Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Victorian Nursing Chair - Stage 3

Hello.... Yes, here we are again.. doesn't seam that long ago that I was last blogging??

The chair has progressed loads over the past few days. Last time I blogged I was sewing down the springs to the webbing, with a spring needle (special blog coming soon all about tools!) and I was going to attempt to lash them all down.

Before I could do the lashing, I had to strengthen the back tacking rail with Hessian and Wood glue (PVA). I used some Super PVA from my Dad, but not realising the woodglue was not the same as standard PVA, so I now have a few white marks on the frame, but I don't suppose that matters too much as you will never see them... I'm just a little annoyed though!!!

Well... anyway, I lashed front to back and put in the tacks ready for todays class, the last one this term :( Jans off to Australia!

I lashed the springs side to side, and got them all standing right and correct - they now no longer have any movement except up and down! yey... was a bit of hard work because you have to hold them all down and then tie in place! so feeling a little weak now.

I was then ready to cover all this beautiful workmanship with Hessian. I used a 12oz Hessian to cover over the seat area. I tacked front and back pulling in both directions - So I tack at the back (only temporary) and I pull to the front, but I also pull between the tacks on the front because I want to get good tension through all the fabric with no ripples.

Around the back and the arms you have to snip into the fabric, taking your line of cutting from the centre of the chair so that it all sits correctly.

I then hammered all the temporary tacks down and folded the Hessian back on itself and tacked around the entire chair. I then took a curved needle and sewed down the Hessian to the springs, three stitches to each spring. This then means that the spring section is now finished! - yey!

I then put some more webbing onto the back, just to fill the gap and for a little support of the stuffing. Because the back tacking rail is not very strong, I had to staple the webbing down and not over stretch it.

I then covered the back section with Hessian and I will do the same for the arm section soon...

Last weekend, I spent quite some time sorting through the original stuffing and removed all the crap, but I and have kept all the Horse hair which I have the wonderful task of washing soon.... eww!

But once it is all washed and clean, I can then start applying it to the chair - I have already put in the bridal stitches. These are slightly baggy back stitches that are for stuffing the seat section.

I'm really looking forwards to seeing this chair grow a bit more over the next few weeks. The processing is already speeding up... It's starting to look like a chair already...

If you want to see more pictures - of me, my chair or anything else that is going on in my life check out www.flickr.com/photos/abstar

See you all soon I hope???

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Victorian Nursing Chair - Stage 2

Welcome back... yes, it's that time again and after another upholstery class, here is my progress so far!

My chair last week was just the basic frame.
After a few hours at my weekly upholstery class...

..it's now this! (I am so proud, almost like a parent?)

When applying webbing you have to get it spaced out right so that the springs can be attached.

This was so much fun, webbing is reasonably easy Just a bit of hard work. I attached one end to the underside of the chair (bottom, back) and then I stretched it across and tacked it down! (In a W formation)

Can you see the W formation?

Then once the front to back section was completed I then weaved the sideways ones and attached those one end and stretch across and attached the other end.

Once this was completed, I put a couple of sections on the arms too and I attempted to put some on the back.. but the tacking rail at the bottom flexed too much. I will be (at some point between now and next week) be soaking some Hessian strips in PVA glue and strengthening the joints.

But at the moment I am sewing on each spring for the seat and then lashing them down.

Thanks for reading... hope you are enjoying it?
If you want to know more about me and what I do... visit www.flickr.com/photos/abstar
See you all next week..... when things should start being put under pressure......

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Victorian Nursing Chair - Stage 1

Welcome to my first project

I bought this chair a couple of weeks ago on e-bay (yey, love e-bay!)

It is in quite bad condition, but the advert did state it was in dia need of some good love and attention, and thats just what its going to get from me!

So my plan is as follows: Strip back to the basics; check and prep the frame; web and re-spring the seat; replace the soft upper upholstery; and recover! (got some nice fabric from the Ideal Home Show)

Sunday 11th March 2007.

I spent the entire afternoon from 3.30pm till 10pm stripping back the frame. (2hour break for Crufts on BBC)

I was very careful whe i was taking off the top layers as I wanted to document all the different stages, plus I wanted to check out how the original work was done.

I do have to say though that after taking off a few layers I realised that this chair had been reupholstered quite a few times from the amount of tacks that were still in the frame, plss the amount of holes left from previous attempts!

The seat section looked as if someone recently has sprung it, and they had done it really well. I felt bad taking it off, as I could have saved it, but I really need to gain skills in using springs so I ripped it all off anyway! (he he)

I spent quite a long time, removing as many tacks as I could find on the frame, but I only had a pair of clippers to remove them with, so it took a long time and I now have a bruise in my palm!

But the frame did look good back to basics!

Today - Tuesday 13th March

I have been to my first Upholstery class with Jan Donley (who is lovely)

I spent 3 hours removing the final few stubborn tacks (with correct tools) and then filling all the holes with a combo of sawdust and PVA glue (eww messy, but fun)

And after I took the frame home and it had some time to dry I have given a good sand.

So, next week I will be buying more tools!! (yey.... love buying stuff!)

I plan to get the webbing in place, and start lashing (Matron) down the springs ready for the hessian that gets layed on top!

I think this is really exciting, traditional upholstery is normally classed as something retirees do in their spare time (I admit I am the youngest in my class by miles...) But I am trying to keep this art alive!

see you all next week, for another exciting episode into the WORLD OF UPHOLSTERY! (ha ha)

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