Replacing webbing with dowels on lounge chair
My partner and I are working to restore a vintage lounge chair. (No brand marking that we can find.)
We purchased Pirelli rubber webbing, and using the advice given here on a thread from 2018, attempted to replace and re-install the dowels and new webbing in the slots, as shown in the attached photos. Whoever fixed this chair previously had stapled cheaper webbing to the frame, but we were trying to avoid that since it sounds like that’s not the original way to secure these. We saw notes about planing one side of the dowels to ensure a tight fit against the chair frame, as well.
The struggle we’re having is how to tighten the straps once they are looped through and around the dowels. If one side of the dowel were planed, the straps wouldn’t be able to tighten at all, and round as they are currently, we still can’t tighten them enough. We’ve tried using string to pull the straps before inserting the dowel, but even that didn’t tighten the straps enough.
We believe the dowels we have are 3/8th” dowels. Maybe those are too big? We have also tried using a pair of 5/16th” dowels on one end, but the problem of tightening is still an issue.
Are we missing a needed tool, perhaps? Any tips or advice would be much appreciated!
You may need more than two hands for this. Pull the webbing at the edge of the seat area toward the slot and dowel to give slack around the dowel and then pull the tail of the webbing to remove the slack you just created.
Ideally you don’t cut the tail webbing off the roll until you have tensioned the course you are working on, so this way you have the whole roll as a long tail to pull on. If you have already cut your courses of webbing and they are quite short you may need a tool like vice grips or something to help you grab the short tail. But again notice that you are not tensioning the webbing by pulling the tail, you are only pulling out the slack you have created by tensioning it on the course on the other side of the dowel.
Take move of elastic webbing.
Feed one finish of the webbing through one of the back openings in the seat outline.
Overlap over the finish of the webbing to frame a circle of approx 5" (125mm).
Utilizing a staple and plate, fix the webbing together.