Assembling a Chair Kit from Osborne
Customer Service Lead, Cindy, demonstrates how to assemble a chair kit from Osborne
Osborne Wood Products recently released a new product line: Chair Kits. This line includes four styles: Paramount Dining Kit (55001), Heritage Dining Kit (55002), Colonial Kitchen Chair (55003), and Heritage Bar Stool (55004). All of the kits except the Colonial kitchen chair (55003) are semi-assembled upon receipt. The Colonial chair is ready to assemble.
For the Paramount, or Heritage style chairs (and stool), simply follow the directions below for a solid wood chair from Osborne:
When you receive your chair kit the first step is to inspect the package for all the necessary pieces. You should find the front and back assemblies, side rails, corner block, seat, and screws. For bar stools you will have stretchers included as well.
In addition to the pieces in the box we recommend additional tools for assembly. Make sure you have your carpenter’s glue, hammer, brush, clamps, rubber mallet, tape measure, Power drill with Robertson bit #2 or Philips bit, and sand paper.
Prior to Assembly:
Before assembling your chair kit read all of the instructions found in the instruction brochure in your box. Make sure you understand each step. Also, unpack the chair and inspect the pieces. Dry fit the chair pieces to ensure everything will come together seamlessly when glued.
Here are some good tips to keep in mind before putting your chair together. Do not finish the pieces before assembly. Wood glue will not hold to the finish and this will compromise the durability and strength of your chair.
If any glue comes out of the mortises during assembly it is recommend that the glue is wiped off immediately. Glue that is left on the wood will cause the finishing to appear differently in locations of glue spots.
Once you begin putting the chair together we recommend that you continue to completion. Parts of the chair can be damaged if repositioned after 15 to 20 minutes.
When assembling the chair we recommend you use a rubber mallet. A regular hammer should only be used on corner blocks to prevent damage to the chair.
Applying the glue
Now that you have all of our pieces ready to go, you can begin assembling your chair kit. The first step is to apply the glue. Add glue in the mortises of the back and front assembly. It is very important that you apply an even coat inside all mortises. If needed, use a small pencil, dowel, or cotton swab to spread the glue.
Insert Side Rails
Now that the mortises have glue, you can insert the side rails into the mortises. Notice the stamp on your rails. The stamp will face up with the arrow facing toward the front leg.
If you are assembling a bar stool the sticker should be on the tenon in the front of the stretcher and should be removed during assembly.
It may be necessary to tap the rails with the rubber mallet to make sure the pieces are secure.
Assembly of the Back Assembly and Front Legs
Insert the front assembly to the side rails and bottom stretchers (if applicable). Be sure to quickly remove any glue that spills out.
Now that the rails are connecting the front and back pieces of the chair, it is time to clamp the chair for a secure fit. Ideally you will use two clamps for this process. Place the clamps to connect the front and back legs and tighten. You may also use a piece of scrap wood to place between the chair and the clamp to avoid damaging your chair.
Once the clamps are secure you will want to check the chair to make sure it is square. To do so, at seat level, measure the distance between the front of the back leg left to the corner of the front leg right. This measurement should be equal to the distance between the back leg right and the front leg left. If these measurements are not equal the chair is out of square and needs to be adjusted.
To adjust the chair, release the clamps slightly and re-clamp each side slowly, alternating sides and checking the square as the joints close.
A difference of 1/16th of an inch is within tolerance.
Install corner blocks
Using your brush, apply glue to the two front and two back corners. Insert the back corners in between the side rails and back assembly. Then, insert the front corners.
You will notice a stamp or label on your corner blocks. Make sure that this label is facing up. Be sure to insert the corners the right way before hammering them all the way in. They will be very tight when fully in place.
Insert Screws into Corners
Insert four screws into the center of each corner block to join the blocks to the back and front legs. Use a power drill and a Robertson Bit #2 to secure the screws. If you do not have a Robertson bit, a Philips bit will also work for this job.
Installing the Seat
Place the seat upside down on a clean surface with the back of the seat hanging slightly over the edge of the table. Put your chair over the seat and center it. (Note that the back of your seat will be cut so that the seat can be placed into the chair. Make sure to center the seat based on this as well. Before attaching the seat to the chair, make sure that the seat is in contact with the back legs. Then, drill the four remaining screws into the pre-drilled holes in the corner blocks to secure the seat.
When drilling the screws into hardwood there is a possibility that the screw will snap. If this does happen, pre-drill a new hole in the corner block and insert a new screw into the corner block.
Now that the chair is fully assembled we will check the joints to ensure all joints are closed and the chair is secure. Sometimes the bottoms stretchers and rails can reopen during the assembly process. In the case that joints are open, use a clamp to close them.
Until the glue sets, you can also add a thin screw or a nail from under the bottom stretcher of bar stools to attach to the back or front leg to keep the joint closed.
Allow your chair ample time to dry. Ideally, you will want your chair to dry for 2 to 3 hours before leveling the chair. Use a flush surface to make sure that your chair is level. If not, identify the back leg that isn’t flush and use a sander to remove a portion under that leg.
When checking for level it is often tempting to find the short leg and try to make the other three legs match. For a simpler method, push the chair forward on its front legs. Find the back leg that is touching the ground and sand to match the shorter back leg.
Now that your chair is assembled, glued, and level, you can finish the chair to match your home or office space. Chairs can be finished with stain or paint as accent pieces or to match current cabinetry and furniture.
Your chair is now ready for use. Enjoy your comfortable new solid wood chair from Osborne!