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Wagon Seat Rebuild


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#1 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2016 - 10:02 AM

I bought this wagon seat for my wife about 35 years ago. We used it for awhile on the porch & had to move to the city to take care of my ailing IL's & put in storage for about 25 years.

 

The PO had a little story benind it. It came from a farm in Indiana, the wagon was rotted too bad so all she could salvage was the seat & a couple of the wheels. At the time it was well over 100 years old so now that's over 125....amazing love this stuff.

 

It had been painted an ugly Mauve like color so my wife painted it green & the metal black. The only feet it had were the springs & the brackets that hung over the side boards of the wagon. I had to make a pedestal so it would sit right to use.

Wagon seat1.jpg

 

As expected some of the screws were stubborn so I made a hacksaw cuts in most of them to remove.

Wagon seat2.jpg

 

Here is the ugly Mauve color. I remember my wife painted this she wasn't sure about the green & decided she wasn't painting the bottom yet.

Wagon seat4.jpg

 

I want to try & strip all the paint without doing any grinding on it to save what character I can but it's not looking too good right now. I stripped off the green, then the mauve only to find two more colors of a brick like red then a few traces of a first coat of green....interesting. The green in the pic is my wife's last coat the original green is hard to see, mostly in the end grain & traces in the nicks.

Wagon seat5.jpg

 

Nice pile of heavy duty hardware. I remember cleaning this when we first bought it & painting it flat black. I wanted to knock this off & try to bring some rust out & clear coat but I done such a good job of removing the rust the first time it's not there. I'll paint the hardware a satin black.

Wagon seat6.jpg

 

Being a carpenter this 14 1/2" poplar board is talking to me. This is the bottom of the seat. You can still see the band saw marks.

Wagon seat8.jpg

 

I got all the wood cleaned up. I had to use my right angle grinder to sand all the paint off. While doing this I hated to see some of the character disappear but wanting to clear coat the wood I had to get all the paint off. I need to finish sand, round some of the edges, & add some stress marks to bring back some of the character.

Wagon seat10.jpg  

 

I might be able to work some more on this later today.  My wife wants to put tongue oil on this as she does most things that I do that are vintage using wood to be left natural. Thanks for looking!

 

 


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#2 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2016 - 11:10 AM

That is going to look so nice when you are done - I wonder what the original maker of the seat would say if they could look at it today.  Very nice job of recycling something that some people would say was firewood.

 

I wish I had that kind of talent working with wood - thanks for sharing.


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#3 massey driver OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2016 - 12:16 PM

Looks very nice. The funny part is I remember as a kid sitting and riding on one of those. Yes it was green and it was on the grain wagon box, that I had to shovel out lots of grain out of. I'am not saying I'am that old LOL  but I do remember them and how they just hung on the sides of the wagon box.


Edited by massey driver, July 16, 2016 - 12:20 PM.

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#4 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2016 - 03:35 PM

Very nice but I disagree on the cut marks. Those look like they are from an "up and down" sawmill. We have 2 of the old up and downs in my area. They are historical sites now but are fascinating to watch.

I didn't think that circular saws came in until after the civil war and band saws after the first world war. In the 1920s the Connecticut School of Agriculture(now UCONN) hosted a sawmill exposition. There was over a dozen mills set up. I've seen pictures of the displays but I don't think that there were any bandsaw mills.

The old up and downs were very cheap to maintain and lasted a long time in rural areas. You may have a much older piece than you think. Good Luck, Rick
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#5 UncleWillie OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2016 - 03:40 PM

Nice piece of history there. 


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#6 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2016 - 05:47 PM

Very nice but I disagree on the cut marks. Those look like they are from an "up and down" sawmill. We have 2 of the old up and downs in my area. They are historical sites now but are fascinating to watch.

I didn't think that circular saws came in until after the civil war and band saws after the first world war. In the 1920s the Connecticut School of Agriculture(now UCONN) hosted a sawmill exposition. There was over a dozen mills set up. I've seen pictures of the displays but I don't think that there were any bandsaw mills.

The old up and downs were very cheap to maintain and lasted a long time in rural areas. You may have a much older piece than you think. Good Luck, Rick

When I said band saw I was meaning the same thing your talking about...the up & down saw. I know the BS was around the early 1800's but because of problems with the blades not running true it wasn't perfected until almost 50 years later. Someone figured out how to weld the ends of the blades to give a better & longer lasting use of the blade.  A band saw also doesn't leave the almost perfect saw marks as the U&D saw does. When the up & down stroke is cycled the cog wheels advance the log giving an almost perfect design as I have plus their wider apart. I'm glad you brought this up .

 

Another thing I noticed on the back linear edge of the seat board the wood was very soft, brittle & had a slight angle. I'm thinking this was the bark edge of the board because of the outer growth rings being softer. It's funny how just a board can be so interesting. I'm going to Google the U&D saw to see what I can come up with. I have seen them restored & running....fun to watch.



#7 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2016 - 05:56 PM

Boyscout862 brought up an interesting thought about the saw marks on the bottom of the seat board. I had mentioned Band Saw but meaning the older UP & Down saws that were used even earlier than the BS. I found a good video of an U&D saw working so I hope you enjoy the history that we sometimes just walk by & not notice. Thanks Rick!

Wagon seat8.jpg

 


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#8 MFDAC OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2016 - 08:45 PM

Besides a porch swing I can't imagine a cooler bench out on the porch! I dig rocking chairs but two can sit in comfort on this wagon seat. That sawmill is really an amazing piece of equipment. Thanks for that video of one in operation.

 

DAC


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#9 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted August 08, 2016 - 06:59 AM

I sure didnt think it would take me this long to finish. I've had a horrible cold for almost two weeks...headache, whole body sore & throwing snot everywhere. All better now but I have a lot to do around the house & catch up on here too.

 

I never liked the pedestal that much. At the time I made it I used a piece of 2x6 & had to mortise the pockets out to hold the brackets where it would normally sit on top of the wagon side boards. I picked up some rough sawn Poplar & made the two side pieces & the stretcher underneath to keep it from racking from side to side. This was a job getting it all sanded down to the bare wood without loosing some of the character. I also plugged some of the holes with wooden dowels so they would take the new screws.

Wagon seat12.jpg Wagon seat10.jpg Wagon seat11.jpg Wagon seat9.jpg

 

I put two coats of tongue oil on all the wood & two coats of semi gloss black on all the metal. We both really like the natural look now instead of that hunter green.

Wagon seat 13.jpg Wagon seat 14.jpg Wagon seat 15.jpg

 

My wife has one of the larger rear wagon wheels from an old buck board. Sadly to say it was painted hunter green too. I'm not sure how much work it would take to get that stripped because the spokes are pretty grainy & the hub would be hard too. That's another project for later. Thanks again for looking & its been interesting hearing all the comments & stories.

 


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#10 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted August 08, 2016 - 07:21 AM

Looks real nice!


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