How to secure thin seat to chair frame

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Isxax
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How to secure thin seat to chair frame

Postby Isxax » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:35 pm

I am trying to restore an antique Harvey Nichols & Co chair. It was wobbly in all joints with a giant crack all the way through the seat. I took it completely apart, cleaned off old glue, re-glued all of the wobbly joints, and glued the seat back together. Now I'm ready to secure the seat to the frame. The way it was secured before was by glue - everywhere - which is likely why it cracked; there was no room for it to expand and contract. Most of the connection / glue was on these little triangular wedges - about 8 of them - that connected to the frame to the seat. I worry if I use the same approach it will just crack again down the road.

The seat is only 3/8 inches thick, so screwing into it seems tricky.

I thought about connecting it with some expansion brackets (like these), but I'm concerned even the shortest screw won't hold the seat.

Any suggestions? See pictures below:

https://ibb.co/kSbVPQ8
https://ibb.co/bBttFd5
https://ibb.co/6F27hRc

AsonnyA
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Re: How to secure thin seat to chair frame

Postby AsonnyA » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:56 pm

The seat panel is very unlikely to have lateral forces exerted on it during use. The only significant forces are likely to be up and down.

As per your second pic, https://ibb.co/bBttFd5, the seat appears to be hinged at the back, denoted by the 1, 2, 3 "markers"/tags, but I see no hinges. Is the seat attached, in some way, at those points?

If there is some sort of permanent attachments at those 3 points, then you only need one other attachment, if that. A seat does not need to be secured all the way around the frame circumference. It is unlikely the seat will move, no matter what a sitter will do. A seat as that only needs a minimal lateral security. If the back edge is hinged or "attached" in a fixed position, no other fastener is needed for the seat panel to be stable.

I'm not sure why the whole seat perimeter was glued down to the whole seat frame. The pics don't give an indication as to why, so I may not see or understand why it was glued all the way around. I agree with you, that the whole perimeter gluing attributed to the seat cracking.

If the seat panel is secured at the back edge, in some sort of hinged fashion, then the rest of the seat's edges don't need any attachments. The seat panel is not going to move laterally, nor will the panel likely crack again.

These above assumptions/suggestions may be different if further pics show some other seat-to-back edge attachment or arrangement.

Another possible option is to glue two small thin blocks on the underside of the seat panel at/near and just within the front edge of the frame, such that the blocks prevent lateral movement of the seat panel, assuming the seat panel is hinged/affixed at the back edge.

One other note: I googled Harvey Nichols chairs and got no specific hits relative to your concerns or its design. That particular chair's design may have been so faulty or had proven to be so problematic, that the chair/design was abandoned/discontinued. This may relegate it to be rare and worth restoring or preserving, as best you can, in its most original state. More pics may help resolve your repair/restore problem, rather than just "lets get it in seating condition".

Sonny

AsonnyA
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Re: How to secure thin seat to chair frame

Postby AsonnyA » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:28 pm

After further investigation, I suspect that's not specifically a Harvey Nichols chair. Harvey Nichols Co. was a department store. Some other "company" or person(s) made the chairs and Harvey Nichols Co. simply slapped their store name tag on it. A probable no-name or no common name maker is likely reason for no Google hits and/or no internet hits for a HN brand of chair.

Is there no other kind of marker on the chair, to give some indication of a maker. I'm almost positive Harvey Nichols Co. was no chair or furniture maker/manufacturer, but simply a seller of other folk's manufactured products.

Sonny

Isxax
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Re: How to secure thin seat to chair frame

Postby Isxax » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:18 am

I learned from another forum that this is an English Victorian hall chair, sold through Harvey Nichols, the department store.

As for securing it, it's not hinged like the picture suggests. (I was just holding it that way). The seat was secured to the base with several triangular blocks (glued) all around. That is apparently how those seats were originally designed and is the traditional way to do it. There should still be enough room for expansion and contraction.

AsonnyA
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Re: How to secure thin seat to chair frame

Postby AsonnyA » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:37 pm

I would think if the triangle blocks were glued to the seat panel, then attach those blocks to the frame. The seat doesn't need many attachments to the frame to be stable.

Your description doesn't state what/how the seat was glued down. Were the blocks attached to the frame, then the seat glued to all available surfaces of the frame unit? With the loose joints on the rest of the chair, any racking could possibly be the cause of the seat splitting, and not necessarily an expansion/contraction cause.

The chair structure seems pretty robust. Now that the joints have been secured, the seat panel may not need to be attached all the way around. Just a few attachments is required. Again, glue a few blocks to the seat panel and attach (screw) the blocks to the frame.... with something like an L shaped clip..... Doesn't have to be screwed tightly.
https://www.build.com/product/summary/1 ... lsrc=aw.ds

Sonny


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