The chair before restoration The damage to the back of the chair filled with putty The damaged back of the chair Disassembling the chair Removing nails and wire from the chair Preparing to smooth the damaged area Making the blocks to replace the missing wood Carving the block to match the curve of the back Finishing off with a small plane The finished repair Repairing the screw holes on the front of the back spat One of the dovetail repairs to the chair back Colour matching the repairs to the original The finished chair

Techniques Used in This Project

Restoration of Woodwork Restoration of Woodwork
French Polishing Polishing

A Victorian Carver Chair With A Broken Back


When this chair came to us, every single joint was loose. The back spat had been split off the top of the back legs and then nailed back on and the gaps filled with putty. Nails had been used on several other joints as well as screws and wire.


The chair was disassembled and all screws and nails removed. The damage to the back of the chair was repaired by smoothing the damaged section and carving matching blocks to fit precisely. The resulting dovetail joints ensured the back was held firmly. The chair was reassembled using animal glue to secure the joints and the repairs were stained and polished to match the remainder of the chair.