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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Adjustable Taylor Chair


Taylor chair
Taylor chair  

Taylor chair 2
Taylor chair 2  
I bought this Taylor chair because I was amazed at all the adjustability on such an old chair. Can you give me some info about when it was made, what it was made for and some refinishing tips. It was really dirty and when I cleaned it up most of the old finish came off.
Thanks a lot.

Ray - Your chair is a commercial secretarial chair from the early 20th century, probably 1915 -1930, judging by the cast iron mechanism. It is made of birch or maple, probably birch.

Disassemble the chair as far as possible. Remove the casters, etc. Do whatever is necessary to the mechanism - lube, paint, whatever it needs. Strip the wood frame with a wood stripper. I prefer Klean-Strip KS 3 from Home Depot. Rinse with lacquer thinner or mineral spirits. Do not rinse with water. Do any needed repairs to the frame, loose joints, etc. Light sand with medium grit sandpaper (120 grit), no finer. Since birch and maple do not readily accept an oil based wiping stain I suggest you use a gel stain (Home Depot or a paint supply store) if you want to drastically change the color. Then apply three light coats of low sheen water based urethane. Allow each coat to dry overnight. Then light sand with 320 or 400 grit sandpaper before applying the next coat.

Allow the last coat to dry several days. Then  rub it down all over with a folded brown paper bag to remove any residual grit in the finish.

If you plan to use the chair on a regular basis replace the casters with modern ball casters.  

Good luck. Thanks for writing.

Fred Taylor  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Fred Taylor


I will attempt to answer questions about American antique furniture, including construction details, style, period, manufacturers, care, repair and storage. I do not have any background in appliances, musical instruments, sewing machines, trunks, lighting, clocks or children's and baby furniture and will not respond to questions about those items.


I ran an antique furniture restoration business for twenty years. I am a nationally syndicated columnist on the subject of antique furniture for such publications as Antique Week and New England Antiques Journal. I have produced one video on the subject of furniture identification and my book "HOW TO BE A FURNITURE DETECTIVE" is now available.I have also published articles in Antique Trader, Chicago Art Deco Society, Northeast Magazine, Victorian Decorating and Lifestyles, Professional Refinishing, Antiques and Art Around Florida and Antique Shoppe. You can visit my website at

BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida

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