Tossed and found
Found A wooden side chair with detailed front legs on North Paulina Avenue in Ravenswood, January 20 at 9:30am. You can find chairs like this one—missing its cane seat and in need of glue—sitting beside a Dumpster in any city alley. In the ’burbs, you might find a pair by the curb, free for the taking.
The process The wood on the chair’s back (a.k.a. the splat) was beginning to split, so I replaced it by jigsawing a new one from a salvaged piece of laminate board. Using a freehand drawing and the chair’s old piece as a pattern, I cut out a new splat in the shape of a bird. The new piece was secured using Elmer’s wood glue after cutting small tabs to fit into the chair’s existing mortises (the pockets cut into the top and bottom rails). I built a new seat by cutting a piece of plywood, then stapling foam padding and cotton fabric to the underside. Then I sanded the chair and painted it robin’s-egg blue.
The materials A quarter sheet of quarter-inch-thick plywood ($3) and semigloss paint ($10) from Lowe’s (locations around the city). Foam chair pad ($5.50), cotton remnant ($2.20) and Elmer’s wood glue ($3) from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft. Total cost: $23.70.
—Collected and salvaged by Diana Durkes (finedivingchicago.com).