Special Projects

In the early 1800’s, as the pioneers crossed the Appalachian Mountains, among the many discoveries they made was the hickory sapling. This small diameter tree grew throughout the Midwest in groups of twenty to thirty, surrounded by much larger trees.

As the saplings struggled towards the sunlight above, they grew straight and tall – yet the diameter did not exceed two to three inches – even after twenty to thirty years of growth. If you’re pioneer without furniture, you soon realize that this amazing hardwood sapling made for ideal chair and table frames. – Excerpt from Old Hickory Furniture Co Website.

Brian was from Canada, found my website after searching for someone to restore his four historic Old Hickory chairs.

Chairs - Brian

These chairs were originally woven with hickory bark and are well recognized

Brian Chairs 2

Because of the cost of hickory bark today, these chairs were restored with natural reed.

chair hickory1

Another Old Hickory Project – Before

chair hickory2

Another Old Hickory Project – After


Rik was in need of restoring his canoe seats. How often do you see a canoe seat in this condition? It didn’t take much to put it back in perfect order and get Rik canoeing in style again.

Canoe Seat Before - Rik

Canoe Seat – Before

Canoe Seat After - Rik

Canoe Seat – After

A dream come true is to work on authentic antiques, especially if they are Shaker and rich with history. Harry brought his Mt. Lebanon rocker to me for bottoming restoration. The very special part of this project is that Harry’s chair still had its original seat on it. Although we knew we could not match the colors perfectly, it was important to leave the first seat in place and put the new seat on top. Pictured below are the steps that were taken to make this a usable masterpiece.  Notice on this chair how the twill pattern goes in different directions on the top portion than it does on the seat.  In our restoration process it is important to copy it as it was done on this chair.

Mt. Lebanon Shaker Rocker when It came to the shop

This photo is showing the original packing which appears to be very old muslin

First the chair was inspected to be sure it was structurally sound. Next step was to insert padding under the old seat, as space allowed. Then the wrapping process of the new bottom began

The over 2 under 2 twill pattern now begins using our Shaker tape shuttle which comes in handy in tight spots


Laying out the base

Securing base with 4 rod wale weaving technique

Side spokes being spaced and straightened

Weaving the sides

Nesting basket completed, rimmed with binder cane for strength, fitted with a perfect mattress and baby blanket

Molly at three days old in her new nest


Bamboo Chair Restoration – Before


Bamboo Chair Restoration – After