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  1. #1
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    Apr 2018
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    Default Chair restoration advice

    I have this pair of chairs which I know little about other than they are very cool.
    I am looking to make them functional but also wanting to not alter their look too much
    The leather arm slings and the straps under the base are in poor condition but the seat base and back seem fine.

    Appreciate some advice on the best way to deal with them and if anyone knows era or origin

    cheers

    BC53435C-18DE-4B10-B9DF-203B5F92D601.jpgC5FAA682-DD7C-4DE3-99A3-66C18EDE4621.jpg0823CFE9-835B-496B-9A4C-1071F0739259.jpg093B1C3C-F03A-4E40-993E-F0EABA4FA6F3.jpg

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  3. #2
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    Feb 2006
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    Default

    I agree they do look very cool. The seat and back are in such good condition I would just replace the arms with new bits of black leather. I would look on line for vendors of suitably sized pieces of leather and DIY

  4. #3
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    Jul 2010
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    melbourne
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    Default

    Hi There Beardy,
    I believe they are Roorkee Chairs. A style of campaign chair.
    There is a guy at the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking that runs classes on making them.
    His name is Hugh Anderson, who I have known for a while outside of that institution.
    If you look up the Guilds website there is a little bit of info on them and you may be able to contact Hugh and ask his advice.
    They're pretty cool chairs. I might have made one or two if I had room to put them.

    Cheers

    Frank

  5. #4
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    May 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mattocks View Post
    Hi There Beardy,
    I believe they are Roorkee Chairs. A style of campaign chair.
    Frank
    Interesting Frank . Thanks .
    I remember seeing lots of these turn up at local Melbourne furniture auction rooms over the years .
    They must have had a popular period in the 1970S I assume ?

  6. #5
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    Default

    Further to what Frank said I just found this information on them

    Roorkee Chair – Lost Art Press

  7. #6
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    May 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beardy View Post
    I have this pair of chairs which I know little about other than they are very cool.
    I am looking to make them functional but also wanting to not alter their look too much
    The leather arm slings and the straps under the base are in poor condition but the seat base and back seem fine.

    Appreciate some advice on the best way to deal with them and if anyone knows era or origin

    cheers
    My standard way of refreshing that dry look Beardy is to give the wood parts a going over with a mix of linseed oil mixed with mineral turps . 30 / 70 mix roughly . It sort of feeds the wood surface and drys off leaving it thinly oiled . A rub back at the same time with fine worn sandpaper like a 320 to 400 just smooths the surface lightly . It will go darker at first if the surface is absorbent but if left at that it dries off to the natural colour.
    You dont want something that's going through the faded colour of the top surface with the sand paper, just adjusting the feel of it if its raised or sun / water damaged .
    Then you could give it either a thin rubber of shellac for a nice light re shine or a thinned oil finish like my latest favorite Osmo , or Danish oil . Finished off with a 0000 steel wool and wax . liberon wool .

    For the coloured shiny look with the Leather. It used to be sealed and shined same as wood going way back . With the same finishes I'm convinced, and been told by leather workers in the Antique trade. Later modern methods are different than the old way . If its a suede raw belting then feed with a wax like polish ? leather products are available I'm pretty sure .
    If it was a sealed surface with a shine then a feed with the oil and turps light cut back and a re shine with shellac gives a very nice look quickly. Then a wax. Ive restored antique leather boots , leather desk tops , Made plenty of new hand coloured leather desk tops and made new leather covered Georgian style Wing chairs this way .

    Rob

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default Leather treatment

    The traditional treatment that has been used for centuries on leather is neatsfoot oil.

    Its significance is that unlike all other oils it doesn't dry out and continues to soften the leather.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    blue mountains
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    4,357

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beardy View Post
    Further to what Frank said I just found this information on them

    Roorkee Chair Lost Art Press
    I had not heard of them so after reading that the straps and buckles are explained.
    Regards
    John

  10. #9
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    Apr 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohdan View Post
    The traditional treatment that has been used for centuries on leather is neatsfoot oil.

    Its significance is that unlike all other oils it doesn't dry out and continues to soften the leather.
    I did a bit of research and apparently you need to be careful not to use the oil near stitching as it will rot the thread, theyalso discuss Mink oil as another option.

    The base ash and back are in good condition so might look at using a proprietary leather cream of some sort on them but the arm slings are very dry and have no stitching so the neatsfoot oil might be good for them

    The leather straps under the base are gone to far so will need to replace them but perhaps can use the original buckles
    I might see what the local saddlery has to say about replacing them

  11. #10
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    Default

    Thanks all who have contributed so far, I now know what the chairs are and have a bit of direction to tidying them up

    I am a little bit surprised the wood turning fraternity have not got on to these as they would be a great little project to take on

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Australia
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    2

    Default Michael Hirst Safari Chair

    Quote Originally Posted by Beardy View Post
    I have this pair of chairs which I know little about other than they are very cool.
    I am looking to make them functional but also wanting to not alter their look too much
    The leather arm slings and the straps under the base are in poor condition but the seat base and back seem fine.

    Appreciate some advice on the best way to deal with them and if anyone knows era or origin

    cheers

    BC53435C-18DE-4B10-B9DF-203B5F92D601.jpgC5FAA682-DD7C-4DE3-99A3-66C18EDE4621.jpg0823CFE9-835B-496B-9A4C-1071F0739259.jpg093B1C3C-F03A-4E40-993E-F0EABA4FA6F3.jpg
    Hi Beardy,

    Looking at the detail the designer is Michael Hirst, ca. 1960. Check out Michael Hirst :: biography at
    :: at Design and Art Australia Online
    . Both the Powerhouse Museum and NGV have his works in their collections, predominately steel rod designs or work done in collaboration with Clement Meadmore. It's possible Hirst himself made them as no one else is credited that I'm aware off.

    Hirst was continuing in the tradition that all designers, woodworkers, chair makers, etc, at some point reach; pitting ones skill and knowledge against the those practiced by our forebears...and contemporaries for that matter. A tradition more commonly associated with the Windsor chair.

    As to why the resurgence in Scandinavia of a chair more commonly associated with the British Raj?

    This is the conundrum of the internet. Instant gratification and short attention spans.

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