I fix a lot of chairs. They come to me when the seat fails but usually they need more. When the seat is removed I fix the loose joints, clean them up, and reweave a new seat. I enjoy bringing a chair back to life and it allows me to study many different chairs and see how they age.
Recently I had a set of ten Hans Wegners come through the shop and while working on them I began thinking about a subject that craftspeople like to avoid.
I found this one at the top of a chair leg.
Oops! Looks like a misplaced mortise that has been filled. Repairs that require matching end grain can be nearly impossible to hide so in this case the best fix would have been a new leg. I was surprised to see something like this on a Wegner.
I’ve become pretty good at fixing mistakes because I make them all of the time. I probably shouldn’t admit to it but a good repair of a mistake is something to be proud of. But often times a mistake doesn’t need a repair at all. It only needs a change of terminology. It’s not a mistake; it’s a design change.