Monday, October 7, 2013

Repairs to the Wheelchair

Things are moving along with the wheelchair refurbishing. There was a wood repair to do and a bit of gluing.


We bought some DAP  natural colored wood filler.  There are quite a few colors on the market, but this wood is so faded from drying out, it couldn't be matched.  I have some stain pens and would try to match, or at least disguise it after it dried.   I filled the gap.  I did it again the next morning.  When there is a deep hole to fill, sometimes the filler sinks in and you need to add a bit more.  That is what happened for me and why you should wait over night before you move to the next step.


For me the next step was to try to match the color.  It is hard to do, because I am not sure what the color will be after I put on a few coats of Tung Oil.  It will darken and add some golden highlights to the wood.  It looks like oak to me, but I am no expert.  I used the stain pens and the wiped it.  I sanded and added more.  I dipped my finger in some sanding dust and rubbed it in and sanded a bit more. 


The repair is in the far right corner.  There is no magic formula.  I just played around with what I had and hoped for the best.  If you get it the wrong color on the stainable filler, you can sand it down to the filler and start over.  Just don't get any stain on the wood.  That is harder to remove.  After the cane goes back in I may even cover the seat with a pillow, so that repair will be invisible anyway!

I didn't fill all the gaps in the wood.  I do not want to make a new and perfect chair.  I want to repair the damage and protect it, but leave the parts that make this an old chair that has been used over the years.


The next repair is to a big split in the wood.  Lee and I got out the Gorilla Glue and some C clamps.  Always use a bit of wood to use between the C clamps and the wood you are gluing. 


The clamps can leave a dent in the wood you are trying to fix otherwise.


At this point I should mention that you need to read the instructions first.  There is a small print mention about wearing rubber gloves while using Gorilla Glue.  It can stain the skin.  And they mean it.  Read the instructions.


It's wearing off and I know it isn't permanent, but still...

Now I have to scrape off the dried glue and do a few more reapairy things and then I can start using the Tung Oil. 


There is a lot of metal that needs to have the rust sanded or wire brushed off.  That is next on the list.  While the finish dries between the three coats of Tung Oil I plan to use.

Not so far along as I thought.


  1. Nice project! I'll be holding my breath to see the finished results! Hurry up though so I don't turn blue and pass out.

  2. Such hard work! You're a working girl for sure.