Eames Chair Repairs - Shock Mounts
The Eames 670 Lounge chairs were quite something when production started in 1956. While the Eames sought to develop mass produced and affordable furniture, this lounger was the exceptional luxury item.
Today these chairs are sought after vintage items, and a fine example of sustainable design and manufacturing.
It is well known that the "weak link" of these chairs is the rubber shock mounting. The rubber hardens and dries which causes the mounts to crack and fail. Below is an example of a severely cracked shock mount that has not yet broken.
Fortunately these chairs were so well designed, that replacing the shock mounts to provide another 30+ years of service is a reasonable option. The mount shown above is from a 1983 vintage chair which has been in service for 37 years.
I've repaired many of these Eames 670 lounge chairs, and am always impressed with the modular design including how the cushions are removable, and replaceable, and also with the durability of the molded plywood shells.
The old shock mounts are quite tenacious though, and require patience and a bit of technique to remove them without damaging the underlying plywood. Here's an example of a cleaned up shell, that has been abraided with 80 grit, both the plywood and the rubber mount, in preparation for the glue up.
While these chairs in the shop, and taken apart, they can be cleaned up. I like to wash the leather cushions and the shells. The shells can be oiled with Tung oil for a more complete restoration, yet for a chair in for repair, washing the shells tends to make them look really good. Buffing the aluminum base also makes a big difference in the appearance.
It's always satisfying to complete furniture repairs to quality pieces, and restore them to service.