How it Started
I’m a DIY gremlin. So it’s likely a bad thing that I’m in a local Buy Nothing Facebook group. It doesn’t help that I watch a lot of DIY content on YouTube. It also doesn’t help that my husband is also a DIY gremlin. That’s why we walked to a stranger’s house in our neighbourhood and took two very broken but free Muskoka chairs from their front porch.
Going off of the photos they included in their post I knew a few things – the stain was crusty, the wooden hinges were failing, the glue on the arms was failing and it was solid wood. Solid wood was what got me. I wanted to buy wooden Muskoka chairs for our backyard this summer and I couldn’t really justify the full price of them (lol).
After pacing back and forth in our office trying to decide if this was a good idea, messaging the stranger and picking up the very broken chairs, we stared at the chairs in the backyard. We knew deep down we were likely in over our heads. My husband maintained the role of a skeptic as I declared we could definitely reproduce the wooden hinge that has fully rotted on one side. The skeptic continued on for a couple of days about how we definitely couldn’t fix these until I sent him a link to a combo set of tools we had been eyeing for several months. The DIY gremlin in my husband took over and he started listing out everything we could possibly need to do this project.
This is where my confidence waned a little bit. Over the years we’ve borrowed tools or bought cheap/small versions of things to scrape by
in our DIY projects. This free pair of chairs unlocked a justification to finally upgrade/acquire things we didn’t have and we really went for it. I really don’t want to think about the totals on all of the receipts.
These chairs are no longer free, they eclipse the price of the two brand-new Muskoka chairs that I couldn’t justify buying.
Now understand, we definitely bought things that won’t get used for this project. We’re renters, we’ve lived with limited space for our hobbies (and life) for years. We would compromise and buy cheap, small tools over better ones because we didn’t have the space.
Things we bought: random orbit sander, sanding disks, eco stain/paint stripper gel, outdoor wood glue, wood filler, a gallon of semi-transparent stain+sealer, paint brushes, paint trays, painters tape, cordless glue gun, Dremel set, router, mini shop vac, clamps, scrapers…
Things we’ve used: TBD
- Strip and sand the crusty stain off all of the pieces.
- Determine what can be glued and clamped back together and what needs to be reproduced.
- Start gluing up the easy parts.
- Visit our family and use their table saw to cut replacement pieces. If applicable
- Glue up the hard parts. Sand everything all over again to hide the mistakes gluing.
- Re-assemble the chairs. Sit in them and see if they survive.
- Find a good day and stain the chairs.
- Sit in chairs?
Will this work? No idea.