Monthly Archives: December 2015

Weekend Project: Chairs Actually Comfortable Enough to Sit On

By Marc|December 19, 2015|Life|

I got an assignment. One I didnt particularly relish doing. Sometimes you have to go with the flow and be a good sport. I dont mind taking a minute or two away from coding and technology, my preferred passions, but this time it got carried a little too far. I was asked to help my parents fix some old furniture so it could be refurbished and reupholstered. I am mindful of how much money it saves to do things yourselves. In their case, it means having your son do things himself.

I am not particularly adept in the fix it department but I can get by. I dutifully agreed to the task and showed up to the garage on time. This was to be my temporary work area, not having one at home I was willing to spare. Computer work areas are quite a different matter. Dust and debris are their mortal enemies. Nevertheless, I took my handy tools kit with me and expected the worst.

In the garage were a few overstuffed club armchairs and a small loveseat in the same fabric. It was all old and frayed and clearly had to go. I knew my role instantly and I started to gnaw at the staples on the underside of each piece. Pick, pick, pick. The stapler remover did its job. Out came the old, making room for the new. After quite some time and a sore right hand and forearm, the fabric was stripped away revealing some ancient padding and lonely bare frames.

Now the fun part–adding new fabric back on. I had agreed to phase one and here I was expected to do phase two without a fight. Dont you want to see the results? I was asked. Dont you want to see it through? I didnt reply, just straightened my shoulders and set my sites on the work ahead. In the corner of the garage was a big bolt of brand new fabric, rather nice actually, if a bit garish. It wasnt hard to cut it in three pieces for the two chairs and the loveseat. Then these pieces were subdivided into seat and back cushions.

My mother had the sewing machine on the kitchen table outfitted with the heavy duty needle. I am glad I was not tagged for the next job. She deftly put piping around the various cushions and it was time to staple the seat fabric to the wood frame beneath. Because I don’t do this all of the time, I decided to settle for a manual staple gun?and it was the savior of the day for this part of the job. It held the fabric securely to the frame until the next round of upgrading some time in the distant future (when I am not around). For the moment, things were looking up. New cushion and seat padding gave the furniture a nice comfy feel and luxurious look. These were chairs actually comfortable enough to sit on.

After all the complaining, I was pretty proud of my contribution and the outstanding, if not stellar, results. With the right tools (a staple gun and the corresponding remover can loosely be so designated I think), you can do just about anything.