My wife's cousin Becky asked me if I could repair a 100+ year old broken rocking chair's seat that belonged to her great grandmother. She wasn't asking to have it accurately restored, just make it functional again. The seat frame was broken at all four glue joints, and the cane weave has a broken in place at the back of the seat. I knew that Woodcraft sells the spline, strands, and pre-woven sheets to do these repairs with, but I haven't done it before. She and her husband brought the chair over for evaluation, and I agreed to see what I could do with it.
I looked online for how-to videos and found one that covered the woven sheet installation pretty well. I picked up the weave and spline at a Woodcraft store in west Raleigh, NC. The seat frame glue joint repairs were done and placed on a flat surface, weighted, and allowed to cure. I cut two pieces of red oak like the chair is made of that span the left and right sides of the seat, bridging the glue joints. rounded over the two bottom edges, used slow cure epoxy to glue the two stiffener blocks to the bottom of the seat frame. When cured overnight I installed six stainless steel screws in each board as double protection, then stained the boards with MinWax Dark Walnut to produce a close match to the original chair color. Brushed on some MinWax clear satin polyurethane to seal it. The boards are visible but most people won't notice them unless they are inspecting the chair. A few other small repairs were made to improve the looks of the chair. The cane weave installation work went well, Becky was ecstatic about the results, and her husband couldn't believe how well it looked when they came to take it home.
Well, gears started turning in my head, and I took a few photos of the chair before they left with it. I had a plan to make them even happier. I made this for her using the photos I took of her chair. The design on the chair back was used to make a 3D model with slightly rounded top surfaces, unlike the concave flat carved surface of the chair back. The cane weave is a 3D model I have used on some of my guitars. She has been very good to my wife over the years and deserves some repayment for it. We will be giving it to her soon.