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Reviving the Bent Plywood Lounge


This fine specimen was spotted on the side of our neighbor's house and after over a year of driving by it the owner was finally contacted. She was more than happy to give it away and even went further by offering up the matching ottoman from indoors. Yes, it's a bit rough, but as every Portlander knows, "Free is a Very Good Price!"


Although not an Eames Herman Miller, we think it to be a vintage Selig, one of the better knock-offs. First thing to do was to unscrew and remove the pads to reveal the plywood below.

We were pleased to find the frame intact, it just needs sanding and refinishing! The base however needs some work. The turning mechanism is frozen but can be rebuilt to function like new!

A light once over with an electric sander removed the finish and most of the water damage near the screw holes. The entire surface was hand sanded with with small grit then wiped with mineral spirits to remove any residue. Three layers of Minwax varathane was brushed on, buffing with steel wool in between layers.

Next the chrome was polished with steel wool and WD-40 to remove the rust and luckily most of the pitting. A larger screw was added to the base to shore up the sloppy tilting mechanism and spray painted black.

Since the project was turning out better than planned I had hoped to swap out the tan pads from our chair in the living room but the bolt pattern is different. Stay tuned to see if the leather pads can be brought back to life or if they will be re-upholstered in the finest black naugahyde!

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