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Barber Chair Restoration Problems & Solutions

24359-27tmb  24359-7tmb  24359-19tmb  24359-8aftertmb  24359-6tmb  24359-14tmb  24359-12tmb 
Click thumbnails for stories and larger graphics

We weren't able to completely untwist this convoluted Gordian thread, but we've tried to generally divide it into these categories:

p.1 Plating & Belmont Chairs

p.2 Paidar Chairs & Koken Chairs

p.3 Koch Chairs & Misc. Chairs / Misc. Problems


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Paidar Chairs

Gentle Readers:

This is a worldwide meeting place for posting Q&As, photos, history, & interesting tidbits -- not a consultancy

Like a good cocktail party ...

• when people show interest in each other's situations, the discussions quickly grow informative, engaging, & fun !
• but being interested only in their own item & issue makes for a dull guest who tends not to draw the interest of others smiley
adv. Paidar chairs & parts on eBay

RFQ: I have a Paidar 1920's porcelain barber chair that I'm restoring and accidentally broke the bracket that connects the back rest to the arm rest on the right side if you're sitting in the chair. I tried to weld it but it just won't hold. Where can I find a part for sale?

Please help.

Todd Oleson
HOBBYIST - Macomb, Michigan, USA
April 28, 2010

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is old & outdated, so contact info is no longer available. However, if you feel that something technical should be said in reply, please post it; no public commercial suggestions please ( huh? why?)





"Paidar beauty parlor equipment. Catalog Number 46"

on AbeBooks

or

(affil links)

Q. My son has a 1960 Paidar chair that he took apart to have the parts chromed. After four years he is trying to assemble it. Does not remember how all the parts go back together. Have tried to find a repair booklet but no luck. Would appreciate any help.

George Ranallo
- Overland Park, Kansas
June 28, 2010




Q. Paidar chair but original numbers plate missing from seat. Not sure of year and need same before I head in to full restoration. All mechanicals work well but appearance is rough. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

barber chair -8 barber chair -9

Dan Stevens
hobbyist - Magnolia, Texas, USA
July 1, 2011


! Final result of plating and restoration project (July 2011 original post).

barber chair -8 after

Dan Stevens [returning]
Hobbyist - Magnolia, Texas
June 28, 2014


thumbs up signWow!

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey




Hydraulic Pump Valve Seal for Most Antique Barber Chairs
on
Amazon

(affil links)

Q. Hello I have a Paidar chair. The hydraulic pump seal appears to be bad. When I try the pump, the chair will lift about an inch, I hear the pressure vent off and the chair drops back down. I was wondering if anyone knows how much trouble it is to repair the seal and where do you buy the parts? Also, how do you check the oil level in the chair and where is the oil added? What type of fluid do you use in these chairs?

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Brian (Michigan)

Brian Miska
- Bay City, Michigan
January 17, 2012


The chair doesn't go up or down.

Angelo borges
- Somerset, Massachusetts usa
December 29, 2023

Ed. note: ??. More words please.



Q. What does my missing footrest even look like? I've done tons of research online and I can't even find the same type of Paidar chair I have.

barber chair -10
Connor Kilmer
- Auburn, New York, USA
July 25, 2012




Q. Hi,

I am a pedal car collector. I have come across a pedal car that was used as a barber chair seat. I know the manufacturer of the pedal car but it also had metal tags on it E Paider. I did some research and found that he made barber chairs. So far so good!

pedal car barber chair

The car is the easy part for me. I have an avid collector. However, the barber chair is a new and exciting area. I am missing the base with hand pump. (is that the correct terminology?).

Here is my specific question. Are all the bases interchangeable, or did each company have specific kinds?

Can I just buy a beat up barber chair from the 20's and be on my way? Any help is greatly appreciated. Rick

p.s. For a change of pace, here is my pedal car website for those interested: ibuypedalcars.com

Richard LeRoy
- Zimmerman, Minnesota
April 14, 2013




Q. Hi! I'm restoring a Paidar chair and I have it all back together except I can get the footrest on. It's parts are just a steel cylinder like the shape of a large pill that it seems should slide into a hole on the chair where the foot rest goes to hold it in place and allow it to swivel. Problem is it won't fit. Does this make sense to anyone?? Help would be much appreciated. Driving me crazy! Thanks!

Whitney Garside
- Victoria, BC, Canada
October 13, 2013




RFQ: Hi, I am looking for a Paidar right long arm (Part 507R) for a chair that I am restoring. The part needs to in good condition, i.e., plate able or already plated. If you do not have one can you recommend sources that might. Thanks.

Jeff McIntyre
- Clayton California

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is old & outdated, so contact info is no longer available. However, if you feel that something technical should be said in reply, please post it; no public commercial suggestions please ( huh? why?)



adv. Paidar chairs & parts on eBay



Q. Looking for manual on the disassembly and restoration of hydraulic cylinder on 1948 Paidar chair; and was the chair normally chrome, or nickel plate?

Robert Lloyd
engineering - San Clemente, California USA
September 3, 2014




Q. I just purchased two identical mid-1950's Emil J Paider Barber Chairs for my barber shop. I have a slightly later model barber chairs that are perfectly working and being using at my shop. We are expanding and want to add the chairs just purchased but they need work, I've done some research and there are four Barber Chair refurbishers near me in the central New Jersey area. Yet the cost of restoring theses chairs are cost prohibitive; one restorer is very expensive specializing in custom work, the others have slightly better pricing but one reupholster sends out the metal parts for refinishing (chroming), the other does the metal refinishing and sends out for reupholsters, finally the last guy has done some barber chairs but specializes is antique restoration.

barber chair -20

The average cost of restoration is around $1700 for chrome refinishing and repair, and $300 for reupholstering for a total of $2000 per chair, not including what I paid for the chair. I'm a small barber Shop with $12 haircuts for me to get a return on these chairs will take 10 years. Can anyone suggest a cheaper Barber Chair refinisher/upholster/repairer that may have better pricing, because after I restore the older chairs I want to send out my current chairs for restoration. Any takers or referrals?

Carlos Garcia
East Brunswick, New Jersey
January 28, 2015

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is old & outdated, so contact info is no longer available. However, if you feel that something technical should be said in reply, please post it; no public commercial suggestions please ( huh? why?)





Q. I just purchased two identical mid-1950's Emil J Paider Barber Chairs for my barber shop. I have a slightly later model barber chairs that are perfectly working and being using at my shop. We are expanding and want to add the chairs just purchased but they need work, I've done some research and there are four Barber Chair refurbishes near me in the central New Jersey area. Yet the cost of restoring theses chairs are cost prohibitive one restorer is very expensive specializing in custom work, the others have slightly better pricing but one reupholsters sends out the metal parts for refinishing (chroming), the other does the metal refinishing and sends out for reupholsters, finally the last guy has done some barber chairs but specializes is antique restoration.
The average cost of restoration is around $1700 for chrome refinishing and repair, and $300 for reupholstering for a total of $2000 per chair, not including what I paid for the chair. I'm a small barber Shop with $12 haircuts for me to get a return on these chairs will take 10 years. Can anyone suggest a cheaper Barber Chair refinisher/upholster/repairer that may have better pricing, because after I restore the older chairs I want to send out my current chairs for restoration. Any takers or referrals?

Carlos Garcia [returning]
A Cut Above Barber Shop - East Brunswick, New Jersey USA
January 28, 2015


Hi Carlos. Thanks for the interesting insights -- and best of luck. Names of vendors, without any praise or slams are okay, but unfortunately, we've learned from 60,000 threads and 20 years on line that the one thing we can't do is suggest particular vendors (why?). Apologies! And I hope this site can be of some use to you even though we can't actually recommend vendors. Best of luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey




Q. My son owns a barber shop with two 1960 Paidar barber chairs. He is wondering how to take off the lift handle on one to get it repaired since the knob stripped out. Please help!

Thanks,
Kent

Kent Truitt
- Dowagiac, Michigan
March 2, 2015




Q. Hello, I have an early 1940's Padair that seems to have stopped working. The handle will not pump/frozen in place, chair will not go up or down and the chair will not rotate. I love this chair as it belonged to the father of a close friend of mine that died several years back. I would like to get this back into working order. It was last operational about 2 years ago and just sitting ever since. Thanks for reading and thanks for your answers!

Cliff David
hobbyist - Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
April 14, 2015


Q. Cliff David, Did you ever figure out how to fix this? I have two chairs with the same issue.

Derek Drake
- Richland Washington
February 2, 2023


A. I recently disassembled my grandfather's antique Paidar Chair. It too was stuck in the up position and would not rotate either. I found the solution by trial and error, but the gist of it is, there is a "key" in the column of the piston. As the chair rises, the key is slowly pushed out to stop the chair and lock into place. When releasing/lowering, the column lowers and the key recedes.

Your/my problem is/was someone has/had raised the chair to an abnormal position causing the key to "stick" and the chair to become locked. I disassembled the entire mechanism including operating arm to the piston/ram and ultimately "tapped" the column downward until it began to free up. I say tapped, as I do not believe a good whack would be appropriate and I didn't want to damage anything within the cylinder. Once lowered, the key/wedge will fall back into place and the chair will spin/lower/raise.
Hope this helps.

James Erickson
- Scottsdale Arizona
November 6, 2023




Q. My question is how to remove a Emil J. Padar 1930's pump handle. The chair pumps up and holds. The handle will not pull out to release the mechanism to lay it back. And I want to disassemble to rechrome.

Morris Hensley
- DUNEDIN, Florida USA
October 14, 2015


A. If chair is locked, remove seat, remove jack arm assembly, get a inch and half piece of PVC pipe that will slide down piston arm and rest on top of piston, take hammer and strike pipe, piston should drop down. Be sure to remove most of the oil. Brake has it locked or piston has come up too high and is catching.

mickey taylor
barber - clintwood Virginia us
May 23, 2016



barber chair -21

Q. I have a 1931 Emil J Paidar barber chair but it's missing the calf rest and headrest. Other than eBay and Amazon are there any other sites that I can look to for missing parts for my chair?

Adrian Calderon
- Brigham city utah
March 20, 2017




Q. What can be used as a replacement for the handle knob on the pump handle of a Paidar Cahaie^Chair?

Eric Stoneburner
- Richland, Michigan
January 29, 2018




Q. I'm blowing my Paidar 504 apart right now and a lot of the nickel pieces are polishing up nicely. There are a few spots on the porcelain that are busted and Arthe cast iron is starting to rust. I live in Austin, TX and am looking to see if it is possible to fix or correct this or if I have to just live with it. I really don't want to paint or powder coat it. I'd prefer to keep it porcelain if possible. But I am unfamiliar with the porcelain process.

barber chair -25a   barber chair -25d   barber chair -25c   barber chair -25b

Secondly, I checked the oil level and it is about two inches below the pump arm shaft. So I think it's good on oil however it will not pump up. When you push the handle forward it does rise up for a second and then sinks right back down. It's almost like the seals (if there are seals) are bad or the relief valve is stuck open. Any ideas? Unrelated but it reclines and swivels perfectly and the brake works great.

This is my first chair restoration so any and all help is appreciated.

Rodney Clayton
- Austin, Texas USA
February 25, 2019




Q. I have a 1954 or 1952 Emil J. Paidar barber chair. The chair is in excellent condition. I took the seat off, then removed the handle from the pump shaft. just a pin that went through the shaft and handle unit. Then I took the outer housing off, and the casing that holds the pump shaft. I then cleaned it up, put it back together except for the seat, and now the handle will not move in any direction. It was simple to take off and put back together, just take off 7 bolts. Every thing came off as a whole unit. Nothing to take apart. Any help would be appreciated. Have not put any oil in it.

George Hall
- Monterey Tennessee
July 5, 2019




Koken Chairs

Q. I have a Koken Barber Chair form the 1890s to 1930s. It's in many pieces and I have full intent to restore it in time. I need some metal parts for the chair and I am having difficulty locating them (can't understand that, it's only around a hundred years old!) I do have some pictures of my dismantled chair and would appreciate any help anyone out there can provide. What I'm looking for are the metal parts from the wooden leg rest down. I don't need all the parts but I am willing to buy the complete bottom part of the chair if necessary.

barber chair -1 barber chair -2 24359-3 barber chair -4 barber chair -5

I desperately need help with this project. Any help or references you can provide will be very much appreciated.

Norman Stephenson
Norman's Barber Shop - Raytown, Missouri
March 22, 2008


"Koken Barber Chair Repair Guide"
by Daniel Johnson

on Amazon

(affil links)

A. Norman:

There is a seller on eBay that has many of the parts I see in your photo...

This guy helped me a ton with my barber chair. I'm the guy with the chair right below yours on this site.

Bobby Farmer
machinist - Grand Coulee, Washington
June 5, 2009




barber chair -6

Q. I have been working on this barber chair for two years, plating, leather upholstery, wood carving and sanding... it's come a long way... from what I have seen of other chairs, my chair is early 1900's no metal on the arms, all oak.. I need the parts that will lock it in the recline position, the rod that goes to the leg bracket, and the bracket as well...

Willing to pay any reasonable asking price plus a large token of my appreciation..! Thanks for reading..!

Bobby Farmer
machinist - Grand Coulee, Washington
May 23, 2009

Ed. note: General hints about obtaining parts are welcome, but No offers please! This is a technical site about metal finishing, and we'd be swamped overnight if we tried to be a free eBay :-) Thanks.



Koken Barber's Clock
on
Amazon

(affil links)

Q. I would like to know where or how to fix my hydraulics on my Koken barber chair. I want to make sure it works right before I put it back together

charles jackson
hobbyist - kearney, Missouri usa
September 15, 2010




RFQ: I have a 1970 Koken barber chair with electric hydraulics and am looking for "up" and "down" pedals. Mine broke and need new ones!

Robyn Autry
cosmetologist - Barnsdall, Oklahoma, USA
September 13, 2011

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is old & outdated, so contact info is no longer available. However, if you feel that something technical should be said in reply, please post it; no public commercial suggestions please ( huh? why?)





RFQ: I have a Koken terminal barber chair and I need the hydraulic pump handle and the bracket that goes from the ankle plate to the tension rod. Please tell me where to find these parts. Also what does the serial #A222400 mean? I greatly appreciate it.

Eric Schimmel
chair restorer - Valley Stream, New York, USA
November 9, 2011

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is old & outdated, so contact info is no longer available. However, if you feel that something technical should be said in reply, please post it; no public commercial suggestions please ( huh? why?)





Koken Barber Chair T-Shirt
on
Amazon

(affil links)

Q. I have a Koken barber chair and need to find the piece that helps lock the headrest. I also need the piece that the tension rod fits into as the piece I have has one of the bracket arms broken. I really don't want to have it fabricated unless I must. How do you date a Koken? Mine is round with partial porcelain arms.

Julie shoraga
- normal, Illinois USA
May 1, 2012


A. Go to eBay and find the most beat up barber chair that looks like yours and ask them if they would sell you the parts that you are looking for.

Connor Kilmer
- Auburn, New York, USA
May 1, 2012




Q. I have a Koken barber chair late 1890's oak with a claw nickel plated base. I have seen several chairs like this one but they have the wooden claw base, I have yet to see a complete cast nickel plated base. Chair is in excellent condition but I can't find one to compare due to the cast nickel claw base. Have you ever seen one like that?

Ruben R Luevano
ruben luevano - El Paso, Texas
July 12, 2012




Q. I have a 30's or 40's Koken chair that I would like info on. The hydraulics are not working, could just be in need of oil, foot rest is missing and the base is missing enamel and has a crack running through it. Otherwise it is in great condition, all porcelain enamel is in good shape and the head rest is included. Chair still swivels.

barber chair -14

Is it possible to have the base welded and re-enamelled?

Maureen Sless
- Toronto Ontario Canada
September 11, 2012




Q. I want to refinish a Koken chair to get it working for my dad. We pulled the bass from the chair and both the shaft and base are quite dirty.

Koken barber chair-16 Koken barber chair-17

After I clean up all the parts, what is needed to get it functioning again. Do I need oil in the base? How much? Is there any type of rubber o-ring or gasket. I have never taken on such a project.

Shayne Laity
- Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
December 19, 2013




Q. I have an old barber chair I bought about 25 years ago, took it apart most of the bolts & screws I cut to remove. How can I find out what year it is or where to find the serial # it's a Koken with the chrome ends on the armrests, where can I order all the screws & bolts for a chair like that??

Ely De Hoyos
- Laredo, Texas USA
January 10, 2016




Q. Can you figure out a manufacture date by serial number?
Near as I can get is by patent number, and that would put my Koken chair 1903-1911, which is kind of a wide range.

Kirt Davis
- Roy, Utah
October 13, 2016



barber chair -22

Q. I have my Grandfather's 1920 something Koken barber chair. I plan on restoring it as much as my budget will allow. My question is, other than new leather, what restoration details really make a chair pop? I know I will need leather redone as it is old and torn in spots...what is the next best and or cheapest/easiest thing to restore? Also, anyone near the upstate of South Carolina that knows where to find Koken parts? Thanks.

Stephen Allen
- Boiling Springs, South Carolina USA
May 3, 2017




Q. I have a Koken Chair from 1920 , a Belmont Chair from 1900's, which need some hydronic fluid and basic referbusing. I need to know the approximate value of each chair that's in good working condition. I am having basic restorations done on the chairs because the silver at the base needed silver coating to improve the quality . I am a NY State Licensed Master Barber in retrospect of about fifty years , and these chairs are part of an inventory that was twenty plus chairs . Anyone interested , and can offer advice , I would deeply appreciate it,

Sincerely,
Joseph

Joseph M Jones
- Hempstead LongIsland New York USA
August 23, 2015




Q. I have a Koken Premier Barber Chair (I believe manufactured in 1962) were the Chair Recline Mechanism is not allowing the chair to recline. The Pump/Recline handle of the chair does not seem to be engaging the Recline mechanism. I need instructions on the procedure to correct this problem.

Does anyone have any technical data that would cover this problem?

Any help would be appreciated.

W Wilson
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US
September 16, 2015




Q. I am repairing a Koken barber chair about 1920's is there any other reason why the piston pump will not pull out other than being rusted in? I am under the impression it should just pull out, but it is stuck firm.
Help. Regards Tom.

Tom Eshman
N/A - Shortland NSW Australia
October 25, 2017




Q. I have an oak 1890's Koken Barber chair with four leg pedestal. The claw feet are solid brass. I am trying to restore as close to original as possible. I have not been able to find any other chair that looks like it.

Carol GARCIA
- Pacific, Missouri
August 27, 2019




Q. 1930's to early 40 backrest removal?

Hello. I will be reupholstering my Koken barber chair and I do not see how to remove the backrest. Can someone give me some direction? Thank you, Keith

Keith Hildreth
- Lakeside California
July 31, 2022



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