually clear out the chards of drywall in the cottage.

There are two each of the round shades and only one of the squarish one on the top right.
There are two each of the round shades and only one of the squarish one on the top right.

I also listed 7 large lampshades which I have replaced with different shapes on the lamps in the house.  Lamp shades, due to their size and shape, are difficult to store.

These cone-shaped shades would be easy to update.
These cone-shaped shades would be easy to update.

These, too, are highly sought after.

I've done a lot of work at this table over the years.
I’ve done a lot of work at this table over the years.

I want to figure out something to do with my drafting table that I’ve had since college.  Maybe it will stay in the Cottage and maybe move back over to the house. The table needs a good cleaning.

The cement exterior wall shingles don't take up much room but are very heavy.
The cement exterior wall shingles don’t take up much room but are very heavy.

And Charlie is going to move the extra wall shingles and roof shingles to a spot in the crawl space under the house.

The water heater in The Cottage needs to be replaced.
The water heater in The Cottage needs to be replaced.

I’m getting closer the ability to have a plumber come out to replace the hot water heater and repair the propane heater and any other little plumbing jobs that are beyond our ability.

A pile of roof shingles also is going under the house in the crawl space.
A pile of roof shingles also is going under the house in the crawl space.

In addition to the above items the Cottage also houses:

  • the interior wood trim for the house,
  • our large power tools,
  • paints and supplies,
  • old doors removed from various doorways in the house,
  • and some odd furniture.

I’m working on it.

Does your clutter spot get overwhelming?

Starting the Cottage Clear-out

Yesterday afternoon I listed our leftover blueboard drywall on Craigslist for free.

I advertised the blueboard first and got rid of all the shorts.
I advertised the blueboard first and got rid of all the shorts.

By the end of the day I had 5 8 responses eager to come and pick it up.

This pile of drywall has been whittled down.
This pile of drywall has been whittled down.

Charlie called the first respondent and she came with a Mazda SUV.

Both the inside and outside were packed with drywall.
Both the inside and outside were packed with drywall.

Charlie helped her load up as much drywall as her vehicle could carry.

The drywall supply has been reduced and we found some more books to be donated with the Book Swap books.
The drywall supply has been reduced and we found some more books to be donated with the Book Swap books.

Bonus for me is that some of the heavy stuff is cleared out of the Cottage.

Before
Before
After
After

I was concerned that when I went to clean up over there I wouldn’t be able to move the clutter due to its weight and unwieldiness.

What are you clearing up?

Don’t Sit There

I have four unique vintage dining room chairs that need some TLC.

Some of the caning is new and some old.
Some of the caning is new and some old.

My mother had already replaced some of the cane chair backs.

I'm note sure the leather is real leather but it is really worn.
I’m note sure the leather is real leather but it is really worn.

Unfortunately these chairs are not safely sitable not to mention that the stuffing sifts itself onto the floor.

The underside of the seats show decades of wear and decay. The seats seemed to be stuffed with excelsior.
The underside of the seats show decades of wear and decay. The seats seemed to be stuffed with excelsior.

I went to JoAnn Fabrics to get some supplies to repair the seats:

  • 1″ high density foam

    I bought foam specifically for chair seats.
    I bought foam specifically for chair seats.
  • Polyester batting
  • 3.5 inch jute webbing

I bought the first two items but unfortunately JoAnn’s was selling jute webbing for $9.99 per yard. Seriously, that’s too expensive especially since I think I’ll need a couple of yards per chair.

I ordered 12 yards of jute webbing.
I ordered 12 yards of jute webbing.

When I got home I checked out jute webbing on Etsy and found it for about $1 per yard.  (N.B.: Check more than one vendor to compare not only prices but also shipping costs.)

Carved cane-back antique chairs - set of four
Carved cane-back antique chairs – set of four

Hoping to start rehabbing these chairs soon.

The natural cover canvas will look nice on chairs, too.
The natural cover canvas will look nice on chairs, too.

I’m going to use the same canvas fabric from which the living room and dining room shades are made.

Have you found a good bargain lately?

Still Working on the Ants

We have been plagued with little black ants this year.

Ants have been walking along the countertop above the sink from the yellow wall to the yellow planter on the stainless steel counter.
Ants have been walking along the countertop above the sink from the yellow wall to the yellow planter on the stainless steel counter.

We’ve tried traditional ant traps which did not work.

It's difficult to keep from killing ants in the kitchen even with the knowledge that they must carry bait back to the nest.
It’s difficult to keep from killing ants in the kitchen even with the knowledge that they must carry bait back to the nest.

We used two different methods simultaneously.  First we used conventional ant traps which we placed in their path along the counter between the kitchen and dining room.

White powder against the wall -- powdered sugar and Borax.
White powder against the wall — powdered sugar and Borax.

Next we set out a mixture of  Borax  which will kill odorous house ants, and powdered sugar which attracts them. This didn’t seem to work either.

Ants are highly attracted to the gel in the tube.
Ants are highly attracted to the gel in the tube.

Recently our friend brought us from her exterminator a small plastic tube with a gel bait in it which is supposed to attract ants.

The ants crawl on the outside of the tube then stick their little heads around the end, then in they go.
The ants crawl on the outside of the tube then stick their little heads around the end, then in they go.

Then they carry the bait back to the colony and it poisons them.

The ants, unfortunately, had discovered the other side of the kitchen, too.
The ants, unfortunately, had discovered the other side of the kitchen, too.

This stuff certainly attracts the ants. Hopefully this will work to kill them.

Are any pests posing problems in your home?

Mirror, Mirror

Now that the vanity top is installed in the master bathroom I am ready to hang mirrors on the wall above it.

The window wall in the master bathroom needs mirrors.
The window wall in the master bathroom needs mirrors.

Mirrors to fit these skinny spaces are hard to find, especially at a reasonable price. I would love this Beaudry mirror from Ballard Designs but it is too wide and costs way more than I would want to spend, especially for 2.

There's not much space between the window and the wall so the mirror needs to be narrow and tall.
There’s not much space between the window and the wall so the mirror needs to be narrow and tall.

My plan was to use 2 totally different vintage mirrors until I can find matching mirrors that will fit.

Both mirrors are hung the same distance from the countertop.
Neither mirror is actually over the sink.

I hung the larger of the two in the smaller space because this is Charlie’s side of the vanity. As I’ve said before he is left-handed and so the wall on the right-hand side will not impinge his maneuverings.

My mirror is approximately 9' by 18" inches.
My mirror is approximately 9′ by 18″ inches.

I hung the smaller, daintier mirror on my side.

Both mirrors are the same distance off the countertop.
Both mirrors are the same distance off the countertop.

The bottoms of both mirrors are 9 inches from the countertop.

Can't wait to hang this lighting fixture (times 2) in the master bathroom.
Can’t wait to hang this lighting fixture (times 2) in the master bathroom.

I think they could be a little higher on the wall but first I want to hang the lighting fixtures and get a backsplash tiled behind the vanity.

My mirror is centered between the window trim and the edge of the countertop.
My mirror is centered between the window trim and the edge of the countertop.

In the meanwhile these vintage mirrors will reflect just fine.

Do you make do until you find just the perfect thing? At a good price?