Craftsman Rocker Gem

Updated: Oct 6



Let me tell you about this chair and the auction. It was one of those Fall days when the sun is shining and you even though the morning is chilly, you are sure it is going to warm up to be a beautiful day. Wrong. The sky was clear and it bone chilling cold and blustery. I was not dressed for that kind of weather. So there I was freezing my fanny off and fending off "where is your coat?" queries. Yes, I thought my layers of a t-shirt and a sweatshirt would be sufficient. This was a typical farm auction. Everything was outside in the yard and the field. Did I mention how really cold it was? In any other circumstance, I probably would have come to my senses and left the auction.

But then, I saw this. A beautiful, oh so solid, Craftsman rocking chair—with hideous and filthy blue fabric. I knew I had to take it home. So I waited through the box lots, the ring, the other ring until they finally got to the furniture. Maybe it was the cold weather or the filth that kept the other bidders away. I started the bidding at $40 and no one bid against me.

The wood was filthy. The fabric was disgusting...

The seat was not attached. I thought it would be easy to recover because I have done it a hundred times! Well, no. This seat had springs in it—many of which had sprung. I had not encountered those before this project. I spent a lot of time watching videos on YouTube to learn how to re-tie springs. I also spent a lot of time at the hardware store trying to figure out what material to use to re-tie the springs. We live in a small town and the "upholstery section" of the store is almost non-existent. I ended up using twine because that is what it had originally. Now I just order supplies online.

The fabric and padding went into the trash. I used Murphy's Oil Soap to clean the wood and if came out great! I then used furniture oil to bring the wood back to life. It's so pretty—now.

Ugh. It was really filthy.


But it started to shine...

After I learned how to re-tie the springs (that took a couple of weeks—no photos), I added new foam and reupholstered the seat.

The top of the arms has a nice patina. I thought about sanding it down and applying new stain and varnish, but I love the patina when it's oiled so I left it alone. I was really worried about matching the rest of the wood.

I did not sew a new cushion for the back of the chair. You really don't need it. This chair is really comfortable.

I put it in the living room "just to take a photo". There was another chair in that spot. But then it looked so nice with my Craftsman desk and the Atomic light and the vintage phone. Well, it's been a couple of years and it is still there. I love it.

After a while I noticed it was scratching my hard wood floors. I added some felt (brown with adhesive) to the runners. It is no longer a problem!


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Whether my junk is from a garage sale, estate or farm auction, flea market or the side of the road, I love to find it, fix it, clean it, sell it or keep it. So come along the backroads of Indiana with Junk is My Life (me), let's find something vintage and do something cool with it! Formerly Junk Journal.