Chair-ity case

Someone who darns a toe-hole in a sock is thrifty.

Someone who breaks into Dumpsters to salvage just-tossed-out food might go too far. I mean, they’ve got my empathy, sure. But they’re also nuts.

Color me somewhere in between.

busted chairWhen I saw a pile of lumber in a trash heap behind a neighbor’s house last week, I couldn’t resist a closer peek. Glad I took it, because the slats of wood actually belonged to something that was an Adirondack chair in a previous — apparently just previous — life.

It looked identical to two on my front porch, which I’d rescued a few years before from a not-so-handyman who had tried to refurbish them before just offering them up for $20 in a semi-reconstructed state.

This one was an even better price, if even less, um, reconstructed.

the issuesStill, I was up for the challenge. I tried knocking on the neighbor’s door, as a courtesy, to let him know I was robbing his rubbish pile. But no answer, so I simply curbsurfed that bad boy. I absconded with the bits of the chair and moved them to the shade of my front porch for a closer examination. Some dried, split wood on one of the arms seemed to be the deal-killer for my neighbor. It had split right along two of the screw holes, so the arm wouldn’t stay in place any more. And the slats in the back were all jacked up. But I’d certainly salvaged worse in my day.

repair triptychSome wood glue and clamping set that fractured arm in place. And while that was drying, I took a look at some of the other loose pieces. That’s when I discovered that whoever built the dang thing in the first place used drywall screws, which are good for clamping chalky wallstuff to wood, but not so good at handling lateral stress, like when a big ol’ butt gets in and out of a chair. So I set to changing out all those screws with deck screws.

Did I need to? Probably not. But it didn’t take long and I had to bide some time for that arm to dry anyhow. Plus, an ounce of prevention and all that junk…

Holes for a few of the back slats also had torn through, so I shifted all of the slats up about an inch so the screws would drive into good wood. And that’s what I did with the busted arm, too, when it came time to reattach it. Just bumped it over an indiscernible half-inch so the screws had something they could bite into.

Now she just needs a quick sanding for splinters and loose paint, some priming and painting, and we’ll have room for a guest on yon front porch.

Maybe I’ll ask my neighbor over, throw a cold beer in his hand and offer him a comfortable seat.

thats better

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