By the time they reached me, these chairs had definitely seen better days. Often, when chairs break down to this extent, they are not worth restoring — the work can cost as much as several new chairs at most furniture stores.
However, this set happened to be the first pieces of furniture my clients had bought as a couple, so they held a lot of sentimental value. I said I'd give it my best shot.
Few of the glue joints were intact. Plus, some of the seat joints were coming apart, as the result of the wood's having shrunk and expanded with seasonal movement. Oh, and the armchair had 3 broken spindles in the back.
It was at that point that I decided to learn how to use the lathe my father-in-law had given me — my very first wood turning project, marking my entry into that particular art form.
Somehow, though, everything came out all right!