A quick read here for basic information on bentwood furniture, Michael Thonet, the classic bent wood chair and most common repairs needed.
Michael Thonet (1796 – 1871) perfected and patented his process to create bentwood furniture in 1842.
Thonet’s favorite material was beechwood, which he was able to bend to create impressive designs.
In 1853 Thonet and his 5 sons set up their furniture company – Gebruder Thonet – in Vienna.
The very popular bentwood chair also known as Chair No. 14 was designed in 1859 by Thonet.
This bentwood chair was made up of only six pieces of wood and a round cane seat, all could be shipped flat and assembled at destination.
It was lightweight, strong and required no mortise and tenon or dowel joinery.
By 1930 more than 50 million bentwood chairs had been distributed.
This antique furniture is impressive to say the least and is still enjoyed today.
Most Common Repairs For bentwood Chairs
The bentwood chair when in need of restoration typically comes to the shop with at least one of the following issues.
- Loose and wobbly legs.
- Needs re-caning, and usually repairs to the seat frame / holes used to weave cane.
- Has split or cracked wood usually at crest of back, and or hoop that acts as stretcher for legs.
- Needs polishing or reconditioning of existing finish, or complete refinish.
Inspection of these common issues will determine how extensive repairs will be and the most appropriate techniques needed. Each chair should be inspected first hand to give an estimate of cost to restore your bentwood furniture.