Repairing Antique Child’s Rocking Chair

When a young adult sits in a rocking chair that was made for a child, then add that it was probably built, generations ago, bad things can happen. We have all been there, things break, however some things have sentimental value. These items are not discarded. They are repaired to be loved, treasured, and rocked in by the next generation.

My wife’s godmother asked me to to repair this walnut child’s rocker. The right runner was snapped in two and cracked. To repair it, first, I glued the broken runner together using the pieces I had. Then I cut same walnut to size. Next, I used double sided tape and attached the broken runner to the walnut board.

One of the coolest woodworking tricks is to use a router with flush-trim router bit, the bit has a bushing that will follow the template (in this case the broken runner) this trick will cut the walnut board to match the original runner (an almost exact replica). Now here comes the tricky part drill some holes of the correct diameter and angle (In this case I used an antique hand crank drill and bit) Sand everything, including the leg post (remove any old finish so that glue holds) then glue the legs to the runner and that’s it.

Follow these instructions next time someone asks you to repair a irreplaceable item. 🙂

Oh! I almost forgot I had the additional challenge of repairing this in near freezing conditions, you’ll notice the last photo is under direct heat so that the glue sets. The heater is to help the glue set, not for me…

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