Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Climate Based Wood Shrinkage

Shrinkage is a major problem we see with furniture that comes into our shop.  We are in a somewhat dry climate in California and much of the furniture we see has come across from the more damp climate of the east coast.  Wood is made like a sponge, it holds water so that it stays at equilibrium with the humidity of the climate around it.  As wood goes from damp to dry climate, over time water leaves the wood which causes the wood to shrink.  

This shrinkage causes seats to split, dowels to come loose, and certain kinds of glue to fail.  The best way to deal with an issue of this kind, is to disassemble the item as completely as possible, clean all the old glue off and then glue the piece back together.  This way we can make sure that all the joints are tight and re-fitted for a now ever so slightly smaller piece of furniture

As you can see with this chair,  even though it may have come to us in complete disrepair, we can still make it tight, beautiful, and safe for use again.

Besides having newly tightened joints and seams, this chair also has a beautiful, safe new water based exterior.  We began with a Warm Cherry Stain, and then applied a Semi Gloss Finish over the top.  It is now ready for daily use for years and years to come.

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