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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: Hitchcock Chair Problems

Posted By: Michael Richwine <woodwiz@birch.net> (rrcs-west-65-26-166-216.biz.rr.com)
Date: 4/21/4 16:57

In Response To: Hitchcock Chair Problems (K Armour)

First, are they Hitchcock chairs from before the Civil War, or are they the reproductions that were so poular in the 1960's? They look very much alike superficially, but the old chairs are obviously hand made, and the ones I hae worked on had a pigmented shellac finish, while the newer ones had lacquer.

If it's a wooden "ball cap" you are talking about, the easiest repairs would be to replace the wood and carve it to match, or to duplicate the shape with epoxy putty. If you choose to use epoxy, it might be a good idea to seal the broken wood with liquid hide glue and let it dry well before you stick the epoxy on. It will hold fine, but would be easily reversible in the future. color match shouldn't be a problem, since the broken piece was probably black, or gold over black.

I have touched up stencil work by making a stencil and rubbing bronzing powder onto tacky shellac with a cloth-wrapped finger, then topcoating. Don't touch it with your hands or it'll turn colors on you. You can use touchup powders to adjust and age the color. I use seedlac (from flakes) on these kinds of repairs because it's probably closest to the shellac of the period, although many finishes also included other resins and gums like sandarac, damar, mastic, and gum benzoin (also spelled benjamin at the time.)

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