19 February 2012

restoration files ... papercord ...

Well hi, been a few weeks since we've passed on any news ... you know, summer, all that.

So over the last few weeks we've been pondering a new take on restoring Fler 64 dining chairs (a favorite we have collected a bunch of - usually we re-web and reupholster, but ... meh ...).  Having seen and admired so many Moller chairs, we thought it was time to try our hand at weaving Danish paper-cord - and the structure of the Flers is pretty right for the task.

This is what we did today ...
Our buddy Steve (one of eBay's best stores for retro homewares, rocket2retro - check it out!) long-ago found us a rare footstool from the 64 series, which was the perfect candidate for our first try ... we ordered a big box of paper (yes, paper) cord from a supplier in the northern hemisphere, and here we go!

If you're interested, we've documented the process - just finished today!
So here's the 'before' - such nice shapes, eh?  First step was to strip the stool and remedy some very dodgy restorations from the previous owners (bless 'em).

Since the cording is a big job, we thought it best to dismantle and re-glue the frame too.  And we really can't do the job with those corner-blocks in there, so the frame needs to be as stable as possible ...

We gave the rails a good sanding too - don't want any rough edges or snags where the paper-cord is going.  Next job is pre-drilling and tacking in the L-nails that hold the cord (88 in total - crikey!).
Now, there are several ways of doing the weave - I have read that the masters at J.L.Moller do the whole job with a single strand ... I went with a 3-step technique - first wrapping the front and back rails, with caps for the warp strands ... which took 24 meters of cord!
Then a single piece doing all of the front-to-back runs - 4 strands at each side, with pairs for the rest ... all the wisdom we found on this part suggests it's about 'feel' - not too tight, but not too slack ... so far so good ...
Then it kind of got exciting - the stool is looking OK, but the third step takes the most work, and loads and loads of cord ...

This stage was kind of tricky - everyone who walked past the shop wanted to chat about what was being done, and it's pretty important not to forget what you're up to ... or loose tension in the cord ... or cut yourself on those nails underneath ... let's say I was about 50% successful in all of the above.
But after an hour or two of weaving away, with the cording getting tougher and tighter the further things progressed, there was no room for more weaves, and it was time to knock those nails in properly.

And there you go - job done!  It looks really good, feels great ... very satisfying.
So ... we do have 8 Fler 64 dining chairs tucked away in the warehouse - if you're looking for something special (and definitely unique), email us and we can talk!