Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fixing a love seat

Where we are getting on our budget here, and working very hard to build our emergency fund ($20,000 is our goal by the end of next year), and saving for a vacation (just wrote about that), furniture is NOT one of our budget priorities at this time.

A love seat in our living room set recently broke. The springs gave way underneath it. My wife asked me to help her take it out, so we could put it out to the trash. I told her that I felt that we should give it another chance, in that I might be able to save it.

I turned the love seat over, and looked under it. One of the braces along the rear, where all of the springs attached, had broken. It broke right in the middle of a knot. Whoever built this piece of furniture probably should not have used a length of wood with a knot (or at least the knot should not have covered over 50% of the width of the board), but they did.

I began looking for a fix, and figured that I could cut a piece of hardwood, and just brace the broken piece back together. When I went to do this, the force of the springs pulled the board off from the other side of the arm of the loveseat. My wife was ready to take it out to the trash again, but I talked her into waiting. I had knocked many things off my to do list that day, and was tired, so I figured that I would wait until next weekend.

When the time came, first, I pulled a bunch of staples holding the bottom netting to the frame, as well as staples holding some of the upholstery. I disconnected the remaining springs from their clips, which were fastened right into the board that broke. I took the board out, and measured it. Wow, simple, it was 3 1/2 inches wide, which meant that a standard sized board (4 inches nominal) would fit right into the groove that was cut for it. I do have a tablesaw if I needed to rip a board down, but this made it even easier.

I had a piece of poplar in the workshop that would have fit for the size. Poplar is a hard wood, but not quite. I figured that if I was going to take the time to do this, I might as well make an effort to do it right. So, I went off to Lowes. I found a piece of maple that was $8.00, that would do the job. A piece of poplar was $5.50, so I figured the extra $2.50 was well spent on something a bit harder. The piece was clear, with no knots, so it should be nice and strong. I could not find any of the clips for the seat springs, so I figured that I would have to re-use the old ones. That should not be too difficult.

Just a cut to lenght, a measurement and instalation of all of the seat spring clips correctly, and I was ready to install the board. The trickiest part was bolting the board in place. The prior one had been installed with staples, probably before the back of the couch was built, but I would need to bolt this one in with sheet metal screws. This was painfully slow with a 5/16 wrench (my socket wrench was too deep to fit in), but I got it done. I rolled each of the springs into place, and into the clips. Then, I stapled the covering (upholstery) in place covering the springs. I turned over the loveseat, and stapled the bottom netting back into place. Then, I had a seat, gently, I will admit at first, but all is well.

How often in the past would I have just gone out and replaced the set? Back when I used credit that is probably how I would have purchased it! Also, I am not a staunch enviromentalist, but I was also able to save something from just going to the landfill. It was also just as easy, in the long run, for me to fix it as it would have been to go out and purchase a new one, drag it home, carry the old one out, and carry the new one in.

Now, it will have to be replaced someday, and probably within the next two to three years, but by then, I should have the emergency fund in place, and I will be able to cashflow a new one.

The only thing that I did not do, was that I didn't take pictures of the repair, to detail how I did it. I will have to remember to do that next time!


Apple said...

Hey GettingUP, just wanted to say hi. :) I found your blog through BK forum. Good for you for building that emergency fund. Are you familiar with Mary Hunt/Debt Proof Living? She is awesome. Well good luck with everything and have a great Christmas!

GettingUP said...

Thanks for your comments! I have never checked out Mary Hunt... I may just have to do that!